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Best practices and user behavior

  1. #1
    Lynn Cohen is offline Advanced Beginner
    Windows 7 64bit Access 2010 64bit
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    30

    Best practices and user behavior

    Background:
    I manage an Access 2010 dbase that is used by 17 fairly unsophisticated users. The database was split years ago to accommodate multiple users. The back end and front end files reside on a shared drive. A user gets a new/updated front end file by copying it from the shared drive and pasting it into a folder on their home drive. This procedure takes a minute or less.

    The problem:
    When new objects are added to the dbase (done almost always at the request of the users) I want users to download a new front end file as quickly as possible. I send them written directions for how to do the copy and paste procedure. Lately I'm running into users who simply don't do this. Then, days later, I get a call saying the user is "confused" about which file is what.



    The request:
    I want users to download new front end files timely, and just don't believe that a user of MS Office products can't copy and paste a file. It's a common procedure that even the least sophisticated of my user group has done numerous times in other applications.

    Do other dbase managers run into this behavior? How do you handle it? Gently reminding users of the consequences ("In order to use this new query you asked for, you will need to download a new local copy. Here's how.") doesn't seem to work.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    pbaldy's Avatar
    pbaldy is offline Who is John Galt?
    Windows XP Access 2007
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    Feb 2010
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    Nevada, USA
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    20,598
    I suspect most of us use some sort of automated method to copy the new front end. My users don't actually start the application, they start a utility I wrote that checks their front end against a master on the server. I've seen it done with batch files, Access files, etc. On my other machine I've got some links if you need them.
    Paul (wino moderator)
    MS Access MVP 2007-2019
    www.BaldyWeb.com

  3. #3
    Lynn Cohen is offline Advanced Beginner
    Windows 7 64bit Access 2010 64bit
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    Thanks, Paul. Yes, any info you can share about the utility you use would be helpful. I'm not a network person, but I know some folks who are and likely could set something like this up.

  4. #4
    pbaldy's Avatar
    pbaldy is offline Who is John Galt?
    Windows XP Access 2007
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    Nevada, USA
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    I just write little apps that check a version table in the front end. Bill uses this:

    http://www.thatlldoit.com/Pages/howtosarticles.aspx

    Bob offers this:

    http://www.btabdevelopment.com/ts/freetools
    Paul (wino moderator)
    MS Access MVP 2007-2019
    www.BaldyWeb.com

  5. #5
    Xipooo's Avatar
    Xipooo is offline Sr. Database Developer
    Windows 8 Access 2013
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Arizona
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    332
    We have three different strategies to accomplish this depending on the clients needs and setup.

    1. The user uses a batch file to open the database each time. That batch file copies the current version from a specially designated network folder onto somewhere on their local system and runs it from there. Every time the open the database, the use that batch file.

    2. A "Version Handler" which is another access database which will handle the version verification and copying for us similar to the batch file. A bit more sophisticated and allows for version checking before the copy is done.

    3. MSI packaging using Group Policy on the domain. This is much more involved and requires some serious understanding of Active Directory, Group Policy, and MSI packaging.

  6. #6
    Lynn Cohen is offline Advanced Beginner
    Windows 7 64bit Access 2010 64bit
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    30
    Thank you! I've given this info to my programmer colleague and it looks like we'll be able to use this method.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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