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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    New York
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    47

    Unanswered: Accessing an Access Db

    I have an Access db currently in 2002 that could be upgraded to 2007 if necessary. I have about 12 people who need to read, edit and create new records in. Plus I need to be able to make design changes. My problem is that those people are all individual with stand alone computers - pc's and macs all of different ages and configuration - operating out of their homes. They are also of various skill levels, some rank computer beginners. I am an individual consultant without a server or much tech skill.

    I am looking for a way to have them all be able to access it over the internet. I know that I get into databases that I have at various clients through citrix or gotomypc but I don't have a server or the knowledge to make it happen. I am wondering if there is someone who can give me a heads up on a way to post this to the internet, find place that they can citrix into, whatever. I am open to all ideas. I don't have a lot of money to do this with and it is for a non-profit. Currently I have the users working on replicas on different flash drives but it is not working well. I have 5 new records on a replica that won't replicate onto the master and the president of the organization has a mac! I am looking for a long term solution and one that I can use for other similar organizations.
    Terri Gavin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    out on a limb
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    Provided Answers: 59
    best solution
    go web based
    ditch the access data store (OK you can probably get an ISP with Access), it may make sense to retian the access app if you have a lot of reports.

    consider moving to a web server app using say PHP, with your data in MySQL unless you can find an ISP who will support an Access (JET) back end linked to PHP. you could use ASP.

    PHP is relatively easy to develop for.. but, like Access is almost too easy so if you are not careful you can end up writing crappy code which is a nightmare to maintain in the long term.. I know my first PHP app suffered from that problem.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    47

    Problem

    Thanks but I have no experience with web based, PHP and ASP mean nothing to me. The only web I have done are my websites in Front Page. Ultimately it would probably be the best answer but currently I am clueless. Where would I even look to get started?
    Terri Gavin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
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    Provided Answers: 59
    I think you are cruising for a bruising if you have a mixed platform of Access out there, or you have to design for the base version. Yopu may be able to use GUID's as PK's and mix data, but I think you are always going to have problems merging disparate changes and edits... you maybe able to do it if you were to write an audit log in each Access app. (examine each chaneg a user makes and write the SQL to perform that action). its sounds messy, it sounds fiddly, Ive done it once, I never ever want to do it again.

    if you are on a budget then Id certainly suggest a web based system may be appropriate.

    again for budgetary reasons PHP is a good optionm, but you need to nmake certain that your proposed ISP can support the development tools you want.. ie they can support the scripting language you want, and the db. Not all ISP's offer PHP & Access. Some peopel argue Access/JET isn't appropriate for web use. I remain to be convinced, unless you are going to have a heavily used website I suspect (I dont know) that JET is plenty good enough.. after all the web users are effectively a single computer accessing the JET data.. Im pretty certain that JET will load tables into memory on the server, in much the same way as true server products load frequently used data into memory.

    php.net will tell you about the language, there are downloads availabel there

    you can set up a development environment on a windows machine using Apache as your test server and run PHP on it. There a few oddities in conducting a seance to get Apache, PHP and a DB to work.. but them what else do you expect when you pay nothing.....

    like all languages its has its own wrinkles and idiosyncracies so Id suggest getting a book.. personally I find the WROX Programmer to programmer books pretty useful.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    265
    Whilst I have developed a Web site using Access I also use a Terminal Server. I don't know whether or not this would work on a virtualised Mac but there comes a point where an organisation has to fund IT. I do understand the financial restraints however having tried to synchronise databases and written a 30,000+ page web site in asp, the Terminal Server still is my preferred solution. You just need plenty of 2-4 GB of RAM. Windows Server 2003 comes with 5 Client Access Licenses you would need another 10.

    Simon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    47
    Simon, it's not a company, it's a 250 member quilting group. Like a community organization. So there is no central location, no network, no IT budget. I am a member and doing this because I hope to package it for other guilds. And since I am not a tech, I am not sure what a terminal servier is. Can I find a web site that offers this kind of thing? I write db for small companies and do software training so I am clueless on the tech aspect.
    Terri Gavin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    265
    How big is your database records wise?

    Simon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Posts
    1,848
    and, what kind of a database is it? (i.e.: What is its purpose?)

    Typically, for low-volume usage like you've described, I would think that Access should work fine for you.

    Now, MySQL/PHP would certainly be more hardy, a little less expensive to operate, and offer much more performance, but it also has a higher learning curve than does Access/ASP. (Esp. since you're already familiar with Access.)

    Find an entry level hosting provider that supports Microsoft ASP (Active Server Pages.) ASP (Like PHP) allows you to write scripts which generate HTML for the user's internet browsers to display. The script is similar to VBA code. Depending on your home computer, you may already have IIS or PWS on your machine, which you could use for development.

    Essentially, you'll need to recreate any Access forms as ASP pages, which will be served up by the web server, over the internet, to the browser at the individual user's computer. In a similar manner, you would need to "roll your own" reports.

    Take a look at the samples at ASP101 for ideas.
    Last edited by loquin; 09-26-07 at 14:33.
    Lou
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    817
    Provided Answers: 5
    This may sound silly - but is this app going intra or inter - net the only reason I ask is that the user mentioned frontpage for his own projets
    Dale Houston, TX

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