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In a follow up to our previous article about the Top 10 Reason to Split an Access Database, this post will give you the quick and easy way to get started with the process.
Splitting an Access database is essential when sharing a database via internal network our cloud hosting. If you have ever received errors when multiple users are editing your Access database, it is likely that you are not operating with what is called a split-database.
When splitting a database, you reorganize it into two separate files. The front-end database contains all the objects such as queries, forms, and reports while the back-end database contains all of the data tables.
Here are the direct instructions from Microsoft for how to split your database:
Once you finish with the process, your database will be far more efficient and reliable while also ready for shared usage. You’ll be able to distribute the front-end and back-end files to either your local network storage or a cloud solution such as Access Hosting’s Access RDP Pro plan to start sharing the database with multiple users.
To get started with a 30-day free trial of Access Hosting’s MS Access RDP Pro plan, click here.
Access Hosting is happy to announce a more robust and granular backup option for our Remote Desktop Hosting customers. We have always done daily backups on the entire server which helps us recover from any failure but does not help customers looking to rollback a specific Access or Excel file to a previous version. We have spent the last month integrating our server architecture with Amazon Web Services and are happy to report that we are now able to backup individual ms Access, Office, and other files on a daily or even hourly basis based on your desired needs.
Any current Remote Desktop customers can upgrade their plan with these new backup options. You ONLY need 1 backup plan – it will cover all of your users and files. You DO NOT need a backup plan for each RDP user account. These backup plans can also be added and applied to a dedicated Remote Desktop Server.
Daily Backup – $10 per month
With this backup option, we will archive, store and backup all of your files offsite on our Amazon AWS servers on a 24 hour cycle. If at any time you make a mistake or a MS Access database or other file gets corrupted, we can roll back a specific file to the previous day’s version.
Hourly Backup – $20 per month
With this backup option, we will archive, store and backup all of your files offsite on our Amazon AWS servers on an hourly basis. If at any time you make a mistake, we can roll back and restore a specific file to a previous version that was saved every hour.
If you have any questions or specific backup needs, please contact our technical support team.
Splitting your Access database offers numerous advantages, including increased flexibility, security, efficiency, and scalability.
Access is an amazing and powerful desktop application that lets you store data and interface with that data in the same file. You can even design your own applications with Access. Unfortunately, the only way to utilize the full power of MS Access is to develop traditional local desktop based applications. Luckily, you can take your powerful MS Access applications with split frontend and backend to the cloud with Access Hosting’s Remote Desktop Hosting.
Most developers agree that a split database is easier to protect and maintain but unfortunately this powerful approach is completely incompatible with SharePoint. When you split an Access database file, you end up with two files instead of just one (often the backend is an .mdb file):
Now onto the top 10 reasons to split a Microsoft Access Database:
1: Multiple users share the data
Perhaps the biggest incentive for splitting a database is to supply data to multiple users over a local network or on the cloud via Access Hosting. By storing the backend on a local file server, SQL or other cloud based solution and distributing the front end to workstations and users, many users can access and manipulate the data at the same time without running into record locking and other problems.
2: Everyone’s using the same data at the same time
By splitting a database, you know that all users are accessing the most current data because everyone’s accessing the SAME data. Not only are they all accessing the same data, they can all update it at the same time. That means a change made by one user is almost immediately available to all other users.
Having a backend moves all the data into a single database file (.mdb) or backend ODBC connection (SQL, mySQL etc). That means there’s only one copy of that data to manage and protect. Changes are immediate and available to all authorized users. Any administrative and development duties are implemented in the backend file, once.
3: Your data is better protected
Whole books have been written on database security, but it’s enough for you to know that you must protect your data. One of the easiest ways is to split your database. Placing your tables in a backend file protects your database design because users can’t directly access the tables via the interface objects in the front end. Therefore, they can’t alter or delete tables, even accidentally. Most of the users working in the front end won’t realize they’re actually working with two separate files, so splitting the database will have NO Negative impact on your users.
However, this arrangement is not a comprehensive security lock on design. Users who know what they’re doing can still open the backend, if they have access to it. Just bear in mind that splitting the database will minimize accidents — but it won’t stop someone who’s determined to get at your tables.
If security is a of utmost importance, Access Hosting’s Remote Desktop hosting adds an additional layer of security – requiring users to login to the MS Access frontend. Users don’t even need to have Access installed on their computer! We even offer HIPAA compliant dedicated server solutions for healthcare and medical data. Moving your data to a SQL backend also adds additional security and features to an Access application.
4: You can easily scale your application for the future
If there’s any chance that your Access database will grow out of its skin, consider splitting the database. It’s easier to upsize a split database to SQL Server (or some other larger relational database system) because you can easily link the existing front end to SQL Server tables. That way, the organization has the advantage of storing data in a larger database with most of the perks that come with doing so, while still using the interface and all of the reports and queries that you originally designed in the Access front end.
5: The user interface is easy to modify
Most databases grow and change with the business; they require new features or modified business rules. Changes to existing tables are rare, if you properly normalized them early on. Most changes will be in the front end in the form of new or modified forms and reports.
As long as your database is split, testing and implementing changes to the front end can occur with little or no disruption to users. You simply link the development front end to the production backend and test away. This won’t always be the case, of course, but testing new interface objects is easier in a split database configuration.
6: Deploying a new front end is a snap
If the user interface and data are stored in the same database, you must REPLACE the entire database EVERY time changes are made in a local environment. With our RDP solution, you can keep your database and app contained all in one file and more easily replace them on our server in 1 location, but it’s still not ideal. That’s a lot of unnecessary work and is especially problematic if no one in-house has the expertise to do it for you or if you have to visit each user’s workstation.
In a split database configuration, you simply replace the front-end ms access file and relink the tables. It takes a few minutes and requires little interruption of users. With our RDP solution, you can even login and do this for every user to completely eliminate any application support issues.
7: It makes life easier for offsite developers
A split database is easier for offsite developers to maintain and upgrade. The developer works offsite to implement changes and enhancements to the front end and then ships the new version to someone in-house (or uploads it directly) who has the technical expertise to deploy it. This latter process is a simple copy and relinking task that doesn’t require high-end expertise. You can train someone to do it or even talk someone through it over the phone. Many developers write a routine that automates the process. All the in-house technician has to do is double-click the installation file. This opens up a lot of long distance opportunities that a developer just couldn’t manage as easily with a single database file. Access Developers out there should interested in making their lives easier and moving their clients to a cloud based hosting solution should contact us about our Partner and Referral program.
8: Geography’s not a problem
A split database allows users in different locations to access the same data. For example, the backend could be stored on our servers in our SAS70 data center in Philadelphia, but users from all over the country can access the data via their local systems connected to a SQL backend.
9: Corruption is limited
Access databases are prone to corruption. One of the easiest ways to avoid this problem is to implement a split database, which is less prone to corruption. Nothing is worse than having a user corrupt your backend data!
10: It’s easier to get individual users back on track
Security in the front end is one way to limit user interference. However, some users require more flexibility than others and there are always trade-offs. Some applications will require tight front-end security, while others will allow more freedom to tinker.
When a user tinkers to the point of destruction, a split database is easier to repair. Rather than bringing the entire application and all its users to a screeching halt, you have only one user who’s unable to work, momentarily because they broke their specific Access frontend and not the entire application. The fix is usually as simple as recopying the front end and overwriting the changes that the person made.
I hope this was helpful to people who have an Access application at their business. If anyone is looking to learn more about our Remote Desktop and or SQL backend hosting options, please do not hesitate to contact us or sign up for a free trial to try it for yourself.
Access Hosting is proud to announce that for 2015 we have increased the storage quotas on all of our Remote Desktop Hosting plans for customers seeking an easy way to move their Access Hosting Database to the web without any modifications.
Access Hosting, the leading hosting company for Microsoft Access services and solutions has doubled and tripled the storage on their Access Remote Desktop plans. Customers in need of bringing their Microsoft Access web application to the cloud can now do so without the need for expensive hardware or costly setup.
Interested customers will now enjoy 2GB of storage with the $29/month Access Pro Virtual Desktop and 3GB of storage with the $49/month Office Pro Plus Remote Desktop plan. Anyone interested in trying out this hosting service can sign up for a free 30 day trial at http://accesshosting.com/remote-desktop-hosting/free-trial
Remote Desktop Services allows you to keep your Access 2007, 2010, or 2013 Database running “as-is” online in the cloud. Using the latest advances in Microsoft Hypervisor technology we can create a seamless single click operating environment for your existing Access database that allows you to run your application without modification. This approach allows multiple users to connect concurrently to the cloud from any PC and experience the program as if it was running locally on their desktop. Pricing starts at just $19/month and we offer a free trial for qualified customers. You can learn more at http://accesshosting.com/remote-desktop-hosting/
Building an Access database provides many benefits because it not only gives users an easy way to manage their data, but Access can also be used to manipulate external applications through code. One of those extremely helpful benefits is its ability to send out an email message. Access is not an email client, so it doesn’t really send out the email message itself. Instead, it can be used to automate external email client programs, such as Outlook, to actually send out the message on its behalf. But what if Outlook is not installed on the user’s computer? Normally, that is not a problem as long as the user has an email client installed on the machine. The SendObject method or the EmailDatabaseObject macro action will try to use whatever email client is installed as the default to send out the message. This article will address those situations where the user does not have any email client installed or if bypassing the security warning in Outlook is desired. (more…)
Beginning with version 2007, Microsoft Access included a feature that seamlessly links your database table to Outlook and makes it easier to collect user data via email messages. This quick tutorial will show you the steps for setting up the email template for collecting the data as well as the steps for processing the collected data.
Follow these steps to create the email message:
Select HTML if your users do not have InfoPath installed on their machines.
After you have set up your data collection email, you can go to the Message Options screen to change its settings. To do so, follow these steps:
If you did not set up your email data collection to be processed automatically by Outlook, or if a reply failed to be processed, you can manually process each reply by following these steps:
Since Access 2007, database developers can now automate external data collection via email messages using Outlook. If you have users who need to send out surveys or questionnaires and want to avoid the manual process of collecting feedback, you might consider giving this new feature a try. More importantly this type of integration is actually possible via a web browser and in the cloud with Access hosting’s remote desktop hosting. All you need to do is sign up for an Office Pro plan with MS Access and Outlook to try it free for 30 days.
Have you considered running your Access Database on the web with Sharepoint and Access Services?
Access Services does not support all the data types, relationships, objects, or events that the full Access client provides. If you’ve created a web database from the start, only the supported elements will be shown during the design process. For those who have not created a web database from scratch, it is still possible to get your regular Access database up to the web with Access Services.
Access 2010 includes the “Web Compatibility Checker” tool. This tool checks the web compatibility of the tables in a database as well as web objects. However, the tool does not check any data within the actual tables and does not check linked tables from other data sources.
The goal of this tool is to make sure that the database is “web-legal” and to get you up and running with Access Services in a functional manner.
To run the Web Compatibility Checker tool in Access 2010:
1. Go to FILE > Save & Publish
2. Click “Publish to Access Services”
3. Click “Run Compatibility Checker”
Once you’ve completed this process and fixed any errors, the next step is to get the database up to a Sharepoint server. You can get up and running with a Sharepoint 2010 Enterprise server for as low as $49 per month from AccessHosting.com
As files are deleted over time, the space within your access database file can become fragmented. This will result in your database growing to a much larger file size than it needs to be. Regularly compacting your MS Access Database is a great way to improve the performance of your database and reduce the file size.
**Important** Make sure no other users are currently accessing the database!
You can compact the database you currently have open by clicking File > Compact & Repair Database on the info tab in Backstage view.
To compact the database you currently have open, click Database Tools > Compact & Repair Database
How to compact your database when you close it
You can tell MS Access to compact the database each time you close it.
Open your database > Click the FILE tab > Click OPTIONS > Select the Current Database category > Select the Compact On Close checkbox under Application Options.
Note: If multiple users are sharing the same database, Access compacts the database when the last user closes it.
Switching to a MS Access Database can be a great improvement to the workflow of your business. Whether your converting data from dozens of spreadsheets, trying to speed up reporting for that large Excel workbook, or looking for a database that multiple users can collaborate on remotely, MS Access can be the cloud-ready solution that you are looking for.
It’s easy! – Getting up and running with an Access database doesn’t require hours of training or hiring a database administrator. Users familiar with the Office Suite will find it quite easy to get started using a database along with tips and tutorials from the web.
Sharing Data – Only one person edit effectively edit data in an Excel spreadsheet at a time. If you share a spreadsheet with many people, editing the information across many sources can cause issues for the workflow. Microsoft Access locks the row of a table being edited by one person so that no conflicting changes can be made by another user, while still permitting many other users to access or update the remaining rows in of the database table.
Data Control – Typically, different users will need to edit and update information in the database. MS Access allows for options to control this data to ensure consistency.
Affordable – Traditional client-server databases can be quite expensive. Hardware, software, and development costs can be quite high for most applications. Being a desktop application, each user must either have a copy of the software or purchase access to their database hosted on a remote cloud service.
Flexibility – It is very easy to create, design, and implement functionality to your database. MS Access allows you to make changes to elements of your database without conflict.
Cloud Ready – MS Access 2010 and newer works great in the cloud environment. If you need to share your database and collaborate with others either locally or across the globe, you can run the database on a remote computer with relative ease. For more information on running your database in the cloud, check out the plans at http://www.AccessHosting.com
Running your Access application on the Kindle Fire can be accomplished in just a few simple steps.
Here’s what to do:
1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop APK and move it over to the Kindle Fire via USB or emailing it to yourself. Note that this is a zip file and you will need to unzip it before moving it over.
2. Change your default Android Kindle settings to allow This is known as “sideloading” your application into Android. You may need to setup the Kindle to accept unknown applicaitons first by doing this:
Click your settings tab
Navigate to Applications
and allow applications to be installed from unknown sources (set to On)
3. Install the Microsoft Remote Desktop application to your Kindle. You can do this by navigating to your Downloads folder (if you emailed it to yourself) or the folder that you placed it in via your USB connection. We’ve found the free ES File Explorer app to be incredible helpful way to browse your Kindle’s Harddrive.
3. Pin the newly installed Microsoft Remote Desktop application to your home screen
4. Configure the Remote Desktop Connection. If you are using our Remote Desktop Hosting Service this information will be provided via email.
5. Connect the Remote Desktop and run your Access application. Our Remote Desktop Hosting Service is available for Access 2007/2010/2013 and the Access 2010/2013 Runtime
This new version of the Remote Desktop client supports all of the Kindle gestures and features easy to navigate keyboard and mouse touch screen equivalents. Your users will find that the Access .mdb and .accdb applications they know and love work just fine on the Android Kindle Fire Tablet.
Microsoft has released a Remote Desktop application for Windows 8.1 users here. This is a significant improvement over the traditional RDP or RDC client and offers some unique features. In addition to improved performance and reliability this updated app includes:
For devices that do not have a physical keyboard attached, the Remote Desktop app now provides an easy way to bring up the touch keyboard from the command bar. Simply swipe from the top or bottom edge of the screen and tap on the Keyboard icon.
Dynamic Resolution Update
Another improvement available in Windows 8.1 allows the Remote Desktop app to dynamically update the resolution of the remote system when the local resolution or size of the app changes to provide the best experience.
There are multiple ways you can see this in action. First, if you have a tablet device that supports rotation (like the Microsoft Surface 2), you can rotate the device with a live connection to a remote PC and see the resolution in the remote session automatically update to reflect the change in orientation without the need for a full reconnection. Depending on your connection speed, the rotation can be as fast as the local resolution.
This new version is fully compatible with our Remote Desktop Hosting solutions for MS Access.
We are happy to announce the availability of low-cost SharePoint foundation hosting plans. These plans start at only $99 a year and while they do not have the publishing features of Access Web Services, these SharePoint 2013 plans are still great for Access Developers. You can use SharePoint Lists as you backend and easily have anonymous website users add information and input data using SharePoint’s list functionaliy without having to pay per user enterpise license fees. Watch the video below to see the type of Access development and features that we’re talking about:
No parlor tricks here – just the Microsoft Remote Desktop App connecting to hosted remote desktops running the last 4 (count em FOUR) major releases of MS Access. This allows most applications to run unmodified in the cloud using the version of Access they were originally developed in. Take Access anywhere using any device without the hassle and expense of application rewrites.
Problem: I just uploaded my database to remote desktop and when i open it, I get a blank Microsoft Access page
We have received a lot of these support tickets lately for users that have signed up for the RDP starter plan. Remember that the starter plan does not include the full version of Access – but rather the Access Runtime. The Runtime does not have the same feature set as the full version of Access. One of the differences, is that it lacks the left-side navigation to jump between forms making it essential that you set a start-up form in your Access Database BEFORE uploading it to your RDP Starter plan. Developers often create a home navigation form that allows users to jump around within a runtime app but as long as you have set some kind of start-up form, when you upload your database it will not be blank when you open it on the RDP Starter Plan.
How do I set a Startup Form in my Access Database?
Of course, if you would like to use the Full Version of Access – you can sign up for a Free Trial of our Access Pro plan here.
An important feature of our remote desktop hosting service is the ability to upsize an Access database to SQL Server 2012 with the SQL Server Migration Assistant (free download link below)
Here is a video of the Migration Assistant in action:
Download the Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access Databases
By combining a remote desktop Access frontend with a SQL Server on the same high speed switching fabric you get the best of both worlds: A secure, scalable database application combined with the ease of Microsoft Access on any device.
Here is a video overview of the Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant in action.
Your Remote instance of Access can now be paired with SQL Server over our high speed network switching fabric, eliminating the traditional latency of a web based SQL backed.
In many cases the migration assistant can be used effectively without outside assistance – but if you require a helping hand we can recommend qualified Access and SQL Server experts that can assist for a reasonable one time fee.
USE AN ACCESS 2013 APP IF …
USE AN ACCESS REMOTE DESKTOP DATABASE IF …
Breaking News: You no longer need to purchase third party software to connect your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices to our Remote Desktop Hosting Service . You can now run the Access Runtime (2010 or 2013), Access 2007, Access 2010 (32 and 64 bit) and Access 2013 (32 and 64 bit) on all these devices with a FREE app. Wow.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.rdc.android – Remote Desktop for Android download
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id714464092 – Remote Desktop for iOS download
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop/id715768417 – Remote Desktop for OS X download
Remote Desktop Hosting Information and Free Trial Offer: http://accesshosting.com/remote-desktop-hosting
If your device is not supported for any reason (Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and the Silk Browser come to mind) you can still run these apps inside any HTML5 browser using our Power RDP solution http://accesshosting.com/power-rdp-run-native-access-applications-browser
It looks like the era of Access Anywhere has arrived. And it is the REAL Access you know and love – not the Access Web stuff that requires rewriting your existing applications.
This video illustrates a increasing common scenario in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world. We show a Windows 8.1 desktop and an iOS7 iPad sharing the same Access 2010 database over our PowerRDP solution.
In this video, we demonstrate our remote cloud desktop hosting solution using our Power RDP client. Our virtual desktop hosting easily allows multiple concurrent users to access the same database via any device (Windows, Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc) from a web browser or using an RDP Connection. This is a full windows desktop machine rendered on any device that has the full functionality of Access 2010 in any HTML5 web browser. It will be instantly familiar to any Access Developer and is fully compatible with VBA Code and splitting databases into frontend and backend. You can try out this powerful solution for free for 30 days by signing up for a free web database trial. If you have any additional questions, please use our online chat or our sidebar form.
We recently updated our popular YouTube video that shows Access running inside the Safari and Chrome browsers on the iPad with iOS7. This new and improved solution requires no extra software and allows Access 2007, 2010 and 2013 applications to run without modification.
We are happy to announce that we are once again offering SharePoint 2010 Access Web Database hosting plans. This new plan has a 30 day free trial and is $99/month. It includes 10 users and 2 GB of storage space, unlimited databases, unlimited bandwidth and allows you to combine Web Forms and Web Reports with your existing clientside Access DB functionality for a true powerful hybrid application. These SharePoint hosting plans are completely scalable. Additional storage and users can be added to this plan at any time for additional fees. We plan to continue to offer service to Access 2010 web publishing on SharePoint 2010 and 2013 for as long as Microsoft supports and allows us to license this product.