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Split database - Citrix - shared front end question

I have a client that has a split database (front-end/back-end). They
are also using Access security - MDW file. The front end MDE file,
the back end MDB file, and the MDW file are all located on a shared
folder on the file server. They have two populations of users - local
and remote. *ALL* users currently get to the system via a Citrix
login. They log in to Citrix and get a Citrix desktop. Then they
start the application via a shortcut on their Citrix desktop. However
the shortcut on the Citrix desktop just points to the shared front-end
MDE file on the file server. In other words they have not distributed
the front end to all of the local user desktops and to the Citrix
server.

They are currently having a lot of corruption problems where the
system tells them that the MDW file is corrupt. They then get
everyone out of the system and replace the MDW file with a backed-up
copy.

They are also having periodic problems where Access reports that it
can't locate the MDE file on the file server share. If they keep
trying it, eventually (maybe a minute or two) they can get it to open
up correctly.

I am thinking that they need to distribute the front end MDE file to
all of the local desktops and then also move the front end MDE file to
the Citrix server so that it is local to the Citrix server. I am not
real sure of what is going on behind the scenes when Access is opened
in terms of network traffic but my hunch is that their current set up
has a lot of unnecessary network traffic.

Any ideas or comments would be helpful.

Thanks,
Corey Burnett
Nov 12 '05 #1
12 9914
I am using Citrix in the same way. Put a copy of the front-end in each user
Home directory on the Citrix server. Remember you must treat each Citrix
user as if they are running a PC.

All my users have a drive letter I: mapped to the user directory, That way
the short cuts all look the same.

"Corey Burnett" <th*********@ya hoo.com> wrote in message
news:73******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...
I have a client that has a split database (front-end/back-end). They
are also using Access security - MDW file. The front end MDE file,
the back end MDB file, and the MDW file are all located on a shared
folder on the file server. They have two populations of users - local
and remote. *ALL* users currently get to the system via a Citrix
login. They log in to Citrix and get a Citrix desktop. Then they
start the application via a shortcut on their Citrix desktop. However
the shortcut on the Citrix desktop just points to the shared front-end
MDE file on the file server. In other words they have not distributed
the front end to all of the local user desktops and to the Citrix
server.

They are currently having a lot of corruption problems where the
system tells them that the MDW file is corrupt. They then get
everyone out of the system and replace the MDW file with a backed-up
copy.

They are also having periodic problems where Access reports that it
can't locate the MDE file on the file server share. If they keep
trying it, eventually (maybe a minute or two) they can get it to open
up correctly.

I am thinking that they need to distribute the front end MDE file to
all of the local desktops and then also move the front end MDE file to
the Citrix server so that it is local to the Citrix server. I am not
real sure of what is going on behind the scenes when Access is opened
in terms of network traffic but my hunch is that their current set up
has a lot of unnecessary network traffic.

Any ideas or comments would be helpful.

Thanks,
Corey Burnett

Nov 12 '05 #2
From the sounds of it - the problem 'finding' the access file and the
corruption - there seems to be some network issue - either a
slow/over-utilized network, lost packets, etc.
The easiest way to resolve is to localize all the files to the Citrix
server.

By having all the files on the Citrix server you can gain the speed by
having all files 'localized' and keep the same support level - all you
have to do for an upgrade is to upgrade the access files on the citrix
server. if you distribute the files to each users workstation you'll
run into the problem of support.

th*********@yah oo.com (Corey Burnett) wrote in message news:<73******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
I have a client that has a split database (front-end/back-end). They
are also using Access security - MDW file. The front end MDE file,
the back end MDB file, and the MDW file are all located on a shared
folder on the file server. They have two populations of users - local
and remote. *ALL* users currently get to the system via a Citrix
login. They log in to Citrix and get a Citrix desktop. Then they
start the application via a shortcut on their Citrix desktop. However
the shortcut on the Citrix desktop just points to the shared front-end
MDE file on the file server. In other words they have not distributed
the front end to all of the local user desktops and to the Citrix
server.

They are currently having a lot of corruption problems where the
system tells them that the MDW file is corrupt. They then get
everyone out of the system and replace the MDW file with a backed-up
copy.

They are also having periodic problems where Access reports that it
can't locate the MDE file on the file server share. If they keep
trying it, eventually (maybe a minute or two) they can get it to open
up correctly.

I am thinking that they need to distribute the front end MDE file to
all of the local desktops and then also move the front end MDE file to
the Citrix server so that it is local to the Citrix server. I am not
real sure of what is going on behind the scenes when Access is opened
in terms of network traffic but my hunch is that their current set up
has a lot of unnecessary network traffic.

Any ideas or comments would be helpful.

Thanks,
Corey Burnett

Nov 12 '05 #3
One thing I neglected to clarify in my original post was that there are
many load balanced Citrix servers - not just one. So while I could move
the front end database on to the Citrix servers, I could not move the
back end database and the MDW file. Also let's say that we have 50
users and 4 Citrix servers. Then I guess that I will have to copy the
front end MDE file to all 50 user profiles home directory on all 4
Citrix servers - 200 copies of the MDE file. Am I understanding this
correctly? So I could eliminate some of the network traffic but not all
of it.

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!
Nov 12 '05 #4
With the load balancing you could not put the 'backend' on the citrix
server - you would need to keep it on the common share drive of the
file server. You do NOT have to copy
the front end to the 50 users' profiles - you just need to have it on
each citrix server and available to all users (the citrix admin should
be able to assist with this). You need to determine the type of
connection between the citrix server(s) and the file server - where
the access backend resides. See if it's close (minimal hops) and high
speed 100Meg.
If you're still having corruption problems - and depending on the
complexity - you might want to consider a move to ASP as the front end
with access on the backend - both residing on the same server....
Corey Burnett <th*********@ya hoo.com> wrote in message news:<3f******* **************@ news.frii.net>. ..
One thing I neglected to clarify in my original post was that there are
many load balanced Citrix servers - not just one. So while I could move
the front end database on to the Citrix servers, I could not move the
back end database and the MDW file. Also let's say that we have 50
users and 4 Citrix servers. Then I guess that I will have to copy the
front end MDE file to all 50 user profiles home directory on all 4
Citrix servers - 200 copies of the MDE file. Am I understanding this
correctly? So I could eliminate some of the network traffic but not all
of it.

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!

Nov 12 '05 #5
On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 01:13:12 GMT, Chuck Grimsby <c.*******@worl dnet.att.net.in valid> wrote:
MDB was a tiny little front-end to a SQL Backend. There was *0* data
storage in the front-end, and only about 4 forms and 2 reports. Total
file size < 1024 Meg.


I'd hate to see one of your big frontends Chuck ;-)
Wayne Gillespie
Gosford NSW Australia
Nov 12 '05 #6
>>Then I guess that I will have to copy the
front end MDE file to all 50 user profiles home directory on all 4
Citrix servers - 200 copies of the MDE file. Am I understanding this
correctly? So I could eliminate some of the network traffic but not all
of it.
Yes, you are correct. The rule here is that each user runs their own copy of
the front end. End of argument. You can have all shortcuts for the workgroup
file, and the back end database to be the same. But for the FRONT END YOU
NEED to have a copy for each users. I mean, they all have my documents etc
somewhere also...so this is not a big deal.

So, yes, for each user provide, you have a single mde for that user.

This advice is given out here probably on a daily basis. You notice that
Chuck mentioned a example that where they copied a mde file for each user to
a temp file, and problems went away. Once again, this advice that given
daily here is proven. By Chucks example, you can see how his problems went
away.

I will state it again:

Each user gets their own copy of the mde. It matters not they run Citrix or
not. In the case of Citrix, then obviously as mentioned, the mde goes in dir
that is limited to the particular user (and of course we are talking about
the server side with Citrix, as the client matters not, and might be apple
Mac, or whatever.
--
Albert D. Kallal (MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
No************@ msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn
Nov 12 '05 #7
> With the load balancing you could not put the 'backend' on the citrix
server - you would need to keep it on the common share drive of the
file server
Yes, and that is just fine.
You do NOT have to copy
the front end to the 50 users' profiles - you just need to have it on
each citrix server and available to all users (the citrix admin should
be able to assist with this).


Actually, that is incorrect. Yes, WE ARE suggesting that a separate front
end be used for each user. There is some problems when multiple users work
in the same front end.

While many people in a office try and put both the font end and the back end
on the server and share it, it is the wrong way. (this applies to both a
simple office lan, or using Citirx and a wan).

You DO NOT want to allow multiple users in the same front ends. In the case
of the standard small office network, this saves valuable network bandwidth
as the mde front end does NOT need to be transmitted down the wire. Also,
this setup of course increases reliability by a large amount.

In the case of Citirx, then some bandwidth *might* be saved if the data is
on the main "server". However, the front end will still NOT be transmitted
down the network to the Citrix server.

However, the real rule and lesson here is that you DO NOT want to allow
multiple users into the SAME front end. This rule applies to Citrix also!.
Buy giving each user their own front end, then reliability is increased by
huge amount (there are some issues of contention, and it don't work well).
Often, as mentioned also network bandwidth from Citrix to server can reduced
also with this setup!

There is not a serious ms-access developer on the planet who will tell you
other wise.

So, while it is possible to have multiple users in the front end...it is a
real bad idea, and this whole thread is proof of that.

Most of us developers has some means to "copy" a new version of the front
end automatically when we make updates (no one does this manually
anymore...do they?).

Tony's front end updater even works with Citrix.

Check out:
http://www.granite.ab.ca/access/autofe.htm
--
Albert D. Kallal (MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
No************@ msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn
Nov 12 '05 #8
Albert, thanks for the tip on the AutoFE utility. This answers a
question I've had for a while but never posted. And yes, I've been
semi-manually updating the front-ends. The users have a batch file
icon on their desktops that never changes, but I modify at text and
batch file on the server when a new fe has to be copied to their
machines. I'll be giving autofe a try now.
Joe Bongiardina
Long Island, NY

"Albert D. Kallal" <pl************ ********@msn.co m> wrote in message news:<Dnivb.445 833$pl3.208337@ pd7tw3no>...
Then I guess that I will have to copy the

front end MDE file to all 50 user profiles home directory on all 4
Citrix servers - 200 copies of the MDE file. Am I understanding this
correctly? So I could eliminate some of the network traffic but not all
of it.
Yes, you are correct. The rule here is that each user runs their own copy of
the front end. End of argument. You can have all shortcuts for the workgroup
file, and the back end database to be the same. But for the FRONT END YOU
NEED to have a copy for each users. I mean, they all have my documents etc
somewhere also...so this is not a big deal.

So, yes, for each user provide, you have a single mde for that user.

This advice is given out here probably on a daily basis. You notice that
Chuck mentioned a example that where they copied a mde file for each user to
a temp file, and problems went away. Once again, this advice that given
daily here is proven. By Chucks example, you can see how his problems went
away.

I will state it again:

Each user gets their own copy of the mde. It matters not they run Citrix or
not. In the case of Citrix, then obviously as mentioned, the mde goes in dir
that is limited to the particular user (and of course we are talking about
the server side with Citrix, as the client matters not, and might be apple
Mac, or whatever.

Nov 12 '05 #9
Thanks so much for all of your posts. This has helped me understand
what is going on. I think I will try first by moving the front end to
a shared location on the Citrix servers and see if that helps. If
they are still having problems then I will explore giving each Citrix
user their own copy of the front end.

One more question. Currently at our company (we are a consulting
company) we have an in-house Access program where each local user has
a copy of the front end on their local PC and all remote users get to
the system using one Citrix server and a single *shared* copy of the
Access program on the Citrix server. (Very similar to the client
scenario that I described at the beginning of this thread) We have
about 30 users who log in via Citrix and this seems to work fine for
us. (We never get the errors that I described earlier that our client
is gettin) However almost all of the posts in this thread have been
stressing that each Citrix user should have their *own* copy of the
front end on the Citrix server. Is there some sort of number of users
threshhold where it becomes smarter to give each Citrix user their own
copy of the front end? The guy who develops and deploys our in-house
system here seemed to think that it wasn't necessary to give each
Citrix user their own copy of the front end because he said that he
thought that Citrix was supposed to be able to do a good job of
managing multi-user access to files on a Citrix server. Any more
thoughts are appreciated.

Corey Burnett

jb**********@fd s.com (JoeB) wrote in message news:<e6******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
Albert, thanks for the tip on the AutoFE utility. This answers a
question I've had for a while but never posted. And yes, I've been
semi-manually updating the front-ends. The users have a batch file
icon on their desktops that never changes, but I modify at text and
batch file on the server when a new fe has to be copied to their
machines. I'll be giving autofe a try now.
Joe Bongiardina
Long Island, NY

"Albert D. Kallal" <pl************ ********@msn.co m> wrote in message news:<Dnivb.445 833$pl3.208337@ pd7tw3no>...
>Then I guess that I will have to copy the

front end MDE file to all 50 user profiles home directory on all 4
Citrix servers - 200 copies of the MDE file. Am I understanding this
correctly? So I could eliminate some of the network traffic but not all
of it.
Yes, you are correct. The rule here is that each user runs their own copy of
the front end. End of argument. You can have all shortcuts for the workgroup
file, and the back end database to be the same. But for the FRONT END YOU
NEED to have a copy for each users. I mean, they all have my documents etc
somewhere also...so this is not a big deal.

So, yes, for each user provide, you have a single mde for that user.

This advice is given out here probably on a daily basis. You notice that
Chuck mentioned a example that where they copied a mde file for each user to
a temp file, and problems went away. Once again, this advice that given
daily here is proven. By Chucks example, you can see how his problems went
away.

I will state it again:

Each user gets their own copy of the mde. It matters not they run Citrix or
not. In the case of Citrix, then obviously as mentioned, the mde goes in dir
that is limited to the particular user (and of course we are talking about
the server side with Citrix, as the client matters not, and might be apple
Mac, or whatever.

Nov 12 '05 #10

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