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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    I just inherited a split database. Interesting enough the front end and back end both reside in the same folder on a network (go figure?) rather then putting the front end on individual users machines. Users like this configuration and do not want the front ends on their machines. (again -I dont understand)

    There is no security on the database other then controlling network access to the folders. Multiple users access the database via the same front end on the network.

    Users have recently informed me that if more then one person is accessing the database, data being input does not always write to the tables. (For example, someone may have a form open in design form or in VB mode.) To fix this, they have requested that I fix the database such that if one person is using the database, no others can access it. (Again, whats the point of the front end / back end) ... sort of like opening exclusively. I tried setting the default on both the front end and back end to open exclusively but is doesn't work.

    I can think of some ways of doing this such as after a user accesses the database, fix the forms so they do not work until the users exits, however, was wondering if anyone had any easy ideas on how to do this. Of course I will turn of the shift bypass and menu's as some users are savy enough to get around a locked form.

    Any ideas?

    PS - Why doesn't setting the FE and BE to open exclusively work such that multiple people can access the database even with these defaults enabled?
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

  2. #2
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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    Sure seems a harebrained setup... In the end, giving everyone a local copy of the frontend, and applying user-level security is probably the only really effective way of avoiding problems.

    The default open mode is a user-level setting, not a database-level setting, so your setting it to Exclusive doesn't have any effect on other users.

    You could provide a shortcut that opens the frontend database with the /excl switch, but of course, users could still open the database directly.

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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    Why not combine the FE and BE, then secure it? Force them to take the front end, explain it to them like it's a shortcut. I bet they'll warm up to the idea, that should help with their errors that another user has edited the record. Also - are any records opened through code? If so, I'd check the code to make sure the recordsets are closed when the code ends.

    A side question; if they're modifying forms and changing VB, shouldn't they understand that they should work on a copy (preferrably THEIR OWN front end) so if the muck things up too badly, they have something to go back to?
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What's more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for the ideas. I thought of your suggestion of combining the FE and BE as well but have to take small steps here. I just started looking at the database and it is fairly simple, no records being input or modified via code but directly through forms and subforms. Lots of forms, reports, and queries. The person in charge is creating problems "tinkering" with the live database (forms in design mode and very simple VB code) while others are using it. ... and no, they don't understand that they should be working in a copy even though I have told them. It will probably take a large DB crash to convince them.

    The other problem is that I am only "assisting" them and do not have control of the DB so I am not sure what changes I can make (Yet).

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    My quick fix was on database startup, to open an additional dummy form in design mode, hidden, to essentially lock the database. The form is closed upon closing the startup form. It's not pretty, but it works. This at least prevents changes to the active front end while in use if others try to use it. It also makes having a FE / BE silly since only one person can use it in their current configuration. <img src=/S/dizzy.gif border=0 alt=dizzy width=15 height=15> .... every day here is a new adventure. LOL
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    <img src=/S/rofl.gif border=0 alt=rofl width=15 height=15> They may as well have their own front ends...
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    You might try printing out our Database Splitting Tutorial and giving it to them and see if they understand it. From Access 2000 forward, we always split the DB and put the front-end locally - even if folks are running via Remote Desktop.
    Wendell

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    Silver Lounger GARYPSWANSON's Avatar
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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    Thanks Wendell,

    I am downloading your instructions for review.

    BTW - For those following this, they have agreed to put the front ends on individual machines and creating a replica to test against as well as use a DBA to maintain the application. (Progress - <img src=/S/fanfare.gif border=0 alt=fanfare width=31 height=23> )
    Regards,

    Gary
    (It's been a while!)

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    Re: Securing FE / BE Database (A2003 SP2)

    <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23>

    Hooray! Common sense will prevail...
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    Jeremy
    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

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