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Old 09-07-2017, 08:50 AM   #1
Reese
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Sharing On Web Guidance

Hello everyone,


I have a rather extensive split database that has a back-end on a local server and two front-ends on the same local network.

I am looking into the possibility of changing the database to be shared via the web for a few different reasons:

- We want to expand to include users who likely won't be on the same internal network.
- We want to have an offsite back up of the database in case of catastrophic loss of data (e.g. a fire onsite that destroys the local server).
- We may want to have some users access and enter data using a tablet or smart phone.

To give a little bit of background, this is a database for a zoo and the number of users would stay below 10, probably just 5 or 6. The database is currently on a local server in the office, but we'd like the Ticket Booth to have access to it as well (they'd be on a different local network), and possibly zoo keepers from their tablet/smartphones when out on the grounds and away from the network.

I have never worked with SharePoint and I'm currently reading up on it but also would like some guidance from other people. Here are some basic questions to start out with:

- I currently don't have SharePoint installed on my computer. Is it included in the standard MS Office Professional licence or is it purchased separately?
- Is it a software that you install on your computer or pay to have use of online?
- How secure is it? Do you have to pay to have additional security? Do you have to have a log in username & password to access the database?
- Is it easy to move/convert a current split database into a SharePoint database or would I have to essentially rebuild everything from scratch?
- How hard is it to set up tablet/smartphone access to a SharePoint database? How well does it function?
- Are there other, reliable solutions besides SharePoint? (For example, does sharing the back-end database via a service like Dropbox work?)

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Sharing On Web Guidance

Ok, I looked more into SharePoint and I'm not sure what SharePoint services I need to meet my objectives. Based on the goals I mentioned above, could anyone tell me which one of the following I would need:

- SharePoint Online (and which of the the three option plans on that page)

- SharePoint Server

Thank you.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Sharing On Web Guidance

Hello Reese,

I'm not sure what your plans are, but if you planned on publishing your application/DB on SharePoint, be aware that Micro Soft is doing away with that technology sometime next year.

If you just planned on using SharePoint as a back-end for your split DB (I do) then you should be fine.

Your requirement seems small-scale so I am certain the SP online should be enough as long as your users have a decent broadband service.

This site:
https://accessexperts.com/blog/2011/...-fit-together/

...is probably the most informative site I have found as far as using SP and Access. Give it a read and let me know how you get on.

John

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Old 09-08-2017, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: Sharing On Web Guidance

John, thanks for the info and for the link. I'll check it out and let you know how things progress.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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Re: Sharing On Web Guidance

After looking into SharePoints, I have some concerns.

How different is SharePoint to use than MS Access? Would I need to learn an entirely new software in order to transfer my database to it? I'm asking this because, to be honest, my job isn't IT. My actual job at the zoo is as an environmental educator (who happens to know computers), and I can only invest a few hours (about 10-20 hours) into expanding this database across the internet. I can't learn an entire new program in that time, and we don't have the money to hire someone to do this for us.

From what I learned about SharePoint, I would need to invest a LOT more time into programming it myself (especially since this is a very intricate database).

As an alternative, is it possible to set up a VPN or use a remote desktop service such as TeamViewer to have a secure, backdoor access to the MS Access database on the office network from the ticket booth network?

I know that this isn't best practice, and I know that it wouldn't work over smartphones or tablets, but is this possible and what are the concerns if we did it that way?


Last edited by Reese; 09-14-2017 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Typos
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