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  1. #1
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    multi user problems (97 SR2)

    I recently posted a query on the Home Networking page asking advice on whether to implement a peer-peer or client server network for up to 16 PCs. One of the requirements is to provide shared access (mainly read only with just one user having an update capability) to an Access database. Replies to my post expressed concern about Access' capability at handling multiple users and referred me to this page. Questions are:
    1. Does Access work reliably in multi-user mode?
    2. Is it better to run the database on a dedicated Win 2000 server rather than on a Win 98 or XP shared client machine?

    George Coulthard UK

  2. #2
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    Re: multi user problems (97 SR2)

    1. Access does have full multi user capability although there are limits. For anything which is used by more than a handful of users I've used a proper RDBMS platform such as MSSQL or Sybase. Perhaps someone who has had more experience of multi user Access is better qualified to tell you more about the limitations present.
    2. As far as 'running' the Access database goes, it makes no difference where it is held. You have to remember that an Access DB is not a server application. It is just a file which is opened by the client, and processing is done on the client machine which is being used to open the DB.

    Hope this helps,

  3. #3
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    Re: multi user problems (97 SR2)

    Don't try to do this on peer-to-peer. Access uses hard-coded paths internally, and the mappings will vary between machines if one of them acts as both client and server machine. Trust me on this one, because I learned it at the hands of an amateur developer years ago.

    Your best setup is to put the back end on a server machines and copies of the front end on each individual client machine. Access is inherently multi-user, but performance depends on the number of simultaneous uses and how well you design the database with multiuser access in mind.
    Charlotte

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    Re: multi user problems (97 SR2)

    I agree with what's been said so far, but don't count Access out for your situation. If you had 8 or 10 users doing data entry all day long, I would be quite concerned. However with a dozen or so read-only users, unless your data is really complex, I think Access should handle it comfortably as long as you have a dedicated machine to host the back-end. We've actually run server based apps where both the front-end and back-end databases were on the server for about 10 users successfully, though we were running a 100-mbit LAN and high-end servers. On the other hand, don't try to upgrade to Access2K and the MSDE. It runs out of gas more quickly than Jet when you factor in more than 2 or 3 users. Hope this helps.
    Wendell

  5. #5
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    Re: multi user problems (97 SR2)

    Thanks everybody. It is a very simple database. Looks like we are heading towards a client server solution with Win 2000 server.

    George UK

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    Re: multi user problems (97 SR2)

    That's probably the best solution, and if you want to do some more intense database work, you could try getting SQL Server 2000 for the box. It's a proper RDBMS and an excellent product.

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