Can I access an Access Database via a website?

LillyC
LillyC used Ask the Experts™
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Can I access an Access Database via a website? If so, could anyone advise how I do this?
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Software & Systems Engineer
Commented:
Using the BE of your Website (PHP,ASP.NET,Node.js,Python) you will find the corresponding driver that will allow to have full interaction with your Access Database
LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
Great, thanks John.
Ryan ChongSoftware Team Lead

Commented:
Can I access an Access Database via a website?

not many these days will use Access database as the backend database for a website. You probably can consider other DBMS that more reliable such as SQL Server, MySQL, etc. But in general, as John had mentioned, try connect to your backend database using a preferred server side scripting languages, which he already mentioned some of them.
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LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the additional information Ryan.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Thank you Lilly
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
<<Can I access an Access Database via a website? If so, could anyone advise how I do this?>>

 What do you mean by an "Access database".    Are you talking a MDB/ACCDB with data in it, or do you mean seeing an Access applications (forms, reports, etc) in a browser?

 What's been commented on so far has been the first.  The later is a different story.

 Just want to be sure what you were asking about.

Jim.
LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
I mean seeing an access application, the forms and reports etc, in a brower.  Sorry I didn't make myself very clear.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
Ah that's what I thought and the short answer is no, you can't do that.

 There was a company that offered that as a service, but they went out of business.

 Outside of that, the only way to do this is sort of is to run an RDP server, then use it with published apps, or run citrix on top of that so it can appear inside a browser.   But it's doesn't turn it into what one would call a "web based" app.

  Is this for internal or external users?

Jim.
LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
Oh that's a shame, I didn't think it would be so easy.  Thanks for the info on how to do it Jim, I'll speak to the clients IT department.

It's for internal users only.  Someone has suggested converting it into SQL, what do you think?
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
I should clarify this a bit:

"then use it with published apps, or run citrix on top of that so it can appear inside a browser.   "

  You can connect to a RDP server by either:

1. Using the RDP client, which gives you a desktop session, just like sitting at your own station does.
2. Using a "published app", which is an icon sitting on your desktop.   It connects to the RDP server when you double click it.   It's like #1, but you don't get a full desktop.
3. Use a web browser to connect to the RDP server and have access to a desktop or apps.

 So #3 is what you are looking for.   Citrix is a separate product that runs on top of RDP services and can make #3 a bit easier, but Microsoft has come a long way with RDP and does a lot of what was Citrix only in the past.

Jim.
LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
Thanks very much Jim, that's a massive help.  I'll look into this and talk to IT.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2012

Commented:
<<It's for internal users only.  Someone has suggested converting it into SQL, what do you think?>>

SQL won't really help.  

You could put the data into SQL (or Azure, which is SQL in the cloud) and then let each user have a copy of the "front end" (all the forms, reports, etc) and connect the to "Backend" (SQL in the Office or Azure).

 That will work over a WAN (Wide Area Connection - aka support remote users), but only to a point.

 Most Access apps are not developed with true client / server in mind and most don't perform well with a simple conversion.   There are a number of reasons for that, which I won't get into at the moment, just know that it's typically a full re-write of an app to go that direction.

 A RDP server is a far better solution.  The app usually doesn't need to change at all, and everyone is happy with performance as the the app runs on the RDP server.   It's only KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) that runs over the connection (it's somewhat like remoteing into a computer in the office), so it works well even in low bandwidth situations.

 BUT (and there's always a but<g>), RDP is costly to scale up.  If you only have 10 - 20 users, not a problem, you can run one RDP server and be done with it.  But if you are talking hundred or the public at large (and hence may earlier question), then it's probably a non-starter.

 Usually though this is not often an issue as the places where an Access app is used is in smaller environments.

HTH,
Jim.
LillyCDatabase Developer

Author

Commented:
Phew.... that's a lot of good information Jim, thank you ever so much.  I'll take all this into account before speaking to IT.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
The problem here is not the Data...you can "easily" migrate Access data to a SQL engine (MSSQL,MySQL....etc)...the problem is the FE...the way you phrased your question i thought you had a somewhat working site and you wanted to use Ms Access for Database purposes.
Now what you can really do...
As Jim mentioned there isn't an easy way out of this...with RDP being the quickest and easier to use....if you google it is almost certain that you will find more than 1 "solution" that will promise that it will take your Access and transform it to a Web application (Caspio, Zoho)...pretty much with some mouse clicks..this scenario probably works for extremely simple cases...like with some very basic form layout without serious code ... in essence they take your data...they migrate them to the cloud and they have some predefined templates that matches some basic needs...
If your are serious about putting Ms Access to the Web then i am afraid some good money / time needs to be spend... either inhouse or outsource.
You need someone that understands both worlds (Access & Web) ...read the layout of the forms and translate them to HTML+CSS...and then use one of the above languages i mentioned to handle the business logic along with the "interaction" with the user....probably you would also migrate your data to a more Web - friendly Database Engine... like MySQL

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