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Access Online Access Online
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   28 days ago

Put Your Microsoft Access Database Online to Share

I've been getting this question a lot lately: "How can I put my Access database online so other people can use it?" There are several different things you can do to put your database online, depending on who your users are, what kind of security you need, how much work you want to put into development, and what you want the end-result to look like.

Remote Access Options

Option 1: Access Front-End, Hosted Server Backend. If all of your users are working on desktop PCs (or laptops) with Windows and copies of Access, then I recommend using an Access database front-end file (a database that contains your forms, reports, code, etc.) attached to a Microsoft SQL Server or SharePoint to get the data. The benefit of this method is that you get to use your actual Access database as it is now, and you can just move your tables up to SharePoint or SQL Server. Relatively easy.

Your end users need a copy of Access installed, but you don't have to buy Access for each of them. You can just get the free Access Runtime Edition. I find that this is the best solution available for teams of users (employees of a company, for example), plus using ASP (below) you can make your SQL Server data public on your web site. Best of all, SQL Server hosting through companies like WinHost is real cheap. You can get set up for less than $10/month.

Option 2: Virtual PC Remote Access. There are a million different types of remote access solutions. If you only have one user at a time who needs to work remotely you could set up Windows Remote Desktop or VNC. If you have a few users and a Windows Server you could use Terminal Services which is like Remote Desktop for multiple people (you'll need server licenses, of course). And there are a million different third-party "remotely access my server" programs out there. Amazon Workspaces allows you to set up a virtual PC running Windows and Access. You can access it anywhere through a web browser and they have apps for Android and iOS. For the phone, all you have to do is format your forms to fit on that screen size. I have a class on this coming too. Comment below if you're interested. 

Option 3: ASP Web Site. The third option is to create your own web-based database using ASP (Active Server Pages) and a back-end database (which can be in Access or SQL Server). I teach how to do this in:

This is the option that I recommend if you have a database that needs to be viable for public use. Every other option on this list is only good for trusted groups where your users have usernames and passwords to log in. If you need to be able to collect public data on your web site, or let users to your site view data, then this is the option I recommend. My web sites are all built using ASP and either an Access database or SQL Server for the backend storage.

Access Web Apps. As of 2019, Microsoft removed Web Apps from Access. If you see any web sites talking about them, they're dead. They were never very good to begin with.

My Recommendations

  • If your users have PCs with Access, and you want the FULL capabilities of the Access desktop application you've spent a lot of time building, then go with option 1 and use SQL Server for your backend data.
  • If your users want to have remote connectivity via a web browser, tablet, or PHONE, select option 2. 
  • If your database needs full-scale PUBLIC access, with user account creation, logons, shopping carts, and the works, you pretty much need option 3. Personally, I use option 3 for just about everything that I do because I love to program in ASP. It's fast, easy (for me), and secure. But that's just my opinion.

Alternatives

Do NOT use Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or any of those kinds of cloud drive storage solutions to SHARE a Microsoft Access datbase. If you are the ONLY user working on the database AND it's relatively small AND you have good Internet, and you want to be able to use the database in both your home and your office, see this thread for my ideas.

Your Comments & Questions

If you are interested in learning more about Hosted SQL Server or Virtual Remote PCs, then leave a comment below and let me know exactly what your needs are. The more people that comment, the higher the priority I give specific topics.

SQL Server Backend Upload Images   Link 
Yecheskel Krishevsky 
25 days ago
I've tried this solution however I am having issues with recordsets, does it require different code?
Richard Rost
24 days ago
Yes, you have to use the SQL-specific connection string to connect to you server. It's all covered in the Access SQL Seminar.
Add a Reply
Amazon Workspaces Upload Images   Link 
Ray White 
4 months ago
Yes Amazon Workspaces Seminar
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Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
David Simpson 
5 years ago
From what I've seen so far this some the best advice around.


Reply from Alex Hedley:

Thanks David, Rich will be happy.
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Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
Bernard Goah 
5 years ago
Thanks a million Richard.
You are truly the best I must admit.
I have watched your videos and I am not well grounded in MS Access.
I can pretty much build any database in MS Access using ERD. Read More...
Add a Reply
Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
Solution 
5 years ago
Simple. i have a webserver in he company NOT IN THE CLOUD OR INTERNET.
i want to share my access aplication so can user inside the network only can work on it.




Reply from Alex Hedley: Read More...
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Web app to Access Upload Images   Link 
Yasser 
6 years ago
HI Richard, let me tell you that you are the best, sharing this level of information for people is outstanding, God will reward you well as you are really helping humanity,

My Q, am totally new to access, just used it before where i was not the D, so i want to develop access for my company as we have more than 1000 Employees and we are working with Excel mainly where I want to create a better system to work with like access but really can not make my mind about desktop or web app as it seems now its better to have a web based program or app to store data and much easier, Which road should i take?? Read More...
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Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
Angelika 
6 years ago
If I have a database that is made to be a desktop type of database can I easily put it on the web or do I need to make a new web database and transfer all of my tables and stuff onto this new db and then hook up with a server? Read More...
Add a Reply
Splitting Multiple Users Upload Images   Link 
Michael H 
7 years ago
Hello Richard, We are an insurance agency with a growing group of agents. I would to split the front end from the back end(which will most likely need to SQL server for multiple users. My questions is, is there a class set up for User Login where they can only see their data and no one elses?? Each agent will have there own customer info, etc. The basic reports and user interface will be the same. Read More...
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Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
Larisa K 
7 years ago
I waiting for your "Putting access databeses on the Web" seminar.
Do you have any idea when you can start working on this?  Thanks you!


Reply from Alexander Hedley:
Read More...
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Putting Access Databases on the Web Upload Images   Link 
Warren G 
7 years ago
Hi Richard- Do you have a timeframe when you will be doing courses on option 1 and 2?


Reply from Alexander Hedley:

Option 1 has already been covered in Access Expert 24 Read More...
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