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> Backends Linked To Many Frontends    
 
   
jpiper1921
post Dec 11 2018, 04:58 PM
Post#1



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At my new job there was an out of control culture where copy upon copy of various frontends were made that remain linked to backends. It appears that users made own copies and placed in copious network folders that I keep finding. Can I from each backend DB trace all the locations of wayward frontends spread all over network? This will help me find and clean up the mess. Thanks
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cheekybuddha
post Dec 11 2018, 05:01 PM
Post#2


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Umm...

That's the way it should be! Each user should have their own copy of the front-end.

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David Marten
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theDBguy
post Dec 11 2018, 05:08 PM
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Hi,

Welcome to UtterAccess!
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As long as each user keeps their own copy of the FrontEnd on their local machine or their own folder in the network and not share them with others, I am not sure there is a "mess" you need to clean up. Have a look at this Wiki article on how to properly share an Access database.

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Just my 2 cents... "And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know" - Kansas
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GroverParkGeorge
post Dec 11 2018, 05:25 PM
Post#4


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Although you really SHOULD have one copy of the Front End on each user's computer, that doesn't imply each individual user should have multiple copies of their own on their computer or sprinkled around a LAN.

In other words, sharing a Front End with others is a short path to corruption. But having multiple versions for each user is a short path to confusion.

I would advice that you take to heart the suggestions offered and track down all of the FEs, but not delete any of them except the most current version. And copies of that current version should be deployed to each user.

I've seen problems of both sorts, where a group experienced regular corruption from sharing a single FE as well as problems when a user gets confused about which one to use.

Both discipline and understanding are your friends here.

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My Real Name Is George. Grover Park Consulting is where I do business.
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AlbertKallal
post Dec 11 2018, 07:03 PM
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Unfortunately, to answer your question:

No!

The back ends have no knowledge of the multiple copies of the front ends, nor do they know the location of these front ends.

So you don’t have a means to look at a back end, and find a “list” of the copies made of the front ends.

So some uses may well have multiple copies of the front end, and you have a heck of a time determines this, and cleaning up those multiple copies.

So there not a means for the back end to “know” the location of those front ends.

One could “add” some code in start-up – but that’s a different story and question from you asking if the back end “knows” the location of the front ends – it does not.

Regards,
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP, 2003-2017)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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FrankRuperto
post Dec 11 2018, 07:21 PM
Post#6



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Once you clean up the proliferated FrontEnd copies, I suggest you place a single master copy of the FrontEnd on the server, and each PC have a shortcut that runs a batch script that copies the master FrontEnd from the server to their PC, then launches the app. The batch script can also include a command to delete the local FrontEnd copy after the user exits the app. You can even get fancy by making the FrontEnd copy hidden and placed in a different non-desktop folder. That way users cant make more copies of the FrontEnd. The batch file in each user's PC is automatically hidden. The only way they could see it and the hidden FrontEnd is to globally change their folder settings to show hidden files, but you can also control that in group policy settings.
This post has been edited by FrankRuperto: Dec 11 2018, 07:48 PM

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Currently supporting pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
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JonSmith
post Dec 12 2018, 04:30 AM
Post#7


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So there are a few scenarios here to check, some of the other posters have already mentioned them but I have some alternative thoughts on solutions.

So yeah, multiple front-ends isn't defacto bad. Infact its the expected way to share a database. If these Front ends are all different and custom to each user then yeah, thats bad.


So either way, lets look at a cleanup.
Obviously first thing to establish is a standardized Front End. Maybe you already have one.
Now you need to make sure each user has a copy and this copy stays up to date.

I personally disagree with FrankRuperto about the cleaning up on close by deleting the file as I don't think its reliable or stable but mostly its not necessary.
What I do is have a check in the AutoExec that checks to see if a Command parameter was passed to the FE. If not it wasn't opened by a launcher script (which ensures its the newest copy) and as such it immediately closes. So any FE copies left on any users machines are pretty irrelevant. They cannot be used and so even if they do find them and try to open directly it doesn't matter. My launcher script is even relative so if they try and copy that script and launch it locally then the parameters will be all wrong and the FE won't launch, by design the FE can only be launched from a launcher script which has to be in one location.

Thats just my approach though. There are lots of different ones and alot of what works is circumstances.

Best of luck. Please ask us further questions to elaborate.
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BruceM
post Dec 12 2018, 08:01 AM
Post#8


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To elaborate a little on something Jon wrote, when using a command line to launch a database, a cmd switch can be added. More information here.

Once the database is open, the Command function can be used to retrieve the value passed via the cmd switch. It is rather like OpenArgs, except for an entire database. AFAIK the value persists as long as the Access application is open.

There are several ways to approach this, but I will leave it as a general observation unless you have a specific interest in using the technique.
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jpiper1921
post Dec 12 2018, 08:42 AM
Post#9



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Thank you for each response on my first post. AlbertKallal gave me this clear answer - "No! The back ends have no knowledge of the multiple copies of the front ends, nor do they know the location of these front ends." Thanks. With that knowledge, my cleanup will be a manually discovery (search) for every FE. The info I hadn't shared earlier is the BE are on a server that is end of life, full, and needs replacement. Lucky me! Thanks to all again.
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isladogs
post Dec 12 2018, 08:53 AM
Post#10


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If you are saying that many users have made multiple copies of the FE, I suggest the following solution.

1. Warn your users that the system will be closed for maintenance at a specified time.
2. At that time, create a copy of the BE with a different name.
3. Similarly rename a master copy of the FE and relink to the new BE.
For simplicity I would use DSN less connection strings so each PC doesn't need to be individually configured
4. Setup a system for distributing the new FE file to each user and inform users.
5. You can now delete all the old FE files perfectly safely

If the server is about to be replaced, that is the ideal time to do this.
This post has been edited by isladogs: Dec 12 2018, 08:54 AM

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GroverParkGeorge
post Dec 12 2018, 09:08 AM
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"...create a copy of the BE with a different name.""

I like that plan. It'll smoke out all of those "bonus" FEs that have been sprinkled casually around the network on on local computers, even if you find and remove most of them.


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My Real Name Is George. Grover Park Consulting is where I do business.
How to Ask a Good Question
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JonSmith
post Dec 12 2018, 09:19 AM
Post#12


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QUOTE
Thank you for each response on my first post. AlbertKallal gave me this clear answer - "No! The back ends have no knowledge of the multiple copies of the front ends, nor do they know the location of these front ends." Thanks. With that knowledge, my cleanup will be a manually discovery (search) for every FE. The info I hadn't shared earlier is the BE are on a server that is end of life, full, and needs replacement. Lucky me! Thanks to all again.



Yeah but AlbertKallals response is answering the question very narrowly. Its factually 100% correct but the rest of us are spotting alot of context clues we are urging you to look at.

So again. Multiple FE copies for each user is not defacto bad. Infact that might be the ideal setup, we are just wanting to make sure you know that a single FE file should NOT be shared with multiple users. If you know this and are genuinely trying to clean up lots of disparate copies that end users have all edited to make them all different then cool.


We've also suggested various ways to keep your house clean once you do this cleanup. I think its worth investing in one of them as part of your migration. As isladogs says, its the perfect time to do it.
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isladogs
post Dec 12 2018, 09:27 AM
Post#13


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I used that exact plan when dealing with a similar scenario.
One thing i forgot ... BACKUP first!

The final step can be done at leisure but the network admins should be able to create a script to delete all copies of the old FE and any shortcuts from each user PC.
This could be set to run automatically when users next login.
In fact it also could be used to distribute the new FE and shortcut.
This post has been edited by isladogs: Dec 12 2018, 10:13 AM

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