How Do I make an Access Database Multi User

Access is designed to be multi-user so it is actually fairly straightforward to do; but unless you only have a couple of people sharing the database occasionally then there are some simple steps you need to take to share it properly.

Where can I put the database to share it?

In order to make an Access database multi user you need to save it somewhere that all the users have “access” to.

If you have a corporate network with a file server then you could use that.   Your network administrator may need to set appropriate “shares” on the server and ensure folder permissions are set so that the users have read/write permissions.

If you don’t have a file server you could share the database from one users PC.  This may be OK in a small environment but there are plenty of reasons why this isn’t ideal.   The PC needs to be on all the time so that other users can connect.   You could overload the PCs resources if too many people connect at once.   PCs aren’t designed to run critical shared applications so don’t have the resilience or hardware redundancy built in.  If the PCs disk fails you will lose your database and all your hard work unless you have a recent backup.

If you want to run your Access database from outside the office then consider using a hosted remote desktop service, sometimes called virtual desktops or VDI.   These services run in a similar way to the file server mentioned above, but both the file server with the backend database, and the front end that users run, sit on the hosted server and you just connect over the internet to run it.   This type of solution saves the cost of buying, installing and supporting your own file server.

What do you change in an Access Database to make it multi user?

The single most important step is to “split” the database.   When you split an Access database you create two files, a “Front End” and a “Back End”.

The back end contains all the database tables while the front end contains everything else, Forms, Queries, Reports etc.

If you’re running on a network with a file server then the back end can sit on the file server while copies of the front end sit on each user’s PC.   Access handles all the record locking to enable multiple users to share the database.

On a remote desktop server the split files will generally sit on the remote desktop server itself, front-end and back-end.   Users get a shortcut to the front end file on their remote desktop.   The remote desktop server can run in a “Hosted” environment enabling easy access to Access over the Internet.

How Your Office Anywhere can help.

Your Office Anywhere hosts Access databases for customers on the customers dedicated remote desktop servers and have a lot of experience making Access databases multi user.

To find out more call our technical sales consultants on 01282 500318 or contact us.

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