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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    I have a database accessed by many users. Unfortunately, due to our setup, setting the database as a front end / back end on a Client Server is not possible (too slow for anyone in branch offices). An intranet is no longer available either. Due to the circumstances, the updated database is copied to a network drive that all users have access to and the users copy the database to their local drive to use it. (Not terribly efficient, but it works.)

    Here is the problem. I have secured the database (which worked very well), however, the Workgroup Information File on each computer accessing the database must be updated to join with the new Workgroup Information File created with the secured database.

    Is there a quick and easy way to update the Workgroup Information File on each computer via code, application, or a better way to distribute this file so it works on each computer?
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Do you *really* need to track individual users of your database, or would it be sufficient to control permissions for a single user? From your description of the manual-copying method, it sounds like you may not need to be as detailed as single-uers. If you correctly configure the permissions for the Admin user, then there is no need for a specialized workgroup file at all. Every copy of Access always generates the same Admin user regardless of the workgroup file that is currently in effect.

    Of course, you would retain a "developer" user so you could modify the database as required.

    Otherwise, perhaps you could distribute your workgroup file via email?
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    If you distribute the application from a setup (either using the PDW or a third party installer), you can include the workgroup file as part of the setup. If you create a shortcut on the desktop (this is where a third party installer works *much* better than the PDW), you can have it point at both the application and, through a command line argument, at the workgroup file. Since they don't actually join the workgroup, they would be able to open other Access databases without being pestered for a login. You would have to remember to point the shortcut at the Access executable as well, since command line arguments only work if the executable is included in the command line.
    Charlotte

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    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    ... As this database is being distributed to our client outside of the company as well as internal users, the requirements indicate a password for the Client and internal users. I really don't need to track individual users, however, need to limit what the Client and others can see and do.

    So, what you are saying, I could modify the admin permissions and let everyone enter the db as admin to limit what they can do. However, I would then need to set a top level password to the database. Would I still run into the same problem with the workgroup information file???
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    You also would have to remove the admin user from the admins group to prevent their changing the security settings themselves. A database password doesn't live in the workgroup file.

    The problem you would have with this approach is that it doesn't give you any password-based way to open the database yourself as anything but the admin user. To make changes, you would be forced to maintain a copy with different security settings and then remember to tweak the admin user's security before distributing it.
    Charlotte

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    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Thanks for the input. Upon further internal review, the passwords are required to enter the database since some data is sensitive and we would want to limit those getting into the db. Of course, I can't help if others distribute the user id and password.... so I am back to square one.

    The database has a total of three user id's and passwords. One for the Client, one for the company, and one for the developer. User Admins has already been changed to the user group which can't do anything.

    Thus, I will need the Workgroup administrator file. During testing yesterday, I installed the database on a different computer and had to run WRKGADM to get the passwords to run. Can you code the DB to run the WRKGADM on database startup to get the passwords to work?
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Charlotte:

    While this approach may not be appropriate for Gary's situation, isn't the following scheme workable?

    Create a secured workgroup file on the developer's computer
    Join the workgroup (either permanently, or via shortcut) and create a "developer" user.
    Apply a password to the Admin user in this workgroup to suppress the the "silent Admin login".
    Remove Admin from the Admins group.
    Do all the development as "developer".
    Control the permissions for the Admin user as appropriate, while retaining full permissions as "developer" (actually, "developer" is the db owner, so no explicit permissions are required)
    Distribute the mdb file
    Instruct users to use their default workgroup file.

    If I am not mistaken, this allows *any* user to open the mdb file and use it with the permissions that developer has explicitly assigned to the Admin user. The users need never be aware of permissions, nor would they have to use passwords because they silently log onto the default workgroup as Admin.

    OTOH, the developer simply joins the "development" workgroup to make programming changes. I keep shortcuts -- complete with passwords -- on my network home folder for the express purpose of joining various workgroups. I can join any workgroup as "developer" and never have to worry about supplying a password.

    Of course, this approach will allow *anybody* with a retail copy of Access to open the database with all the permissions that the developer has assigned to Admin. This may or may not be acceptable in various situations.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    To access the database with your mdw file without joining permanently to it, use a shortcut on the desktop. In the Target you have to fill in the path to MsAccess, your mdb and the switch /wrkgrp and the path to your system.mdw file.
    Sample
    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOfficeMSACCESS.EXE" "C:My DocumentsMydb.mdb" /wrkgrp "C:My DocumentsMySystem.mdw"
    Note that the quotes are only needed if the path contains spaces.
    Francois

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    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Thanks Francois,

    I will give this a try. It may be just what I am looking for.

    Thanks to everyone else for your input and help.
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    I cant check from home but is it posible to use the ordinary password to additionaly secure a db that has user security set?

    Was just thinking that if you can combine the two then that would meet requiment for password security whilst using standard workgroup file.


    Peter

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Database passwords and Access security are two different things. It's entirely possible to have both.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Charlotte, if you don't mind, I would like to jump in with a related question. I just finished securing a database for our Health Services department. They want the db on the local hard drive with sharing enabled. Now currently, if we open the db from the shortcut, it runs Access security as you would expect. If we go to Windows Explorer, you can open the db directly from there, bypassing all the security. Have I missed something in the process. Any thoughts?
    Thanks
    Paul

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    One possibility would be that you forgot to remove the user Admin. Look out, there must be another user in the Admins Group with the full permissions to maintain the database. Generally this is the owner of the database.
    Francois

  14. #14
    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    Ok, so now that the database is secure, how could you prevent someone from using the workgroup administrator and bypassing the security to get full access to the database.

    If an additional password is set to access VB, can this be easily bypassed?
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Workgroup Information File (A2K SR1)

    To open an secured access database, you need the mdw file that was used when the database was created.
    Users and groups are created in the database and not in the Workgroup Admin.
    Workgoup Admin let you create new mdw files but these new files will not allow you to open existing databases.
    Francois

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