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Networking options to support multiple users - Access DB

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I am currently working a medium scale project to improve the database system at my company. Currently there are 10 different ('97) Access databases which are used by different stations and multiple users. These databases are stored on a shared drive. I'm in the process of converting these DBs, cleaning them up, adding features, and publishing them to the shared folder.

1) We are interested in better supporting a multiple user environment. I've done some research and understand that my options for networking include: terminal services, converting to sql server, and web interfaces.
2) We would also like to help prevent data corruption issues
3) We would like to increase the speed of our network & increase data availability without changing from our current system too much.
4) Most of the people at our manufacturing facility are reluctant to switch to a new platform (SQL Server or the like) since they are not super technologically advanced. I am attempting to avoid putting in place a system that requires a high learning curve.

Question: My question is what is involved in converting to sql server (learning curve wise)? How do I enable a multi-user environment while keeping our current front-end? How can we reduce/avoid data corruption issues? How can we improve the speed of our network by changing from a shared networking folder to a more advanced method of hosting the db? Any help/advice/links would be greatly appreciated. I'm still trying to get my head around everything since there are so many different options each of which require a time commitment to understand/implement.
Aug 10 '10 #1
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Expert 100+
P: 1,240
Converting the db to SQL is, in and of itself, very simple. There is an Upsize Wizard under the Tools menu that will transfer all the data to the selected SQL server. Then change all the table links to the new DB, distribute the new front-end to everybody, and they will not know the difference between new and old.

However, there can be some issues, depending on the code and the DB design and SQL version. Rather than try to explain all the permutations of that, let me say that you should try it and see if your app works okay. Probably it will. If not, come back with specific questions for us.

This may help system speed, it certainly won't hurt it unless you choose poorly where to host the SQL database. But you'd have to choose REALLY poorly.

There are so many unknowns it is impossible to answer much about the other questions. Are you on a domain or peer-to-peer? Have you got an actual server or is a workstation pretending to be a server? What data corruption? (It's probably more about the code that the DB)

My guess is you need an experienced professional to spend a couple days on site.

Aug 11 '10 #2

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