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Hello -

I'm looking for advice on the best way (or possible ways) to set up a project for work. I have access to our companies internal web server (for employees), and a MS access database that all users have access to, located on a shared network drive.

I need to create a webpage that gets data from the database and can display it, with the ability to sort it, etc. Because of the strict environment, I think that server-side scripting is out (not available on the webserver). I've tried PHP, ASP, ASP.NET and none of those work. I believe I can use client-side tools, JS or VBScript, etc.

Ideally, the pages would connect to the database, but if I have to, I can export information from Access to a file (XML?) and then read that file in through my available methods. I think that would be a last resort though, because the information is updated frequently throughout the day.

I'm not an expert at any of these languages/scripts, but I have used them all to some small degree so nothing is off the table. I can learn it pretty quickly. I'm more looking for advice on how I should construct this rather than specific code examples or anything.

Thanks in advance.

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Last Post by JorgeM
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You may want to rethink this or make a business case to you organziation. If there are strict policies in this organization, are you sure they are going to let you export data from this DB into an unmanaged XML file? Even if they do, you would have to build a process to routinely export the data into the format of your choice, then read it from some type of scripting. I do not beleive that JavaScript will be useful for this either.

It really would make most sense if you can secure this solution by running on a web server for client application that communicates with the backend database. In this type of solution, you can secure access to the data by only allowing either the front end application to access and impersonate the user (and just require the user to authenticate to the app), or design it so that user credentials are managed by the DB (not with access, but could be done with a full dB solution such as MS SQL).

I dont think you'll be able to develop this using client side tools such as JavaScript or VBScript, unless I am missing something here.

I will think about this some more and if I can come up with some other alternatives, i'll post them.

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One other note - I own the Access DB, so yes, I can export data from it or whatever else is needed. I just can't connect to it from the web, or at least if I can I don't know how.

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Well, then it sounds like you still have an organizational policy in your way. If you are unable to access the DB from a web page, then I think this project is going to be very challenging for you. If it is just a matter of not knowing how, that can be easily resolved. There is a ton of information online, code snippets, tutorials, etc.. that can get you connected from a web page to a DB such as Access in just a few minutes with not very much coding.

If you are allowed to use the web server, I would investigate if the web admin is willing to enable a server side scripting language. My preference is asp.net, but PHP is extremely popular and there is alot of support on the net for PHP. If it sounds like I am trying to sway you towards the web/DB solution, it is because I am. I think anything else you come up with will require server side scripting as part of the solution and if you have to go that route, the hard part is done. Connecting to the DB is easy.

If you decide to proceed, your first step is to find out which server side scripting language to use (PHP, ASP.NET, ASP, etc...). Then we can go from there.

Otherwise, hang in there, maybe someone else will chime in with some suggestions related to your question about an XML extract.

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Yeah, I would love to be able to use PHP or similar but I just don't see it happening. At least not for a while. I was able to make some limited progress, though.

http://www.accessdb.org/ is a javascript interface library that can connect to and query ms access. It only works for "local" files, but I was able to put the db on the shared network and query it from my intranet. The problem is all the IE security messages that pop up. I can change my settings to eliminate them, but doing that for all of my 200 users is another story. I may write a script that edits the 2 registry values if a user would prefer that over always having to click 'ok', etc.

The XML piece doesn't seem as feasible because access doesn't support a link to an xml file, it can only import/export it. But I might look at some of the other options like text files that access can link to, and then parse that in the browser.

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So, yes I agree that you may be able to come up with a solution for a single user, but I do not know of any solutions that you can implement to access a datasource without something on the web server handling that connection.

I guess if you can configure the browsers across the board and ensure that they have access to the shared resource, you may be able to use that solution. I think you'll need some further testing.

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