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  1. #1
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    Remote access to Access DB

    I need suggestions for the best/cheapest secure way for a couple of users to remotely use an Access database. These are actually several customers of a company (my customer) that want to be able to see their Access data on the host server. This is a new customer and I have very limited info on their environment. I will be onsite there next week to see what's what.

    Anyway, I have some ideas in mind, but I want to see what you guys say.

    I was thinking one way would be to have a cheap XP box host remote desktop connections, but you can only have one at a time that way. That would have been nice as it would not require the users to have Access (a particular version and all that).

    We are also setting up VPN for them anyway for other uses, so solutions that require VPN are do-able. At this point I think that's maybe the way to go. Just have them VPN and then login to the server with limited access to only see what they need to see.

    Also open to a web based front-end for MS Access if there is such a thing (likely is). Would be best if it was able to have different users see different databases.

    Any other suggestions are appreciated though.

    EDIT: I know about Terminal Services, but that seems a bit expensive for just a couple of users (2-6).
    Last edited by Spartacus; 08-20-2005 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Joined
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    383

    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Kind of funny, I have the exact same situation. I considered te exact same things you have. So what have you came up with as a solution??
    Asus A7N8X 2.0 bios 1005
    Athlon 1700+ w thermalright SLK800U w Artic silver 3
    512 corsair twinx PC2700
    80 gig WD 7200 SE
    ATI Radeon 9500 pro 128
    Pixelview Play TV PVR
    Antec true power 430
    Buslink 52X24X52
    Toshiba 16xDVD
    Win XP Pro SP1

  3. #3
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    5,051

    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    I wouldn't go the VPN route as that allows access to more then the Database.

    If they want access to the Database information you'd be better off using a Web based solution to act as a front end to the database.

    You can use something along the lines of PHP or VB to do this. ( There are other solutions but the 2 mentioned tend to be more popular.)

    You might want to post under our Web/Programing section for more suggestions.

  4. #4
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Thanks Bryan.

    They are running Terminal Services already (got more info on them) on their Win2k server.

    So can't I have the users VPN to get a secure connection and then TS to the inside IP of the server? Well, I know I can.... but, what do you see as the drawback with something like that? I know I'd have to lock down what the user can do.

    Snicker, not sure what I'm going to do yet. I just finished going through the server and fixing a bunch of stuff. Screwed up DNS, hosed install of Symantec Mail Security (causing service hangs), lots of good stuff. Server is running MUCH better now. Now I'll have to start looking at the additional projects they wanted, the Access thing one of them.

    The last IT guys set them up with a nice little firewall appliance, but then they went and left the thing wide open. I can ping mail.domain.com and then turn around and RDP that IP and get the servers login prompt. No protection whatsoever.

  5. #5
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    We need to be clear on what we're dealing with.

    Are these remote employees of the company or Customers of the company?

    If your dealing with customers, is the Database being hosted by the company for them or is this the Companies database?

  6. #6
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    They want to be able to do both really, customers and employees.

    If I can find a way to reliably lock down (policy?) a TS session for a customer so that all they can do is look at their db or logoff, that's what I want.

  7. #7
    Joined
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Byan,

    I swear you are taking my job . I took over an admin (part time) for a small company. I had to do some of the same things as you. Although I had to:
    1. Get them to move from a workgroup situation to a domain (still in the process). They had already purchase some old compaq scsi server, so I pieced together a workable solution, installed server 2003 standard (a couple times because I screwed up dns.
    2. I am still getting averything to the domain but most computers are using the dns and dhcp . Because they bought an older scsi server, I am having to come up with a disk space solution ( I could only get around 90 gig of raid 5 storage). So only very critical info is going on the server.
    3. I am part time and they have issues with backup. So I am creating 2 different lan disks (external storage) using 2 of these:
    http://www.censuspc.com/product.php?productid=2725
    and 2 300 gig hard drives. Then I am using a software called viceversa to mirror the files. Now I have talked with them about backing up regular but they don't listen to well. Then they had an important HD go bad, then the owner got paranoid and want me to setup backups to all these different computers etc, well I was like this is way to confusing . So I came up with this, what do you think??? This will give them decent storage and I can mirror the data across different buildings. Anyway
    4. I am still working on the access to the access db myself for this company among the other projects they want to tackle (barcode scanning etc.) all with a parttime IT .
    5. On top of all this, when I got here I found that the company likes to buy refurb emachines with xp home from tigerdirect . These pieces of junk sure do keep me busy, considering they are modern. I guess what hey saved by buying these, they pay me to solve the issues they create.

    Keep me updated maybe we can help each other. I am still working on getting them to ue a nice external firwall appliance. Right now they just use a Dlink DI604 and the built in firewall .

    Bill
    Asus A7N8X 2.0 bios 1005
    Athlon 1700+ w thermalright SLK800U w Artic silver 3
    512 corsair twinx PC2700
    80 gig WD 7200 SE
    ATI Radeon 9500 pro 128
    Pixelview Play TV PVR
    Antec true power 430
    Buslink 52X24X52
    Toshiba 16xDVD
    Win XP Pro SP1

  8. #8
    Joined
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Wow, snicker, you sure have your hands full.

    >>refurb emachines with xp home from tigerdirect

    Yikes!

    >>Dlink DI604

    Double yikes!!

    I had a DI604 and found it unsuitable for my home network. Try to do anything more with it than just a very basic router, and it runs out of memory. I had a few entries in it and the entries started wrapping around on top of each other.

    I'd say you have even more challenges getting that place in working order than I do with the one I've got.

    Best of luck, and yes of course we can share info.

  9. #9
    Joined
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Do any of the customers require access to change the Database? ( Not just add data but actually change the database.)

    Dito for the employees.

  10. #10
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Yep.

    That was one of the first things I asked. Customers will need read/write access as well as the employees. One thing that may help simplify this is that I think each customer has their own database (have to double-check that with the customer). So it should be pretty easy to limit their access to their own data if that's the case.

  11. #11
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    So everything is run from the same host server?

  12. #12
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    Yep, all from a 2000 Server/2000 Exchange box. At some point the darn thing is going to start bogging down. Good that they really don't have many users. I was able to fix all of the problems the box had and it is running much better now. Symantec Mail Security was hanging some services before, lots of DNS issues, etc.

    The Access db is seperate for each customer I confirmed today.

    I think this will be easier than what I was imagining, but I'd still like your feedback.

  13. #13
    Joined
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    Re: Remote access to Access DB

    With the need for remote access and running from a fully loaded server, its even more important to use a web front end instead of direct access.

    Do you have access to another computer thats not being used for anything else?

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