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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    I am making my first attempt at using Access user-level security. I am doing this at home; just in case something goes wrong I won't mess up a database (at work) on the server used by others. After assigning some fake users, PIDs and a few permissions I discovered that everything I did applies to ANY database I open on my computer. Is it SUPPOSED to work this way? What might I have done wrong?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    Information about users and groups is stored in a workgroup information file, with extension .mdw. The default workgroup file is named System.mdw; its location depends on your version of Windows. Under Windows XP it is in Cocuments and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftAccess.

    You can create a new workgroup file, and become member of a different workgroup file through Tools | Security | Workgroup Manager (or something like that.)

    Try the following:
    - Close Access
    - Locate System.mdw
    - Rename it to (for example) Secured.mdw.
    - Start Access.
    - Access will automatically create a new System.mdw and make you member of it.

    You should find that you can open unsecured databases normally now.

    Create a shortcut to open the secured database with the renamed workgroup information file. The target of the shortcut should look like this:

    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice10MSAccess.exe" "C:AccessMyDatabase.mdb" /wrkgrp "Cocuments and Settings<username>Application DataMicrosoftAccessSecured.mdw"

    At work, you would put the secured workgroup file in the same folder as the database, and adapt the target of the shortcut accordingly.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    This worked like a charm at home, thanks. However, when I tried it at work I got different results. (I also found SYSTEM.MDW in two different folders: Cocuments and SettingsMyNameApplication DataMicrosoftAccess AND C:Program FilesCommon FilesSystem. I created a Secured.mdw file in one and copied it to the other. Things worked well at that point.)

    I added some Users, assigned passwords. I copied Secured.mdw to the proper folder on the server. I then created a desktop shortcut with syntax you suggested, replacing it with paths to proper folder on server. Everything working fine at this point although OTHER databases also are using Secured.mdw instead of SYSTEM.MDW. I opened Different.mdb and joined SYSTEM.MDW. Next time I opened Different.mdb it was using SYSTEM.MDW (SYSTEM.MDW operating as usual--none of the Users I had added to Secured.mdw present). Then I tried shortcut with path to Secured.mdw and it opened with SYSTEM.MDW instead. Unlike the results at home, changing one database's workgroup info file seems to apply the change to all other databases.

    Full target statement in icon: MyOrgRootSharedDatabaseMyFolderMyDatabase.mdb /wrkgrp "MyOrgsharedDatabaseMyFolderSecured.mdw"

    What can I try next?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    If you join a workgroup file, this will affect ALL databases you open (unless you specify another workgroup file explicitly. So you should have a standard unmodified System.mdw and join that. I think you have done this.

    The method of using a shortcut to openi a database with a secured workgroup file should work; it is the "standard" way of doing this. See for example Understanding the Role of Workgroup Information Files in Access Security. The target of the shortcut should look like this:

    "C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice10MSAccess.exe" "MyOrgRootSharedDatabaseMyFolderMyDatabase.mdb " /wrkgrp "MyOrgSharedDatabaseMyFolderSecured.mdw"

    Make sure there are no typos in the target.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    That worked, tks. Desired security kicked in when I used icon. However, when I browsed for database I was able to open it without Secured.mdw (i.e., I got System.mdw instead). Since I cannot prevent users from getting to the database in this manner, is there a way to "mandate" that the database open only with Secured.mdw?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    If you can open a "secured" data with the default System.mdw, then the database is not properly secured after all.
    Charlotte

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    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    I recommend downloading the pdf article at http://www.geocities.com/jacksonmacd...sSecurity.html.
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

  8. #8
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    I was about to post the same link the <!profile=WebGenii>WebGenii<!/profile> just put up. In addition, we have a User Security Tutorial that provides a number of links to important user security documents.
    Wendell

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Re: Security for ALL Databases (XP, SP2)

    This pdf file was wonderfully concrete. Just what I needed along with other advice from Lounge.

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