I've created up a simple database for a client that is used for maintaining document/drawing information. 95% of the users are using Access 97, so I created the dbase with that in mind and therefore, the database is saved as and deployed as an Access 97 dbase. Actually, a MDE file is what I've provided them (compiled from the 97 version).
This MDE file has been placed on their network such that most of the users are opening the MDE file as read-only, which is how I intended it to be...they need only to see the data, not change/add to it. So they get the prompt that they are opening in read-only...no problems there.
The problem occurs when one of the users who is in the 5% of users using Access 2003 tries to open this MDE file read-only. They get the message stating that "The first time you open an earlier version, database, you must be able to write changes to the database."
My possible solution is to split the database into a backend including just the data in Access 97 format on the network to preserve the permissions and to provide each user with a frontend MDE file on their computer which will be formatted to fit their version of Access. Then I'm guessing I can just have the MDE file refer to the backend database.
My question is this: will the backend (stored on the network) still be read-only to the majority of users? And if so, will their individual MDE frontends still be able to refer to the backend regardless of Access version?
Your comments and answers are greatly appreciated.