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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2

    Unanswered: Sharing a database

    Hi all..

    I need a few ideas on how to share a database..

    a bit of context... my parents own a business with ~750 clients, the current database is ACT but we're willing to change if need be (to access or whatever)... Each client's file has their basic info, address, name, phone, system details etc, and then also a notes section - notes are added each time a service is done (~3 monthly). There are two technicians, and they take a certain number of paper files out each week and the next week they bring these back to the office and the info is entered into the computer.

    Basically what we want is to have the main database on the computer in the office, and give the technicians laptops\tablets, and somehow update the other databases as something is changed in one of them???

    Sorry for the long winded explanation.. any info would be great..

    Thanks..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,424
    Provided Answers: 8
    I would look into iis with ssl
    hope this help

    See clear as mud


    StePhan McKillen
    the aim is store once, not store multiple times
    Remember... Optimize 'til you die!
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    MYLE
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    10

    You should go with web based solution

    Based on this what I learned from your post, you should go with web-based solution.
    You can use access database with PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor), WhizBase (Database publishing without programming), ASP (Active Server Pages), ASP.NET (Home: The Official Microsoft ASP.NET Site) or some other server-side scripting engine. In this case your authorized users can access the database from any location in the World and using any web client (desktop, laptop, cellphone, etc.)
    If you are an experienced programmer you can go with open-source PHP or ASP(.NET) that comes with IIS.
    However, if you have a limited programming background (or have no programming experience at all) then you should go with some more beginner-oriented software like WhizBase which is a proprietary software (not free) but has a very short learning curve and is much better solution for people without programming experience.

    Hope this helps.
    BR,
    Faik

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    340
    As the other posters have noted; a geographically separated requirement is generally web based.

    However moving an application, particularly one as mature as ACT, to web based can be a significant understaking. One option is to look at ACT's newest offerings - I while I do not follow that product it is very possible they now offer a web service you can migrate your data too.

    Alternatively with Access; it is very do-able to set up an automatic update function that will pull in the new data once the user has returned to the main office. I would not recommend at this point the replication feature that was once embedded into the Access product, but instead use a flag type approach written into the application. I have done it a couple of times to meet user requirements and it has worked fine - - but it does require a clear understanding of the process so that users do not 'step' on each other in changing/data within the same record.

    Hope this helps.
    www CahabaData com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for all the info.
    I will look into some web based programs then, It'll have to be something basic, I don't have any programming knowledge at all..

    The issue I think is that the technicians using the db are often in areas where there is no phone service or internet.. So it will have to be something that they can work on while offline, and then update when they get connected again.. Not sure if such things exist, will have to do some more homework!

    Thanks again for the tips

    nn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    340
    Up to Access2003 there is a replication feature in the product. This is for exactly what you seek.

    However many users found it to be difficult to implement & manage. Presuming you have a textbook you would want to follow the instructions very closely.

    In a sense the replication feature for Access2007-10 is in conjunction with the SharePoint publishing. You can look into that.

    Finally on several occasions I have made a merge or replication feature for a client. One must know the user behavior and be certain that users won't be in the same records. But essentially one flags the new/changed records and then implements either an Append or Update query to bring the data back to a master copy.

    Hope this helps.
    www CahabaData com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    replication should work OK
    use GUID's as your PK
    synchronise the db's whenever required (say daily or weekly) dependign on the volatility of the data
    however form what you are saying at present you don't seem ot have that much volatility so I'd go with a master db with two slave/copy db's. periodically sync the slave data (ie upload stuff changed in the slave, then sync the master with the slaves. make use of an is changed flag to know what needs synchronising
    develop a strategy to deal with possible conflicts (ie both sides try to update (i'd suggest you need some form of timestamp to resolve issues you may also want to know what has changed (so consider some form of audit trail so you know what has chnaged if two db's both try to update.


    avoid on line databases if you expect the workforce in the field to access this data, UNLESS you or your ISP can guarantee to have an alwasy on connection wherever the work is done.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

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