Mercer Consulting, a global provider of human resources services, chose FMS to enhance an existing application for deployment to their multinational clients. See how they leveraged our commercial software development experience to create a professional quality solution with many enhancements including language localization:
“Although we had ambitious goals and increased the scope mid-stream, this was still one of the smoothest software development projects I’ve seen. FMS’s requirements gathering was flexible and efficient, with helpful quick prototyping to facilitate our decision making. The technical development work was always fast, creative but focused, and thoroughly tested….And project management was a breeze, with thorough monthly tracking and the project coming in ahead of schedule and under budget.”
We are very pleased to announce the creation of our new (and free) Microsoft Access Developer Help Center. It contains our many popular papers with tips and techniques for becoming a better Microsoft Access developer, programmer, and administrator. It covers the whole life cycle from strategic planning of how MS Access fits, database and table design, form and report tips, programming do's and don'ts, deployment, best practices, performance tips, etc.
Since our beginning in 1986, we’ve served large organizations with our leading-edge solutions designed to help people make better data-based decisions. Whether it’s on PC desktops, networks, the Internet, and more recently mobile devices, we recognize you need to have the data you need, where and when you need it, in a format that helps you make decisions and avoid mistakes. We also understand the challenges of balancing application functionality with the cost and requirements of regulators, auditors, and enterprise IT.
Our general philosophy is to quickly create sophisticated solutions built on a solid database foundation. Designed to scale and expand, our solutions evolve as your business demands it. Sometimes we can anticipate future needs in our design, but more often, the application evolves based on unforeseen events such as changes in the economy, regulations, new products and customers, or competitive pressure. With our staff of experienced developers, we can quickly adapt our solutions to meet your needs. Rapid development and deployment, fail quickly and cheaply, and water and nurture the seeds that grow and justify additional investment.
We understand the needs of large organizations and deliver the quality you demand. FMS products are used by tens of thousands of customers in over 100 countries including 90 of the Fortune 100.
What’s the Maximum Number of Microsoft Access Users?
There is a persistent myth that Microsoft Access Jet databases can only support 20 or so users. Here’s my response to a recent inquiry:
I flatly refute any suggestions that Microsoft Access users are limited to around 30. We’ve run many tests and have never seen that kind of degradation in performance. It is a myth from Access 2.0 days that was eliminated with Access 97 almost two decades ago.
A poorly designed Access database won’t support two users, but a well designed Access solution can support hundreds of users. Of course, what matters is the number of simultaneous users, and what they’re doing.
At Least 200 Simultaneous Microsoft Access Users on an Access/Jet Database
If everyone is just viewing data or entering data into a table, that takes very little work and a large number of people (well over 200) can be supported. People cannot type faster than what Access can handle. If users are all running massive reports and queries with data updates, that can still be done but performance would be an issue which applies to any technology, so testing and optimization would be necessary.
Migrate Back-End Access Database to Microsoft SQL Server for More Users
If the back-end database is in SQL Server rather than an Access/Jet database, the number of users can be practically unlimited if each user has their own front-end copy of the Access application. Performance issues still apply based on what they are doing. In some cases SQL Server is slower than Access, so it is important to understand the situation before thinking SQL Server is the answer.
All that said, any Access application that is distributed to others with shared data should be a split database design. Here are a few resources we’ve written:
Simplify Support for All the Users of Your Access Databases
Total Access Startup helps with the distribution of databases to each user’s desktop, and launching it with the right version of Microsoft Access.
This allows you to centrally support a large number of Access users across your network and ensure everyone is using the latest version of your application. It also simplifies the migration from one version of Access to another.
One of the features of Microsoft Windows Server that is increasingly popular over the last few years is the Terminal Server and more recently RemoteApp. With few exceptions, most Windows applications work within a Terminal Server environment. By doing so, your investment in existing applications, and the power of Windows desktop features and interoperability, can be exposed over the Internet.
This is particularly powerful for database applications such as Microsoft Access since it eliminates the need to send large amounts of data over the Internet for Access to process and users do not need to install Access on their machine. With RemoteApp, you can set up a terminal server experience where your users can only run your application without running other applications or browsing your network. Easily web enable all your desktop applications.
FMS President Luke Chung will be attending and speaking at the three day Microsoft Access conference sponsored by the Portland Oregon Access User Group. Join him and other guest speakers including Alison Balter from InfoTech Services Group Inc., Armen Stein from J Street Technology, and Kevin Bell from Microsoft.
Luke will be speaking on the following topics:
FMS Products for Microsoft Access Developers and How they Make You Money
File server databases like Access/JET MDB and ACCDB files need to be periodically compacted and repaired for optimal performance and to minimize database corruption. This also eliminates database bloat that can occur as data is added and deleted in the database.
If you create or take over a Microsoft Access application from someone else, you become responsible for the data in addition to the application and its queries, forms, reports, macros, and module code. Unanticipated disasters can occur, so it’s important to prepare before they happen. The amount of effort and investment to spend for disaster recovery varies with the value of the application, but some basics apply to all applications.
A Disaster Recovery Plan is much more than making backups of your database. And if your backups are on the same machine and/or hard disk as your production database, that doesn’t qualify.
We at FMS are very excited about cloud computing and started developing solutions using Microsoft Azure including SQL Azure well before it was released to the general public. We feel cloud computing represents the next big platform change in the software industry and the most significant transformation since the introduction of the Internet in the mid-1990’s. It will transform the internal hardware, application hosting, and data storage business the same way electric companies eliminated most organization’s need to generate their own electricity.
While there’s been lots of discussions of Azure with .NET and SQL Server, we also see lots of opportunities with Azure and the Microsoft Access/Excel/Office community. In fact, we’re busily working on a way to integrate Access data and files with the cloud. Meanwhile, we’d like to share some tips and techniques for linking Access databases directly to tables in SQL Azure. This opens up huge new opportunities to create and deploy Access databases using a more robust, cheaper, and highly scalable platform that is enterprise quality.
I look forward to your feedback on two new papers: