FMS President Luke Chung was a presenter at the Virtual Microsoft Access DevCon 2020 in Vienna, Austria on April 23, 2020. He gave a presentation called “Remote access to Access“, which is available for everyone to watch.
If you missed the event, you can visit Virtual Access DevCon 2020 to watch all the presentations giving by all of the speakers.
Remote Desktop and RemoteApp let your users run Access applications without having to installing anything on their local machine. That includes Access, the database, and any related programs. It lets users run the program across the network or Internet, from their PC or even a Mac. There are different approaches depending on whether the host is internal or in the cloud, and for backend databases in Access and Microsoft SQL Server.
Special thanks to Microsoft Access MVP Karl Donaubauer, who hosted the fourth annual Access DevCon and made it an online event during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Love the idea of remotely accessing Access dbs. Do you by chance have a case study of how much this type of setup would cost? Even using very round numbers such as 100 users need to access the program remotely would be super helpful.
That’s a hard question to answer without learning more about your environment and application(s). First, would this be deployed on a public platform like Azure or on a server inside your internal network?
To determine the hardware required is not based on the total users but number of simultaneous users and what they do with it. 100 users that only log in once a year vs. every morning is very different. People viewing data or editing a record slowly, is very different from processes that run lots of complicated queries and reports.
Assuming the database is already split, the backend database(s) make a difference. It’s one path if the backend is an Access ACCDB or MDB file. Another set of issues if it’s SQL Server.
For internal environments, the cost would be the cost of the server machine hosting all the remote sessions, Microsoft CALs for the users (may already own these), the software on the server for the application (could use the free Access runtime).
For an external environment like Azure, more about the application would need to be considered, but it’s basically the monthly cost of the VM, disk storage for the VM, bandwidth, hosing for the backend database if it’s SQL Server, licensing costs for any software, and the performance level to purchase. A SQL Azure database is less than $20/month, a decent VM, storage and bandwidth would be a few hundred dollars a month. Hope this helps.
Enjoyed your presentation “remote access to Acess”
Do you know of anyone providing this capability as a service?
I have several applications that would work well in this environment
Glad you liked the presentation. We are not aware of anyone providing this as a service. We’ve considered offering it as a service since we already do so for applications we’ve written and deployed for our clients.
Deploying other people’s applications is more complicated since it’d be more challenging to address problems that arise if we’re not familiar with the solution. That is, if it crashed, was it because of the app or the hosting environment?
So while we could deploy “well behaved” Access applications in the remote environment, it would probably need some custom work to make sure things like security, deployment configuration, and database backups were implemented. Good error handling in the app itself would also be recommended. Interested?