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Old 02-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
wcambris
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Smile Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

Dear all
I have been working with Access since it was launched years back. Unfortunately I have been focusing on the design of the solution and never went into internet programing or protocols.
I need to have my Access solution backend placed somewhere on the internet and link access to it from various offices.
I thought of SharePoint, then came to know that SharePoint doesn't accept VBA coding!!
I was able to use a kind of VPN "Hamachi", where a folder was being shared through the internet, it worked beutifully but it wasn't reliable enough.
As mentioned earlier i am not familiar with internet PHP, etc therefore I kindly ask for precise direction in order to fulfill my task.
The number of users is limited to 10 under Access 2010.
Thanks for everyone

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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Re: Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

Have a look at Terminal Services.

No special set-ups for Access except the usual FE/BE scenario FE for each user
The benefits are that all that is passed across the WAN are screen dumps
Local Printers can be used providing the diriver is on the Terminal Server
Generous session Time_Outs covers for connection outages

Documents, spreedsheets and email can be centralised

Cost a Terminal Server, VPN and a decent broadband service, good upspeed

Simon
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

Just to be explicit about what Simon has implied by directing you to Terminal Services. Access backends don't work across slow connections like the Internet. This is because the database work is being done on the JET or ACE database server on the client and files are being passed back and forth. Interuptions cause corruption.

It can be done by using a database server backend and sending commands from the front end. This has the work being done back at the server. It still isn't ideal.

The next step is an ASP or PHP front end connecting to a webserver hosted backend database via the but that mean a complete rebuild.

As Simon says the easiest solution is Terminal Services via VPN. Professional versions of Windows will host one Terminal Services session. This is a good solution for workers logging into their normal workstation remotely.

Otherwise if you need a more general solution TS can be hosted on a Windows server but the licencing can get expensive.

There are other cheaper commercial alternatives to hosting TS but I have never seen anything free.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:04 PM   #4
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Re: Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

Dear Simon & Galaxiom
First I would like to thank you for your prompt reply. As mentioned before I am not so much aware of PHP and terminal services.
I have a windows server which could be used, do you have any detailed step by step instructions or link on how to do this? i'll appreciate it.
Recoding is not an option as this DB has been dveloped throughout the years and is working perfectly now on LAN through a FE and BE.
Thanks for your support.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:42 AM   #5
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Re: Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

Firstly, I found the CAL's Client Access Licenses to be affordable so I was quite happy with Terminal Services. I believe that there is an issue with MS Exchange and Outlook Clients being on the same server. You can use Web Mail but I don't know if you can integrate TS with the main Windows Server.

This is a simplistic overview. Having installed the Terminal Server, it is like multiple installations of PCs but on one box. You load Office once and the Cals take care of the licencing issues. There may need to a decent amount of RAM and reasonable upspeed on the Server side.

Mapped the directories to the existing Windows Server as I would any PC.

I created user accounts and separate and Database directories for each user. Loaded an mde or accde FE looking at the back end to one of the mapped directories. As Galaxiom pointed out the database calls are local so there is less opportunity for data corruption through connection outages.

Mapped documents and images to the relevant mapped directories.

Loaded any local printer drivers. Allowed the remote users to use their own printers - Default Printer.

Set-up Outlook for each user.

VPN does allow roaming, licences maybe required so user can access, protected, via the VPN the Terminal Server. Can be a bit slow in some place but I managed to update system from NZ.

It is more Technical than this and you may need techinical assistance to begin with.

I have developed site using ASP Classic and ASP.net and I would still go for the Terminal Server solution. Yes it does cost and it involves an investment - is it worth it to your company.

Simon
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:46 AM   #6
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Re: Best Practice for Sharing Access on the internet

If recoding is not an option then Terminal Services is your only alternative.

Theoretical Overview here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Desktop_Services

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