Visual Basic Programmer
Microsoft Access Database Programmer

Custom Built Software 
Sydney, Australia

Using a Microsoft Access database on the Web

Microsoft Access Database on the WebWith many users in diverse locations, the cost of a LAN connection for all can be high. Having the ability to run Microsoft Access from any location is appealing.

With the number of Microsoft Access databases in existence, there is great demand for the Access Databases to be available on the Web.

Microsoft Access was designed to support a small group of users on a LAN, but it was not designed for use on the Web. The Access ODBC driver will have stability issues as it is not thread safe. When multiple concurrent users make requests, unpredictable results occur.

Using Microsoft Access on the Web

Microsoft Access will work on the Web, for a while, if:

  • OLE DB with Unbound Forms is used in place of ODBC with Bound Forms
  • Website traffic is very low
  • The Database size is small
  • The Microsoft Access application is designed using the most efficient database design and VBA coding techniques

The limitations of Microsoft Access simply cannot be overcome. As traffic increases, the system will eventually fail. On a failure it is likely that the database will be corrupted.

A quote from Microsoft on Website usage

Microsoft strongly recommends against using Access in web applications

Other Web Access Issues to consider

  • The Database may to be throttled down to prevent shared Web sites being degraded
  • Bugs in the ODBC database provider are no longer being fixed by Microsoft
  • Access databases have fewer security features than SQL Server databases
  • Microsoft customer support will not help resolve problems in Microsoft Access Web applications

Conversion of Access to SQL Server

Using a SQL Server database for the Back-End database is the optimal solution. For a general discussion on the Upgrade, see Converting an Access Database to Microsoft SQL Server. For a more detailed discussion, see Microsoft Access to Microsoft SQL Server Migration.