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Old 12-07-2017, 07:46 AM   #1
Moore71
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Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Hi,
I have an access app that I would want to make available for different PCs online because they are in different locations.
What is the right way to make this happen?
Can I use offline sharepoint or VPN.

Please advice me on better way to make it through.
Thanks,
Moore

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

A bit dated at this point (Access 2010 and 2013 web solutions are not defunct/deprecated), but there's other means that are pro/con'd here: https://dymeng.com/web-enabled-access/

(for a better maintained version, see the link in the first paragraph)

Basically you're probably looking at Terminal Services or a remote backend setup.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Ok thanks,
but which company can I host my BE to.
I think I prefer this option.

thanks

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Old 12-07-2017, 08:46 AM   #4
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Hi Jack,
Great article. I assume that to make the Access deployed FE cloud back-end you need to re-engineer the way data is retrieved, so that only the minimum is moved over the LAN.

So I'm guessing no records on a form open, restricted sets of records etc ?
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Hi Minty - regarding remote backends with an Access frontend, it is a bit of work to get right.

I generally categorize into three levels of "forgiveness" when it comes to performance and how much care needs to be given:

1 - Access (JET/ACE) backend: very forgiving
2 - SQL Server (or other ODBC) on a LAN: much less forgiving but still not terrible
3 - SQL Server (or other ODBC) over a WAN: very unforgiving, but when done right works very well.

We have a "3 second rule" - no form should take more than 3 seconds to open (and most of them are well within 2 seconds). We achieve this via remote backends as well, but it really needs to be worked at.

You might be interested in a rather in-depth article/whitepaper I wrote on the subject. It seems to be pretty well received: https://dymeng.com/azure-series-05-d...e-performance/ It's written specifically for SQL Azure, but applies to any remote DB over ODBC (or any onsite LAN server as well, really).

As it happens, I'm re-presenting this topic at this year's Access DevCon in Vienna: http://www.donkarl.com/devcon/agenda.htm (the presentation is build around that whitepaper).

Some things we'd expect to have to do (restricting records on form recordsets) are correct. Some not so much (leaving the record connected via usual DAO tables are fine). Mostly it boils down to how we're querying. If the queries are well constructed, the back and forth between the server are actually pretty good: queries that don't take in the proper considerations can take ages to run though. If you get bored, that article covers all of it in detail.

Cheers,
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moore71 View Post
Ok thanks,
but which company can I host my BE to.
I think I prefer this option.

thanks
My first choice is usually SQL Azure. It's fast, (fairly) easy to set up (creating the account on Azure is by far the hardest part) and relatively inexpensive.

I actually started a whole series of articles on how to do this. Try here: https://dymeng.com/resources/azure/ (it's a bit dated at this point: their UI has changed alot since, and some of the little quirky caveats are no longer an issue, but generally speaking it all still applies)

hth
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Unless you are prepared to make extensive design changes, going to Azure is probably not the right choice. If you had started from scratch with that as a plan, that's a different story. At this point, your two choices are Citrix and RDP. Which you choose depends on what kind of technical support you have and whether the company is large enough to run its own Citrix server. Smaller companies can run RDP but I think the users are limited. You can also find providers who will host either solution. I haven't looked in a while but I was getting quotes around $45 per month per user for Citrix and that included the license for Office so essentially you had a whole desktop in the cloud. So if you are currently using O365, you can cancel those subscriptions for the Citrix people to recoup some of the expense.

VPN is a no-go as far as using it for Access. It is way too slow. Citrix is very fast (frequently faster than a LAN implementation) and you can run your app as it is now without any changes.

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Old 12-07-2017, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Thanks dear,
I will give a try now
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:38 AM   #9
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

Citrix/RDP is far easier: you really don't have to do anything to the app other than maybe configure whatever environment settings you need (paths, etc), whereas a remote BE and local FE tends to be a better user experience, IMO.

Citrix can get costly: $45/mo/user vs $30/mo for a SQL Azure database (depending on size anyway) with as many users as you like. However, the cost of reworking an existing application to perform well with a remote BE can get up there as well, so it's a "pay now or pay over time" choice I think.

I tend to find the user experience of a "native" local app much better as well, and you can integrate with other applications/local filesystem and such more easily also. Typically with a distributed app you won't be making too many assumptions about what the client may be running aside from the access runtime, so maybe not much of an issue there for this case.

In any case, converting an existing, maybe-not-superbly-designed application to work with a remote BE can be a pretty serious task (I've ran into more than one that I declined altogether because it would have been more cost effective to rewrite from the ground up).
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Make my Access App Available in Multiple Desktops Through Online

I have a number of clients who use Citrix. All of them are large enough to run their own Citrix server so the cost per user is far lower than the hosted fee. In one case, the app was hosted in Farmington, CT (suburb of Hartford) where we had an average of 20 concurrent LAN based users. The BE started out as ACE but as it grew we converted it to SQL Server. Then we had another 20-30 users located in offices in California, New Jersey, London, and Paris and they all connected via Citrix. Some of the Connecticut people occasionally worked from home via Citrix. The local users who experienced both environments reported that Citrix was faster. The app was used to create documents for insurance policies and the app used OLE to fill bookmarks in thousands of Word .dot files. In fact, all the apps I've ever implemented using Citrix each automate Word, Outlook, Excel, or all three.

RDP that you run on your own server is a less expensive solution because depending on the version of Windows you are using, the seat licenses might already be included.

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