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> "access Is Only Good For One To Two Users At Most", Any Version    
post Nov 18 2019, 07:52 AM

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Posts: 7,993
Joined: 24-May 10
From: Downeast Maine

Something that I do not think has been mentioned in this thread is that ACE is suitable only across a wired LAN, at least for data entry/edit tasks. This is because of the architecture of the database engine. While the following may be technically imprecise, I think it is a decent summation. ACE creates a local instance of the database engine, where it processes data before writing the result to the back end. Any interruption in the connection to the back end, such as can occur across a WAN (including VPN) or wireless network, that occurs during the write operation can lead to corrupted data. SQL Server and other server based systems send the data to be processed to the server. If there is an interruption it "waits" for the rest of the data. When it has all arrived, the data are processed and written to disk on the same physical machine (or at least one physically connected to the server), which all but eliminates the chance of interruption during the write operation.

Something like a maintenance database for a specific location, where the computers are connected across a wireless LAN, is still a good candidate for ACE. A database used from remote locations is not. If there is a mix of local and remote use DBs you may as well use the same engine for all of them, IMHO.

I don't think the point was addressed, so I will add that SQL Server Express is not limited to one user. Having SQL Server express on your computer or on the server may be a good development tool, depending on how balky it is when you deal with IT.

One other point is that servers are more and more often located off site rather than being a physical machine on the premises. That is another situation where the local, wired limitation of ACE is problematic. In general, I believe that model has a limited future.
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post Nov 18 2019, 08:46 AM

Posts: 1,025
Joined: 12-November 03
From: Iowa Lot

I don't believe my own experience is nearly as comprehensive as any of the other posters on this thread, as db development is only one aspect of my job(s) that I use for creatively solving specific needs.
i.e., "database developer" is not my job title.
Consequently, my experience only involves Access with ACE or Jet, although, for many of the reasons stated, I have researched using other dbs.

That being said, I could "argue" either side of many of the points raised, but I'd like to focus on what I perceive as the two main points, number of users and security.

I have read, on this very site I believe (since I don't frequent many other Access sites), where developers of certain applications have run with as many as 200 simultaneous users, but most seem to agree on 15 to 20 as a practical limit. I've never had more than half dozen users, due to the scope of my dbs.
I think this really depends on the complexity of the business model, and how creatively the db is designed to limit simultaneous use of the same parts of the db.

A business should never use Access? Really? It depends on the purpose and scope of the db. As pointed out, Access is not good at non-wired installations (enter here Citrix Server and others).
However, that limitation is precisely what makes security relatively easy -- the security is entirely network based, rather than Access based (I despised the security implementation of the older Access versions), allowing only certain users to use it, and it's not done over WAN, wireless, VPN, etc.. Now, giving specific users different permissions would have to be Access-based. Again, scope is key.
In my applications, the db often replaces what multiple Excel spreadsheets would otherwise be accomplishing. How secure are those spreadsheets?

I saw Albert saying he was tempted to chime in (but held back) - makes me curious, but he could easily just link to one of the many excellent treatises he has already provided on this forum.

For many of the other side issues, there are workarounds for using Access. But those issues drift from the OP.

In short, yes Access (front and back end) can be implemented for many more than 2 users, the actual number depends on scope and design.
If Access is used in a network controlled environment, it can be secure enough (no, I don't know what the "rules" are for security, but it stands to reason that if security was good enough for any spreadsheets being replaced, it can certainly be good enough for Access).
So, yes, Access can be an excellent db environment for business use. (Enter Farmers Insurance commercial reference. smile.gif )

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