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.

Hmm, nothing??

What about distributing the changes at night?

How about using a network server for one shared file?

You really need to split the database and have each user have a copy of the frontend on their machine. See here for more about that:

Also, if you don't want to have to worry about distributing the frontend to each user each time you make a change to the frontend, if you use my Frontend Auto Update Enabling tool, it will enable you to do auto updates of your frontends. Yes, the first distribution you will need to get it to people somehow and that is in your court. But, if you have enabled auto updating, then you can just go into your master file on the network, make your changes, change the version number in two tables (one in the frontend and one in the frontend that is linked to the backend), then when your users open their frontend and the version numbers don't match it will tell them that their frontend is out-of-date and it will close, delete the old file, copy the new file, and then reopen for them automatically.

I had to create this for a big healthcare provider I worked for which originally had over 100 users using a single mdb frontend on the server and they wondered why it crashed each week, or several times each week. So, once we implemented this and moved to frontends on each user's machine, they never had a corruption issue again as long as I was there.

That is available here:

Yep, thanks Bob. You already helped clear it up for me on another board. I should have posted that here.

Those work great, by the way. Great solution.

Oh, I didn't notice it was yours :)

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