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Best Practices for handling Access-based application users who don'talways follow the rules

P: n/a
I have an application with about 30 users, most of whom use the
application on laptops that they take with them. The system is split
into FE and BE. The BE on each laptop is a replica. The system
automatically syncs with the server at their office location each time
they start up the application and they are connected to the LAN and
again when they shut down.

I have experienced occasional database corruption. Having difficulty
tracking down the cause.

Unlikely that it is network connectivity type issues since the database
they access is local to their laptop.

But they could:

...Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"

...Trying to access the BE database directly

Do others do things like:

...Putting an auto run macro in the BE that shuts down immediately if
opened (without holding down the shift key)?

...Log when users start and normally shutdown an application so you can
tell if the user is not shutting down the application properly

Any other things you standardly do?

My users expect the system to work flawlessly but don't want to spend
any time helping me figure out what caused a problem. sometimes I don't
hear about problems til days later.

Bob
Jan 5 '08 #1
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9 Replies


P: n/a
On Fri, 04 Jan 2008 18:27:34 -0600, Bob Alston <bo********@yahoo.com>
wrote:

If users don't communicate, you have to collect the information
yourself. I like the crash detection, and you should for sure have an
error handler that logs errors to a table so you can easily review
them. A simple AutoExec macro in the BE ("Yo, you're not supposed to
be here!") is a must.
Also try some of the scenarios like ungraceful shutdown, and rework
your code so it is more forgiving in those scenarios.
How about a rotating "Tip of the day" at startup time? Users have
nothing better to do than read that message while the rest of the app
starts up.

-Tom.
>I have an application with about 30 users, most of whom use the
application on laptops that they take with them. The system is split
into FE and BE. The BE on each laptop is a replica. The system
automatically syncs with the server at their office location each time
they start up the application and they are connected to the LAN and
again when they shut down.

I have experienced occasional database corruption. Having difficulty
tracking down the cause.

Unlikely that it is network connectivity type issues since the database
they access is local to their laptop.

But they could:

..Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"

..Trying to access the BE database directly

Do others do things like:

..Putting an auto run macro in the BE that shuts down immediately if
opened (without holding down the shift key)?

..Log when users start and normally shutdown an application so you can
tell if the user is not shutting down the application properly

Any other things you standardly do?

My users expect the system to work flawlessly but don't want to spend
any time helping me figure out what caused a problem. sometimes I don't
hear about problems til days later.

Bob
Jan 5 '08 #2

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.netwrote in
news:6a********************************@4ax.com:
How about a rotating "Tip of the day" at startup time? Users have
nothing better to do than read that message while the rest of the
app starts up.
But the problem sounds to me as though it's with *shutdown*, not
startup, and that's a hardware/OS issue, and not likely addressable
from Access.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 6 '08 #3

P: n/a
On 06 Jan 2008 00:43:39 GMT, "David W. Fenton"
<XX*******@dfenton.com.invalidwrote:

True, but these tips can promote "best practices".
-Tom.

>Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.netwrote in
news:6a********************************@4ax.com :
>How about a rotating "Tip of the day" at startup time? Users have
nothing better to do than read that message while the rest of the
app starts up.

But the problem sounds to me as though it's with *shutdown*, not
startup, and that's a hardware/OS issue, and not likely addressable
from Access.
Jan 6 '08 #4

P: n/a
On Jan 4, 7:27 pm, Bob Alston <bobalst...@yahoo.comwrote:
..Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"
I can't do that with my laptop because it has a battery. No matter how
I try to "turn it off" it has power. And while it has power Windows
attends to closing any running program such as Access "properly". If I
physically close the lid of the laptop it goes into sleep mode, and
Windows handles that well too.
Am I missing something?
Jan 6 '08 #5

P: n/a
lyle <ly************@gmail.comwrote:
>..Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"

I can't do that with my laptop because it has a battery. No matter how
I try to "turn it off" it has power. And while it has power Windows
attends to closing any running program such as Access "properly". If I
physically close the lid of the laptop it goes into sleep mode, and
Windows handles that well too.
Am I missing something?
Going to sleep or hibernating in a laptop or other computer does not close Access
down gracefully. Access is suspended which can cause some troubles.

BTW a somewhat similar problem can occur with hard drives that stop spinning after so
many minutes.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
Jan 6 '08 #6

P: n/a
"Tony Toews [MVP]" <tt****@telusplanet.netwrote in
news:dj********************************@4ax.com:
lyle <ly************@gmail.comwrote:
>>..Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"

I can't do that with my laptop because it has a battery. No matter how
I try to "turn it off" it has power. And while it has power Windows
attends to closing any running program such as Access "properly". If I
physically close the lid of the laptop it goes into sleep mode, and
Windows handles that well too.
Am I missing something?

Going to sleep or hibernating in a laptop or other computer does not
close Access down gracefully. Access is suspended which can cause
some troubles.

BTW a somewhat similar problem can occur with hard drives that stop
spinning after so many minutes.

Tony
TTBOMR I've never experienced a corrupted Access file. The closest I've
come is a SELECT DISTINCT TOP 1 query (stupid I know but it was person "a"
editing person "b"'s query and not paying much attention) which trashed a
particular video card; the error was replicable.
So I've just assumed that things have been shut down properly as I've put
my laptop to sleep many times with Access running.
I guess I'm lucky or charmed.
Jan 6 '08 #7

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.netwrote in
news:qb********************************@4ax.com:
On 06 Jan 2008 00:43:39 GMT, "David W. Fenton"
<XX*******@dfenton.com.invalidwrote:
>>Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.netwrote in
news:6a********************************@4ax.co m:
>>How about a rotating "Tip of the day" at startup time? Users
have nothing better to do than read that message while the rest
of the app starts up.

But the problem sounds to me as though it's with *shutdown*, not
startup, and that's a hardware/OS issue, and not likely
addressable from Access.

True, but these tips can promote "best practices".
And they won't be read by anybody but the people who would already
be doing things correctly.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 6 '08 #8

P: n/a
"Tony Toews [MVP]" <tt****@telusplanet.netwrote in
news:dj********************************@4ax.com:
lyle <ly************@gmail.comwrote:
>>..Be closing their laptop without first closing out the
application "gracefully"

I can't do that with my laptop because it has a battery. No matter
how I try to "turn it off" it has power. And while it has power
Windows attends to closing any running program such as Access
"properly". If I physically close the lid of the laptop it goes
into sleep mode, and Windows handles that well too.
Am I missing something?

Going to sleep or hibernating in a laptop or other computer does
not close Access down gracefully. Access is suspended which can
cause some troubles.
I've been doing exactly that on a 2-year-old Lenovo laptop and on a
7-year-old Dell desktop, leaving Access apps open, both in
programming and in running mode, and have had not a single problem.

Both machines do a LOCK WORKSTATION for SLEEP and then turn off hard
drives and video, and for hibernation, do the same but write the
memory image to disk.

I can't see how LOCK WORKSTATION can ever cause problems with
running Access apps.
BTW a somewhat similar problem can occur with hard drives that
stop spinning after so many minutes.
That makes no sense to me, except for defective hardware.

Sleep and hibernate *can* cause problems with certain peripherals
(the sound card in my desktop sometimes doesn't wake up entirely,
but it's a pre-Win2K sound card and not really fully compatible with
the OS it's running under, so I expect such problems), but I've had
very few such problems, including wired or wireless networking,
which seem to work just fine.

I used to recommend never using sleep and/or hibernate, but now I
use it daily. Before that, I used to use LOCK WORKSTATION for years
and years, leaving my desktop on 24/7. This never caused any
problems at all, so I'm surprised that anyone would be having
problems, given how incredibly old my desktop is.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 6 '08 #9

P: n/a
"David W. Fenton" <XX*******@dfenton.com.invalidwrote:
>I've been doing exactly that on a 2-year-old Lenovo laptop and on a
7-year-old Dell desktop, leaving Access apps open, both in
programming and in running mode, and have had not a single problem.
I forgot to add "while the Access app is linked to a data MDB on a server."
>BTW a somewhat similar problem can occur with hard drives that
stop spinning after so many minutes.

That makes no sense to me, except for defective hardware.
I've seen Access come up with a Disk or Network Error because the hard drive took
longer to respond than Access was expecting. It didn't cause any corruptions. Just
rather interesting when I saw that.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
Jan 7 '08 #10

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