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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    8

    Unanswered: Access vs Filemaker and security

    I'm a new member (first post!) and have also recently taken up a position as a Data Administrator. I have some, very limited, Access experience: I can create tables, records and forms and use simple query wizard but have never done scripts or macros etc and have no programming skills. The company I have just joined uses a mixture of Access 2003 and Filemaker 10 (which I have NO experience of) and want to merge their various databases into one large database and are unsure if they should go down the Filemaker or Access route and have asked me to research which is better.

    Currently they store the databases on an internal server. Only a select number of people can access the server and then there is a single username/password used by everyone to access each database. This causes various issues as only one person can be accessing the file at a time . The people using the database probably have about the same amount of experience as me (i.e. very limited!) and so the database is certainly not meeting the full potential of probably any database software. The database is likely only going to be used in one building so there will be no external/internet publishing.

    So... what database would suit our needs better? Or does it really not make a difference since we are not reaching it's full potential? It would be nice for us to have the room to move though.

    Secondly, which database would be more secure with the set-up we are using? Am I right in thinking that Filemaker would be better as it offers field level control? It also seems far easier to create new user accounts in Filemaker.

    Lastly, to solve the "only one person can open it at a time" issue, do I just have to actually create multiple usernames and get people to use those instead of the generic admin account they have been using ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    only omne person at a time should not be a problem for a well designed Access db.
    first off chaeck no one is opening the db up for exclusive access
    multi user Access db's shoul;d be split into a front end 9the user interface and theback end the data.
    however multi user Access db's are OK up to around 15..30 users, and I wouldn't use an Access backend over a WAN where network issues are or could be a problem. in those circumstances Id used a server back end

    creating user accounts in Access is a piece of proverbial (or at least it was untill 2007/2010 version was released, what you do know I don't know, Ive not hit that problem recently).

    Modern Access applications can be run on licence free runtime, meaning you only require a development copy of Access and then port it to a copy of runtime
    Download Details - Microsoft Download Center - Microsoft Access 2010 Runtime

    I can't make any useful comments about filemaker as when I last used / saw it many years ago it looked very mickey mouse and nowehere near a product as Access. but thats an opinion based on what I saw and what I was told filemaker coudl do.. Im sure things have moved on since
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    8
    Which is more secure though?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    I don't think its possible to truly effectively secure an Access application. you can make it difficult but I don't think you can ever truly say you have made an Access application secure.

    if one or more of your users has a licenced copy of Access then I don't believe you can truly be confident its locked down tight. Its getting better, especially if you only let your users use the application via the runtime which is free on versions 2007 on.

    if you use a server backend then the security of the data should be better.

    the main problem is that its relatively trivial to import 'stuff' into a new blank database and circumvent any security. my understanding is there is no where to block exporting stuff into a new applciation and retain the security. that doens't mean Access is inappropriate for use. there's lots of things you cna do, but don't treat it as secure. it may well be secure enough

    If it was my choice I'd stick with Access if its a run off with Filemaker. some of that is that I use Access, I know there's more competent people who can develop in Access (mind you there's probably also more incompetent people as well). its better supported. I suspect it has better capabilities and has various migration paths.


    as said before I cannot comment on Filemaker as I have never used it on a project, only tinkered with it.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

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