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Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Preparing Your Database

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve decided that the multiuser features in Access are everything you need. However, before your database goes public, you may want to make a few changes. The most important of these is splitting the database—a critical but often overlooked step that gives your shared database extra reliability.

Tip

When you’re sharing your data, it’s essential to use a split database. Sharing an ordinary database can lead to all sorts of odd quirks that will make your database go wonky.

Understanding Split Databases

A split database is a database that has its objects divided into two separate files:

  • The back-end database contains the raw data—in other words, the tables and nothing but.

  • The front-end database contains everything you use to work with the tables. This includes all the other types of database objects, like queries, reports, forms, and macros.

Once you’ve split your database, you place the back-end database in a shared location (like a network drive). However, the front-end database works a little differently. You copy it to every computer that’s going to use the back-end database. Figure 19-1 shows how it works.

Split databases offer several advantages:

  • Performance. When you use a split database, each client has a copy of the objects they need to use—like forms—ready and waiting on their computer. That means you don’t need to retrieve the same information from the shared database, which would take more time (and generate more traffic on ...

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