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Old 09-05-2018, 04:24 AM   #1
db_2
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Multiple Users Of Front-End DB - Best Practice

Hello All -

What guidance do you have for deploying a split Access database FE? Is it best practice to deploy a separate FE to every user, or is it okay to have a single FE for all users?

Since the answer might be situational, here are some details:

* We expect no more than 24 concurrent users of the FE.
* FE users will view forms to modify data but other permissions will be locked down -- FE users will not modify database objects.
* All (or most) users will be accessing the FE from a local LAN.
* The users are in different locations, but our Citrix environment means they're operating VMs sitting on machines on racks right next to the file server the FE would access.

If the best practice is the deploy a separate FE for all users, what's the best practice way of updating each individual FE?

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Old 09-05-2018, 04:32 AM   #2
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Re: Multiple Users Of Front-End DB - Best Practice

Absolutely give each user their own local copy of the front end. For starters, there's a lot less lag when working with a local file instead of one on the network, but even more importantly is this: due to how Access processes things, having more than one person in the same front end at the same time causes an ever-increasing chance of fatal corruption. It changes from 'if' a file will be corrupted to 'when'.

Okay, they're using VM's, so local is out, but they should still get their own copies of the front end.

As to updating, there are several ways you can do this:
  • You can use a launcher program that checks for updates and downloads if necessary, then launches the app.
  • You can put code in the front end itself to check for and apply updates automatically.
  • You can point their shortcuts to a batch file that downloads the most recent copy every time they start the app.
I'm sure there are others, too. My suggestion would be to search this forum for threads on automatically updating front ends - this is a fairly common question, so you'll find a lot of hits and a lot of information.
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:36 AM   #3
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Re: Multiple Users Of Front-End DB - Best Practice

Thanks! Excellent feedback.

I built an auto-updater in the early 00's that checked a master copy for updates OnOpen and downloaded objects as needed. That's a possibility, but a simple .bat file might be a faster approach, depending on the size of the DB.

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Old 09-05-2018, 05:03 AM   #4
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Re: Multiple Users Of Front-End DB - Best Practice

That's the approach my department uses. As long as you refrain from embedding images inside forms, file size doesn't usually get out of hand. Of course, that could change for unusually complex applications with tens or even hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

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