I have created an Access 2003 database for about 20 users over a network. I am currently weighing options as to just have the database on the network or to split it. The one main question I have is how to distribute design changes and possibly table design changes to the end users if I decide to split the database? One of the biggest headaches I have as a developer is having to make sure everyone has their database shut down so I can make changes. I have yet to learn about how to best handle a managing a database over a network for that many users. I have done a lot of work in Access 2.0 which allowed design changes on the fly. In 2003, you have to have exclusive use of the database which I rarely have.
I'm sure entire books or courses are dedicated to just this sort of thing, but I'm just looking for a little direction. And no, this is not a web based database (yet) but I didn't see any place more appropriate to post this.
I guess my question is how do I set things up so making design changes is easiest? Do I have to have everyone shut down their database? Do I have to go to each station and run a setup? Is there a way to just push changes to users remotely? I'm totally lost. The whole point of asking this is my database is about to go live and especially at the beginning I'm going to have to make alterations as issues come up. I don't want to have to make 20 phone calls every time I want to make a change...that's just insane.
I've developed a few 2003 databases but never for this many users. Any suggestions?
p.s. not sure what other info is necessary. It's an Access 2003 database, the environment is Win XP for all users, and it's over a Novell network.