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behedwin
post Nov 22 2017, 09:03 AM
Post#1



Posts: 15
Joined: 29-October 17



I have created a bi access files with several tables, queries, forms and reports.

Everything works great.

Is there a way to use this file in the cloud, in a browser, in a phone? And not have to redesign everything?

More or less instead of handing out files to users that they run localy... Instead have it work more as an online application?

I use access 2016
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GroverParkGeorge
post Nov 22 2017, 09:37 AM
Post#2


UA Admin
Posts: 31,209
Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA


This is one of those questions that is REALLY hard to answer because there are so many variables involved, so many options.

First, and simplest, no, you can't just "put Access online", or "put Access in the cloud". However, there are ways to get the kind of result you'd expect from that environment.

Probably the first choice would be some type of VPN, or Remote DeskTop, where users connect to a Windows desktop running your Access database as-is.

Otherwise, you're looking at splitting the accdb (which you MUST do anyway) and put the accdb on a server where it can be accessed from web pages; if your organization has it's own IIS server, you can work with your IT to arrange that. Or, you can go to a hosted service.

You may well want to migrate the data from Access to a server-based database, like SQL Server or MySQL. That would be the preferred solution.

You'll then have to replace the current interface with web pages, using something like Visual Studio, which offers a free "light" version.

Beyond that, I'm sure you're going to get a number of additional suggestions, so I'll leave it at that.

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nvogel
post Nov 22 2017, 02:35 PM
Post#3



Posts: 811
Joined: 26-January 14
From: London, UK


QUOTE
put the accdb on a server where it can be accessed from web pages

No don't do that. Accdb is just the wrong choice for a web-based database for all sorts of reasons.

QUOTE
You may well want to migrate the data from Access to a server-based database, like SQL Server or MySQL. That would be the preferred solution.

Yes a server DBMS is the preferred solution, e.g.: SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL. (MySQL is not so popular any more. MariaDB is perhaps a more likely choice).
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behedwin
post Nov 22 2017, 03:13 PM
Post#4



Posts: 15
Joined: 29-October 17



If i split the database.
One with the tables
and one with the querys, forms and reports.

Then i put the table file in a hidden folder on my company network.
Then i create 10 copies of the query, form, report file for my 10 users.
Give them the file.

They should be able to work in the database as long as they have access to our company server?
Is that how it could work?

If so, what happens if they loses connection? Will they get notified by access?
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nvogel
post Nov 22 2017, 03:24 PM
Post#5



Posts: 811
Joined: 26-January 14
From: London, UK


Yes you can do that and lots of Access users do work that way. If connections are lost then an error will occur and it's upto your application how to handle such errors.

However, the Accdb format is far from ideal for use on a network. Most shared databases use server-based DBMSs rather than Access's file-sharing architecture. With a server DBMS (usually SQL-based) more of the querying and data manipulation happens server-side rather than over the network and file-system. DBMSs make more economical use of network bandwidth and are much more resilient when client applications crash or connections are dropped. DBMSs have lots more features like superior transaction management, backup and recovery, security, monitoring tools, better indexing and cacheing that make them more suitable for multi-user applications.
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GroverParkGeorge
post Nov 23 2017, 07:34 AM
Post#6


UA Admin
Posts: 31,209
Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA


Don't worry. Hundreds of millions of Access database applications run on networks in large corporations and small organizations every single day, all over the world. While some folks may not consider that "ideal", there it is. Access has been working well in that environment for 25 years now--which is a good long time in the software world.

But that point aside, exposing the database application in such a way that it can be used "in the cloud" requires a different architecture and a different approach to design.

To avoid a complete replacement of the interface, there's really only one viable option: a remote desktop via VPN that allows the external user to connect to, and use, the existing accdb on a desktop inside the network. How that's done depends on factors such as the number of remote users and who they are.

With regard to your last question.

Losing connections is always a problem with Access--as it would be for SQL Server for that matter. The difference is in the way such interruptions are handled. For Access, they can be more serious, leading to data loss or corruption. There will be no advance warnings. How Could that happen unless there is some sort of planned disruption of the network by IT or something? There's no way to predict when something is going to go wrong. You'll know it when it happens as Access will simply stop responding.

As noted, robust error handling is essential for that reason.

In short, if all of your users are internal and can connect to the same network, a split FE/BE architecture -- as you describe -- will work. As a matter of fact, splitting it is obligatory. It is foolish indeed to share an unsplit accdb with multiple users.

If some users will be external, but still need to use this Access application, then you need to consider some sort of Remote Desktop approach, of which there are several. This will, of course, incur costs that you'll need to weigh in making a decision.

Finally, if you need to have the application accessible to remote users and you don't want to have them connect to your network, you can re-architect it into a server-based Database which can be used with web pages you create--or have created for you--to replace the current Access interface.

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jhcarrell
post Nov 28 2017, 03:50 PM
Post#7



Posts: 552
Joined: 31-October 10
From: Birmingham, Alabama


We have used MS Access (split front and back) via network share for as long as I've used Access. Is it a secure option? No. Does it have storage and performance limitations? Yes. Is it effective for small scale applications? Absolutely.

For anything that requires a wide deployment (but still internal to the company) being scaled up from an existing MS Access app, we typically migrate the back end to MS SQL Server (although any of the other options mentioned would work fine).

If being developed from scratch, I would consider using another platform altogether depending on the goals of your finished product.

jc

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