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What is needed to edit pre-existing database?

P: n/a
I've tried googling for the answer to my question, so my apologies if
it's been asked before or is terribly obvious.

I'm a volunteer doing data entry for research. My office has an Access
database with several hundred fields that was put together by someone
who no longer works here. While using this database, I've noticed that
it's missing a number of fields that we need. I told the Dr. I'm
working for and encouraged her to seek the services of the person who
originally created the database. Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise and would
be willing to make the edits, but in the meantime I need to contact the
original developer to ask for whatever files or passwords are necessary
to make the alterations to the database.

I'm fairly well-versed in creating Access databases, but don't know
much about the security settings and such. Therefore, I have no idea
what to ask for. The database is divided into back-end and front-end
files, and though it's possible to edit the tables in the back-end with
the password we have, the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing. What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

Let me know if I haven't been clear enough in my questions. Thanks in
advance!

Jan 8 '07 #1
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13 Replies


P: n/a
I highly doubt the seperation of FE/BE caused the lock on the data.
Are you dealing with an MDW file at all? Sounds like it's either
locked by the workgroup lock or the FE was locked using a password that
prevents you from seeing the code.
ni******@gmail.com wrote:
I've tried googling for the answer to my question, so my apologies if
it's been asked before or is terribly obvious.

I'm a volunteer doing data entry for research. My office has an Access
database with several hundred fields that was put together by someone
who no longer works here. While using this database, I've noticed that
it's missing a number of fields that we need. I told the Dr. I'm
working for and encouraged her to seek the services of the person who
originally created the database. Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise and would
be willing to make the edits, but in the meantime I need to contact the
original developer to ask for whatever files or passwords are necessary
to make the alterations to the database.

I'm fairly well-versed in creating Access databases, but don't know
much about the security settings and such. Therefore, I have no idea
what to ask for. The database is divided into back-end and front-end
files, and though it's possible to edit the tables in the back-end with
the password we have, the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing. What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

Let me know if I haven't been clear enough in my questions. Thanks in
advance!
Jan 8 '07 #2

P: n/a
Hi, Nicole.
Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise
This is usually a recipe for an expensive data disaster.
the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing.
It's an MDE database file. You need to find the original MDB file that this
MDE file was created from in order to edit the file.
What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?
You need the original front end MDB file. Splitting it into a front end and
back end has no effect on whether or not the file can be edited, although it
will make it easier to redistribute new front ends in a multiuser
environment.

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
<ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@42g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com...
I've tried googling for the answer to my question, so my apologies if
it's been asked before or is terribly obvious.

I'm a volunteer doing data entry for research. My office has an Access
database with several hundred fields that was put together by someone
who no longer works here. While using this database, I've noticed that
it's missing a number of fields that we need. I told the Dr. I'm
working for and encouraged her to seek the services of the person who
originally created the database. Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise and would
be willing to make the edits, but in the meantime I need to contact the
original developer to ask for whatever files or passwords are necessary
to make the alterations to the database.

I'm fairly well-versed in creating Access databases, but don't know
much about the security settings and such. Therefore, I have no idea
what to ask for. The database is divided into back-end and front-end
files, and though it's possible to edit the tables in the back-end with
the password we have, the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing. What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

Let me know if I haven't been clear enough in my questions. Thanks in
advance!

Jan 8 '07 #3

P: n/a
Hi, Nicole.

For more information on split databases, please see the link to the tip on
split databases on the following Web page:

http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/gem_tips.html#SplitDB

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
"'69 Camaro" <Fo**************************@Spameater.orgZERO_SP AMwrote in
message news:SY******************************@adelphia.com ...
Hi, Nicole.
>Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise

This is usually a recipe for an expensive data disaster.
>the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing.

It's an MDE database file. You need to find the original MDB file that
this MDE file was created from in order to edit the file.
>What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

You need the original front end MDB file. Splitting it into a front end
and back end has no effect on whether or not the file can be edited,
although it will make it easier to redistribute new front ends in a
multiuser environment.

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
<ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@42g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com...
>I've tried googling for the answer to my question, so my apologies if
it's been asked before or is terribly obvious.

I'm a volunteer doing data entry for research. My office has an Access
database with several hundred fields that was put together by someone
who no longer works here. While using this database, I've noticed that
it's missing a number of fields that we need. I told the Dr. I'm
working for and encouraged her to seek the services of the person who
originally created the database. Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise and would
be willing to make the edits, but in the meantime I need to contact the
original developer to ask for whatever files or passwords are necessary
to make the alterations to the database.

I'm fairly well-versed in creating Access databases, but don't know
much about the security settings and such. Therefore, I have no idea
what to ask for. The database is divided into back-end and front-end
files, and though it's possible to edit the tables in the back-end with
the password we have, the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing. What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

Let me know if I haven't been clear enough in my questions. Thanks in
advance!


Jan 8 '07 #4

P: n/a
Thanks for all the help!

I agree that trying to find anyone other than the original developer is
a piss poor idea, but the only other option I was given was to fix it
myself, which would be an expensive disaster for which I would
thereafter be blamed. I'm doing my best to limit the carnage. This
sort of ended up dumped into my lap when I noticed the missing fields.

So the three basic ideas seem to be that there's a workgroup lock, a
password that we weren't given, or that I need the original MDB file.
Is that correct? As far as I can tell, the security steps were very
basic, I assume because the files reside on a network drive that's
already highly protected. I was actually mildly horrified to find that
the BE isn't even password protected. It's just sort of hidden away in
the depths the network drive. We all sign into the FE using the admin
username, which usually has all permissions, doesn't it? As far as I
know, there's no MDW file.

It seems likely that the developer kept the original MDB file and only
gave us the split database, in an effort to prevent a bunch of nosy
researches from accidentally destroying the database. The only MDB
file I've found is the BE. Is this possible?

Again, thanks so much for your help and your patience.

-Nicole

Jan 9 '07 #5

P: n/a
ni******@gmail.com wrote:
I've tried googling for the answer to my question, so my apologies if
it's been asked before or is terribly obvious.

I'm a volunteer doing data entry for research. My office has an Access
database with several hundred fields that was put together by someone
who no longer works here. While using this database, I've noticed that
it's missing a number of fields that we need. I told the Dr. I'm
working for and encouraged her to seek the services of the person who
originally created the database. Due to some sort of bizarre
beaurocracy, however, the institution for which we work refuses to
spend money on more Access projects, since they believe it's too
complex for the researchers. At this point we're trying to find
someone within the institution who has more Access expertise and would
be willing to make the edits, but in the meantime I need to contact the
original developer to ask for whatever files or passwords are necessary
to make the alterations to the database.
I'm fairly well-versed in creating Access databases, but don't know
much about the security settings and such. Therefore, I have no idea
what to ask for. The database is divided into back-end and front-end
files, and though it's possible to edit the tables in the back-end with
the password we have, the forms and such in the front-end are grayed
out and inaccessible for editing. What would someone need in order to
make edits to this database? Is it even possible after it's been
divided into BE and FE?

Let me know if I haven't been clear enough in my questions. Thanks in
advance!
Have you considered just starting over? As you describe things I think
it might be the best thing to do regardless of the editable condition
of the front end.

Jan 9 '07 #6

P: n/a
Lyle, there's a funny story about that, actually. The missing fields
are actually just in one section of the database (there are loads of
forms for loads of different tables), so with the approval of my boss I
spent several days teaching myself Access and then several more days
creating a second database just for that section. I put together what
I thought was a very user-friendly application. It was meant to be
used in conjunction with the original database. It was pronounced a
success, and then I left for winter break.

I returned today to find that it's been decided that it's too
complicated to have two databases, so the original one must be edited.
I checked, and no one even tried to use the database I built, so I'm
rather frustrated with the whole thing.

To completely redo the database, with all of the forms and sections,
would likely take over a month if I were to count the new skills that
I'd need to learn. It's just a really massive thing, since it's so
data-heavy (it's basically a user-friendly interface for dumping data
into SPSS).

The most frustrating part is that the original developer could probably
make the changes in a matter of hours.

Jan 9 '07 #7

P: n/a
<ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@s80g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
>
So the three basic ideas seem to be that there's a workgroup lock, a
password that we weren't given, or that I need the original MDB file.
Is that correct?
Yes, you need the mdb, the mdw (workgroup file) and all of the security
information you can muster.
As far as I can tell, the security steps were very
basic, I assume because the files reside on a network drive that's
already highly protected.
Unlikely since all users need RWXD permissions to the host folder.
I was actually mildly horrified to find that
the BE isn't even password protected. It's just sort of hidden away in
the depths the network drive. We all sign into the FE using the admin
username, which usually has all permissions, doesn't it? As far as I
know, there's no MDW file.
All Access databases need an mdw file. From what you've described, someone
has attempted to implement user-level security and failed, which is why
you're prompted for a username and why your BE is unprotected (as it were).
>
It seems likely that the developer kept the original MDB file and only
gave us the split database, in an effort to prevent a bunch of nosy
researches from accidentally destroying the database. The only MDB
file I've found is the BE. Is this possible?
Entirely. A lot of developers will jealously guard their work, myself
included. Sometimes.
>
Again, thanks so much for your help and your patience.

-Nicole
Well I'm not sure anyone can help if there's no mdb other than to suggest
reverse engineering the mde which, from what you've posted so far, could be
an uphill struggle.

Is there no chance of tracking down the mdb? Isn't your organisation the
"owner"?

Regards,
Keith.
www.keithwilby.com
Jan 9 '07 #8

P: n/a
Nicole

The options are:
1. Use it as is.
2. Get the original MDB for the front end from the original developer and
modify it.
3.
<ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@51g2000cwl.googlegro ups.com...
Lyle, there's a funny story about that, actually. The missing fields
are actually just in one section of the database (there are loads of
forms for loads of different tables), so with the approval of my boss I
spent several days teaching myself Access and then several more days
creating a second database just for that section. I put together what
I thought was a very user-friendly application. It was meant to be
used in conjunction with the original database. It was pronounced a
success, and then I left for winter break.

I returned today to find that it's been decided that it's too
complicated to have two databases, so the original one must be edited.
I checked, and no one even tried to use the database I built, so I'm
rather frustrated with the whole thing.

To completely redo the database, with all of the forms and sections,
would likely take over a month if I were to count the new skills that
I'd need to learn. It's just a really massive thing, since it's so
data-heavy (it's basically a user-friendly interface for dumping data
into SPSS).

The most frustrating part is that the original developer could probably
make the changes in a matter of hours.

Jan 9 '07 #9

P: n/a

Nicole

The options are:
1. Use it as is.
2. Get the original MDB for the front end from the original developer and
modify it. (If the institution paid him as employee to create it they
should own it.)
3. Start over on the front end.

If you had to start over and are in the Boston area, I am a retiree that
does occasional Access contract work and continually does access development
as a volunteer for charitables and non-profits. I assume you are supporting
medical research so I think I could help you as a volunteer.

Regards

Kevin C

<ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@51g2000cwl.googlegro ups.com...
>Lyle, there's a funny story about that, actually. The missing fields
are actually just in one section of the database (there are loads of
forms for loads of different tables), so with the approval of my boss I
spent several days teaching myself Access and then several more days
creating a second database just for that section. I put together what
I thought was a very user-friendly application. It was meant to be
used in conjunction with the original database. It was pronounced a
success, and then I left for winter break.

I returned today to find that it's been decided that it's too
complicated to have two databases, so the original one must be edited.
I checked, and no one even tried to use the database I built, so I'm
rather frustrated with the whole thing.

To completely redo the database, with all of the forms and sections,
would likely take over a month if I were to count the new skills that
I'd need to learn. It's just a really massive thing, since it's so
data-heavy (it's basically a user-friendly interface for dumping data
into SPSS).

The most frustrating part is that the original developer could probably
make the changes in a matter of hours.


Jan 9 '07 #10

P: n/a
Nicole

You may want to take a look at this site
http://access-mde-to-mdb-conversion.qarchive.org/ .
I don't know them and have not used their product but they say their
software would allow you to add controls (thus field input) to forms in the
MDE and allow adding new controls to reports (Thus allowing data reporting)
in the MDE. Since your backend is an MDB you can add fields to its tables.
Maybe this would solve your problem. Again I know nothing about the vendor
but seems an interesting option.

Regards

kevin C
>
Nicole

The options are:
1. Use it as is.
2. Get the original MDB for the front end from the original developer and
modify it. (If the institution paid him as employee to create it they
should own it.)
3. Start over on the front end.

If you had to start over and are in the Boston area, I am a retiree that
does occasional Access contract work and continually does access
development as a volunteer for charitables and non-profits. I assume you
are supporting medical research so I think I could help you as a
volunteer.

Regards

Kevin C

><ni******@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@51g2000cwl.googlegr oups.com...
>>Lyle, there's a funny story about that, actually. The missing fields
are actually just in one section of the database (there are loads of
forms for loads of different tables), so with the approval of my boss I
spent several days teaching myself Access and then several more days
creating a second database just for that section. I put together what
I thought was a very user-friendly application. It was meant to be
used in conjunction with the original database. It was pronounced a
success, and then I left for winter break.

I returned today to find that it's been decided that it's too
complicated to have two databases, so the original one must be edited.
I checked, and no one even tried to use the database I built, so I'm
rather frustrated with the whole thing.

To completely redo the database, with all of the forms and sections,
would likely take over a month if I were to count the new skills that
I'd need to learn. It's just a really massive thing, since it's so
data-heavy (it's basically a user-friendly interface for dumping data
into SPSS).

The most frustrating part is that the original developer could probably
make the changes in a matter of hours.



Jan 9 '07 #11

P: n/a
Interesting, in all of these questions, you failed to mention if the front
end is a mde, or mdb....

Which is it?

Also, have you tried holding down the shift key during start-up?
--
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
pl*****************@msn.com
Jan 11 '07 #12

P: n/a
I tried to reply the other day but Google Groups was down.

Kevin, thanks so much for that incredibly generous offer, but we're
actually located up in Toronto. And you're basically spot-on about the
medical research; it's psychology/psychiatry.

I've again encouraged my boss to find a way to hire the original
developer for a brief period of time. Failing that, I've told her to
get the original file, as well as any associated security info.

If that doesn't work, I will look into the software you mentioned.

Honestly, at this point I'm tempted to just use the database as is,
missing fields be damned.

Once again, thanks to all of you for your help!

-Nicole
On Jan 9, 9:25 am, "Kc-Mass" <connearney_AT_comcast_PERIOD_netwrote:
Nicole

You may want to take a look at this sitehttp://access-mde-to-mdb-conversion.qarchive.org/.
I don't know them and have not used their product but they say their
software would allow you to add controls (thus field input) to forms in the
MDE and allow adding new controls to reports (Thus allowing data reporting)
in the MDE. Since your backend is an MDB you can add fields to its tables.
Maybe this would solve your problem. Again I know nothing about the vendor
but seems an interesting option.

Regards

kevin C


Nicole
The options are:
1. Use it as is.
2. Get the original MDB for the front end from the original developer and
modify it. (If the institution paid him as employee to create it they
should own it.)
3. Start over on the front end.
If you had to start over and are in the Boston area, I am a retiree that
does occasional Access contract work and continually does access
development as a volunteer for charitables and non-profits. I assume you
are supporting medical research so I think I could help you as a
volunteer.
Regards
Kevin C
<nicol...@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@51g2000cwl.googlegr oups.com...
Lyle, there's a funny story about that, actually. The missing fields
are actually just in one section of the database (there are loads of
forms for loads of different tables), so with the approval of my boss I
spent several days teaching myself Access and then several more days
creating a second database just for that section. I put together what
I thought was a very user-friendly application. It was meant to be
used in conjunction with the original database. It was pronounced a
success, and then I left for winter break.
>I returned today to find that it's been decided that it's too
complicated to have two databases, so the original one must be edited.
I checked, and no one even tried to use the database I built, so I'm
rather frustrated with the whole thing.
>To completely redo the database, with all of the forms and sections,
would likely take over a month if I were to count the new skills that
I'd need to learn. It's just a really massive thing, since it's so
data-heavy (it's basically a user-friendly interface for dumping data
into SPSS).
>The most frustrating part is that the original developer could probably
make the changes in a matter of hours.- Hide quoted text -- Show quoted text -
Jan 11 '07 #13

P: n/a
ni******@gmail.com wrote in news:1168546140.359949.245860
@o58g2000hsb.googlegroups.com:
Kevin, thanks so much for that incredibly generous offer, but we're
actually located up in Toronto. And you're basically spot-on about the
medical research; it's psychology/psychiatry.
Lots of scope in Toronto for that.

--
lyle fairfield
Jan 12 '07 #14

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