May 16 2011, 11:32 AM
I've got some databases that we need to have made available on a larger scale (network drives may not be an option). I am looking at sharepoint as an option. Access version is 2002 so I think i'll be limited as far as importing existing content or linking to access tables. What are the basics of creating a sharepoint based database and is this something I should spend time looking into? We currently have a sharepoint site used for document sharing and I don't have any rights for creating, would it be recommended to have a blank sharepoint created for the purpose of testing/creating this database so as to avoid any potential corruption/loss of data in the current one?
Thanks for any info you can provide on this.
May 16 2011, 11:44 AM
How many records do you have in your database? What version of SharePoint is available to you?
May 16 2011, 11:54 AM
There are a few tables in each database, some with a few records and the main ones currently have 5000 - 8000 records, this number will obviously grow with time. As far as the version available, it's Windows Share Point Services 3.0.
May 16 2011, 12:15 PM
Not sure if WSS has any Service Packs just like MOSS does but I know that MOSS (so probably WSS too) has some issues with retrieving more than 2000 records at a time. You can have more records than that but you'll have to be careful how many you pull from SharePoint at a time.
I don't think that WSS is fully compatible with Acc2002. If you are planning on using it as a Front End, you might find that you will be limited in some aspects. Another thing to consider is that WSS does not have table relationships and referential integrity, so you will have to manage the tables (lists, actually) manually.
Does you company have access to a SQL Server?
Just my 2 cents...
May 16 2011, 12:20 PM
Hmm yeah that does sound like more of a hassle than just dealing with the delay of a MS Access database on a network drive...
SQL may be an option but there would be lots of red tape involved to get it.
May 16 2011, 03:59 PM
I just mentioned the list row number limit because you mentioned that you wanted to take your database to "a larger scale" but I am not really sure what you meant by that. Did you mean more records, or more users? SharePoint has many uses but it is not a "relational database." As long as you know what it can do, you can design your application to avoid the frustrations when it doesn't work as expected. Usually, it was the "expectation" that was misplaced.
Good luck with your project.
May 16 2011, 05:05 PM
What I meant by larger scale is mainly distance... the record count will surely go up with time but that could be dealt with some other way... Currently we will have two locations on both canadian coasts that need to access the same data. There is infrastructure to create network drives that reach this far however the performance will be slow... but I think that this is a better option than having a sharepoint system that is limited because it is not designed to be a database engine per say...
May 16 2011, 07:25 PM
Well, I do think SharePoint 2010 is much more interesting than SharePoint 2007 (irrespective of whether we're talking about WSS/MOSS). There has been several performance enhancement which essentially makes your linked SharePoint lists function _as if_ it's local Jet tables and you get to work offline automatically (in 2007, it's manual and doesn't help much if your internet connection suddenly got cut somehow).
That said, I imagine you may have an easier time working out a way to install a free edition of a RDBMS server; doesn't have to be SQL Server (Express Edition) so if your company for whatever reasons prefer some other DBMS servers, the chances are that there's a free edition that won't require a license and you can then use that as a source for your Access client to connect across large distance.
Yet another option is to use Terminal Services or Citrix.
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