Hello all,

I'm looking for some feedback and a potential solution to a data sharing problem and hope that you can help.

I work for a good sized local government entity. I have an Access 2003 database that the staff in our work group uses to manage approximately 500 or so different business accounts. We have an external partner that will be taking over partial management of about 150 of these accounts. We will still be managing the data, making updates, etc. Our partners will need to access contact lists, tracking reports and the like as well as submit data in forms for updates. Most of my work group is running Office 2003. Because of some work I do with state agencies, I am running Office 2007, our partner is running 2010. Because of security issues, I am not able to get SSL/VPN access for the external partner. We do however, have a SharePoint 2010 site that I have access to and I am hoping that there may be a solution there. I'm only somewhat familiar with SharePoint particularly with how it works with Access. Here are a couple of options I've been considering and some of the challenges I've identified.

1. Convert the 2003 database to 2007 and publish to SharePoint, then use a 2003 FE application linked to the SharePoint lists. The biggest problem here is the database itself. At the moment the database is not split (I know, horrible design, but I inherited this thing) so I would have to construct the FE from scratch. Additionally it has at least a dozen instances of referential integrity and even more problems around duplicate field names that make it very web incompatible. I actually converted the database, ran the compatibility checker and it found nearly 450 issues. So, I would likely be looking at a significant restructure of the db as well. Not exactly the most timely solution I'm looking for.

2. Convert the database to Access 2007, upload it as a file to a SharePoint document library and have my 2003 users open it via an Access Runtime 2007 application. Honestly, I don't even know if this is possible in SharePoint. It works fine on our own internal server, but I don't know if the installer can actually point to a web address.

3. Something else?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Any questions are welcome.

Thanks for your time,