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How to Install a downloaded Access database

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Note: Many Microsoft Access Database software provided by GI Business Databases Solution automatically create a Trusted Location entry for the folder in which the database is operated (and any linked table’s folder). To avoid the security risk of making your desktop a Trusted Location, GI Business Database software with auto-trust functionality will not operate when the database file is placed directly on the desktop. (See shortcuts below).

How Will I Receive my New Database

GI Business Databases are usually delivered in a zip file containing one or more files. For a standalone databases the zip file will contain a single MS Access Database file (Database Name). If the database operates in a Front-End / Back-end configuration the zip file will contain at least two MS Access Database files (‘Database Name’ and ‘Database NameBE’). The Zip may also contain additional files such as a README.txt file, Database Installation instruction and a database manual.

Getting Started

Before attempting to install or run the database, create a new folder for the database on your computer or local network shared drive. If you intend sharing access to the database between multiple users the folder must be a shared folder. To avoid multi-user database access conflicts that may otherwise occur, ALL database users have FULL CONTROL in the shared folder (permissions: Read, Write, Execute and Delete). (In most instances any folder you create on a common shared drive should be fine, however if you experience User conflict issues ask you Network Administrator to review the folder permissions)

Database Installation

There are various methods for installing a MS Access database. To achieve optimal performance, the best installation method will depend on how the database is intended to be used, the number of users accessing the database, and the computer and/or network environment on which the database operates. For these reasons we do not provide a generic ‘one size fits all’ installation program. Instead provide simple instruction on how to best setup the database to achieve the best option for your computer environment.

How and where you install the database depends on two main factors. Whether the database is in ‘Standalone’ or ‘Front-End / Back-End’ database configuration, and whether the database will be used by a single user on a single PC or shared between multiple users requiring simultaneous access across a network. Before getting started read the ‘README.txt’ file contained in the zip file. It contains information specific to the particular database should assist you during the installation and configuration process..

Single User Database Access

  1. Identify or create a folder on your PC or network which will be the permanent location for the database. The folder MUST not be a replicated folder.
  2. Add the folder to your existing backup regime (if not already)
  3. Extract all files contained in the downloaded zip file to the selected/created folder.
  4. In the folder, locate main database file (Database Name)) and double click the file to start the database. (if you don’t have Microsoft Access Database installed on your PC see ‘Get Ms Access Database Runtime Free’ below)
  5. If necessary create a shortcut to the database that can copy to your desktop and/or share with other database users. (See the README.txt file for further information regarding Shortcuts)

 Multiple User Database Access

There are two options when installing an Access Database you intend sharing between multiple users requiring simultaneous access to the database over a network. Option one does involve a little more work to setup, however it also provides significantly better database performance and virtually eliminates the likelihood of user’s conflicts occurring during the operation of the database. It is the superior installation method and is the recommend options for most user shared MS Access database environments.

Method 1 (Recommend installation method)

  1. Identify or create a folder on your PC or network which will be the permanent location for the database data tables. The folder MUST not be a replicated folder.
  2. Add that folder to your existing backup regime (if you have not already done so)
  3. Extract ONLY the database Back-End file (Database_ NameBE.accdb’) and save it in the selected folder.
  4. On EACH USER’S local computer create a local database folder (i.e. “C:\My Database\”)
  5. Extract the Database Front-End file (‘Database.accde’) along with any other sundry files into this local folder.
  6. If the ‘Readme.txt’ file indicates that the database will creates its own desktop shortcut, then double click the data file Database_Name.accde. If not, then manually create a shortcut to the database file and copy it to your desktop.
  7. Double click the shortcut to the database.
  8. Once the database starts, if prompted select the option to allow the database code to operate.
  9. When prompted for the location of the database tables, use the browser to locate the database tables (back-end) file which you stored on the network. Once you select the file the database will automatically attach the data tables and start the database. The process need only be completed once during the initial installation on each user’s PC.

(See Microsoft Access Database Configuration Options for more information)

Method 2

  1. Create a folder on your PC or network which will be the permanent location for the database. The folder MUST not be a replicated folder.
  2. Add that folder to your existing backup regime (if you have not already done so)
  3. Extract all files in the downloaded zip file into to the folder.
  4. If the ‘Readme.txt’ file indicates that the database will create its own desktop shortcut, then double click the data file Database_Name.accde.
  5. If the readme.txt files indicate manual shortcut creation is required, right click on the file Database_Name.accde and select ‘Create Shortcut’. Copy the shortcut to your desktop.
  6. Double click the shortcut to start the database. if prompted select the option to allow the database code to operate.
  7. Usually the database will automatically detect the database tables (back-end) file and link the databases.
  8. If the database does not auto link the data tables, a Windows browser will open and you will be prompted to locate the database back-end file. Navigate to and select the Database Tables file (‘Database_NameBE’). The database will then link the data tables.
  9. Ask each user to copy the database shortcut that you created at step 6 to their desktop.

Get Microsoft Access Database Runtime Free

If one or more of your user’s have a version of Microsoft Office installed on their computer which does not include the Microsoft Access Database program, then you will need to install a version of Microsoft Access Runtime on their computer if that user intend running the database. Microsoft Access Runtime environment is available and can be downloaded free from Microsoft. We recommend that you install the version of Microsoft Access Database Runtime which matches the user’s current installed version of Microsoft Office. For more information, visit our Websites FAQs page which also includes links to Microsoft’s Access Runtime download pages.

Microsoft Access Database Configurations Options

Standalone Configuration

In a standalone configuration a single Microsoft Access database file includes both the users interface objects (Forms, Reports and Functions) as well as the Database Tables which store the information entered into the database by the end user(s). When a user open a single file database the database delivers not only the data (information) stored in the database but must also make available the of the user objects (forms, reports etc.) used by the end-user to interact with that data. A single file database can be used locally or over network.

This configuration is fine for an Access database which is stored and used locally on the user’s PC as multi user conflict cannot occur with a single user, and there is no network traffic considerations to take into account. However when opening an Access database in a single file (standalone) configuration on a network, the data and all of the user interface objects are now delivered across over the network to the user’s PC in order for the user to interact with the database. In a multi user environment a standalone, single file MS Access database, database must manage the delivery of user interface objects, data access and locking as well as data delivery. As a consequence there are data delivery performance impacts to consider before operating a single file Access Database from a network location.

Front-End / Back-End Configuration

In a Front-End / Back-end configuration an Microsoft Access database is split in to two separate access database files. These file communicate and operate together to act as a single database. The Front-End includes the users interface objects such as the Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros and Functions which the database uses to present the stored information to the end-user, allowing data to be added, updated or deleted. The Back-End contains only the database tables in which the data (information) is actually stored. An Access Split database can be operated locally on a signal PC or over a network.

Whilst a Split Access database with a Front-End / Back-End will operate perfectly well with both the Front-End and Back-End stored in the same network shared folder, there is little or no benefit in doing so from a database performance perspective.

However, significant performance gains are achieved when the Database tables (Back-end) is stored in a shared folder on the network, whilst the User Interface (Front-End) is installed on the user’s local computer. When operating in this configuration, all users’ objects such as forms, reports and functions are operating in and loaded from the local front-end database, and only the actual data is moved across the network. Also, as there is only ever one user in the local database at any given time, all the local database processes are dedicated to that user , virtually eliminating the opportunities for user data access conflicts is reduced. This is why a local Front-End with the database tables (Back-End) shared on the network is the recommend installation configuration for all GI Business Database Split Ms Access Databases.

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