A common request that we get from customers is how they can share their database online with others. This is important to many organizations because they want their teams to be able to access their database and work off consistent, accurate and up-to-date information.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can share your database online depending on who your users are, the type of security you need, the work you’re willing to put into development and what you want the end result to be.
We do want to point out that you should not share your database over Google Drive, OneDrive or DropBox. These file sharing sites are great on their own, but they will corrupt your Access database.
The only time we recommend using these services is if you’re the only one working on your database, the database is small and you have good internet access. In this case, you can use something like Google Docs to transfer the database to your home and work. Outside of this, these file sharing services will not work.
Here are the four best ways to share an Access database online.
Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based, collaborative platform that works with Microsoft Office. It’s great for small teams and trusted users that are already using SharePoint.
Split your database, migrate your tables to SharePoint lists and continue to use the front-end of your database locally. There is a moderate amount of work involved in this, and you may have to make modifications to your front-end.
Another way to share your database is with SQL Server. To do this, you’ll need to split your database, upload your tables to the server and continue to work with your front-end Access file.
The benefit to SQL Server is that you can have a lot of people accessing your database at one time while keeping information secure. It’s a great solution for large organizations, as well as organizations that want a public facing database.
However, this solution requires a significant amount of time to set up and a steep learning curve. You’ll either need to learn this on your own, or pay to have a custom database made.
3. Remote Desktop
This option is not as popular because you have to leave your computer running 24 hours a day. But, it could work if you only need to access your database at specific times of the week, month or year.
The remote desktop option allows you to use your Access database online by logging onto your computer remotely. The database cannot be shared – only one person can work at a time. Due to this, a remote desktop is best for a single-user, remote situation.
4. Access Database Cloud
To allow anyone in your organization to access your database simultaneously from remote locations, we recommend Microsoft Azure. This shared solution lets any number of users access your information from anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection, you can share your database.
Furthermore, the Azure cloud database requires zero migration and almost no setup time. You will have to pay per user, but it’s still an affordable solution. Keep in mind that you’re getting a fully managed server with little to no setup time or learning curve.
Are you ready to share your database online? Contact Arkware for a consultation. We’ll be happy to go over your options and which one is the best for your business needs.