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Old 03-24-2018, 10:08 AM   #1
Anticephalous
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VPN or Sharepoint

Hi everyone! I'm not sure which one to choose, between VPN and Sharepoint.
We have been using MS Access as our database for about 4 years now. Our company now wants our database to be accessible anywhere at anytime. We can migrate our back end to sharepoint as list but that would mean all 60 users will have to upgrade to Office 2016, because 2007 is not compatible. And it would be expensive. Our IT recommended VPN.

Suggestions please.

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Old 03-24-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

VPN will be slow, so you pay your money and make your choice

Quote:
Our company now wants our database to be accessible anywhere at anytime
needs to be clarified. What if users are in the middle of a field with no internet access - do they still need access to the data? What if they are connecting via a public network (from a coffee house. whatever) or only from multiple office locations? Do they work from home?

Literally 'accessible anywhere' is the expensive option.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

I'm working with Auditors who are mostly at the clients' place.

We need to track their worklog and expenses, so they have this FE, which they update on a daily basis. And the only way for their data to be appended to the BE is when they are in the office, or mostly they will send the FE to me and I'll append the data.

We are using office 2007 which is not compatible with Sharepoint, which means we have to upgrade to office 2016, we have around 60-80 users, so it'll be expensive.

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Old 03-26-2018, 04:46 AM   #4
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

The other option would be to use a Citrix or Remote Desktop solution. So your users aren't using the system remotely - just logging in to a local based system.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

unless you are prepared to splash the cash to upgrade to a more mobile solution (be it sharepoint/citrix/whatever) think you will have to continue to do what you do.

There are ways of automating the sending back of data. User has a button which when clicked compiles the data into .csv or (if you must) excel and automatically emails it to a specific email account.

At your end, your access can be listening for emails arriving to this account (or just run a routine once a day) and when detected, extracts and imports the file
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:22 PM   #6
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticephalous View Post
We are using office 2007 which is not compatible with Sharepoint, which means we have to upgrade to office 2016, we have around 60-80 users, so it'll be expensive.
Did you consider upgrading only the developers to Access 2016 and deploying the Access Runtime to everybody else?
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:25 AM   #7
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

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Originally Posted by sonic8 View Post
Did you consider upgrading only the developers to Access 2016 and deploying the Access Runtime to everybody else?
But the the users are running office 2007 will not be able to connect to sharepoint site. So that means all the users have to upgrade to office 2016 or subscribe to office 365.

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Old 03-27-2018, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

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Originally Posted by Anticephalous View Post
But the the users are running office 2007 will not be able to connect to sharepoint site. So that means all the users have to upgrade to office 2016 or subscribe to office 365.
Yes, but Office 365 will cost less than half as much if they do not need licenses for the Office Applications.

If the cost for Sharepoint access is prohibitive for your organization, you can take Sharepoint out of the equation right away.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:59 PM   #9
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ_London View Post
There are ways of automating the sending back of data. User has a button which when clicked compiles the data into .csv or (if you must) excel and automatically emails it to a specific email account.

At your end, your access can be listening for emails arriving to this account (or just run a routine once a day) and when detected, extracts and imports the file
Wow! I'm not really good at programming, do you know where I can get codes for this?
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:22 AM   #10
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

you'll need to look around on this and other forums and use the various code snippets and examples you'll need.

you are looking for six things:
  • code to export data
  • code to send emails with attachments
  • code to check your inbox (or the inbox of the dedicated recipient)
  • code to open and import the attachment.
  • code to save the attachment to disk somewhere (for archiving purposes)
  • code to move the email from the inbox to another folder
some basic principles:
  • export to a .csv file - excel has its problems in that it will reinterpret data types. at least with a .csv it is all consistently text and can be handled appropriately
  • have a file naming convention that is unique to each file e.g. contents of file, from which user/machine and a date format and in a layout which makes it easy to find depending on your criteria - might be date first (I recommend the format yyyymmdd) or the user/machine
  • have some checking code to ensure you cannot import the same data twice e.g. include the name of the file in a related table (which can then be used to open the file if required) or some checks around dates in the data
  • you might also want code to check whether a file has been missed - perhaps not sent or received. Depends on your business rules
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Last edited by CJ_London; 03-29-2018 at 12:24 AM. Reason: there was a sixth thing
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:19 AM   #11
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Re: VPN or Sharepoint

Thank you so much! Sorry I replied so late. So I got codes for exporting the access to excel, and auto email thru lotus notes, then download the file and append excel file to access table.

Thank you again! Problem solved.

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