Migrating MS Access Applications to .NET Smart Client
MS Access "out-of-the-box" is designed to support small work groups i.e. 5 - 10 concurrent
users on a LAN. In addition to LAN-only use for a small number of users, MS Access has many other built-in limitations
that are well documented e.g. the size of the datastore, the number of records, security, etc.
There are a number of different ways you can configure MS Access to realize
incremental improvements in performance and reliability (See
MS Access Migration Chart
for more information on the available options) but only two methods provide a more scalable
solution: replace the native MS Access Jet engine datastore
with SQL Server, or migrate the entire MS Access application to SQL Server and .NET Smart Client.
MS Access on the Internet Work-arounds
Many businesses need to provide external users i.e.
work-at-home and field employees the ability to use MS Access remotely over the Internet. The first step
toward making MS Access available on Internet is typically accomplished
by setting up a secure VPN connection in combination with a remote access solution like WebEx, GoToMeeting or
Microsoft Terminal Services.
This technique works well for a limited number of Users, but invariably,
users will experience slow-downs in performance (sometimes quite significant!), due to the overhead processing expense
associated with "repainting the screen" each time you perform an action. In addition, MS
Access has a built-in performance governor that limits processing to eight (8) concurrent
End Users. MS Access will slow down, incrementally, with each additional user
over eight, and there is nothing you can do about this, short of migrating the back-end
MS Access data store to MS SQL Server.
MS Access to ASP.NET or .NET Smart Client
Migrating MS Access to .NET Smart Client enables remote
Users via the Internet. Work-at-home employees and field personnel can use the
application anywhere an Internet connection is available — and the .NET Smart Client application
will function and perform just like you are at the office. With role-based security
management, different parts of the application i.e. Forms, Tabs, Reports, etc. can be restricted to specific business roles.
.NET Smart Client = Native Web Interface
If you need to provide work-at-home and field employees the ability to use MS Access
remotely over the Internet, you must migrate the front-end MS Access interface to
.NET Smart Client, which is a native Internet application interface developed by
If you are outgrowing MS Access, and have already exhausted all of the work-arounds
to providing more LAN and Internet Users the ability to use your MS Application,
PCA can help you understand what your options are, and the relative cost-benefit
of different approaches. Depending upon your situation, we will
recommend the most cost-effective approach to "upsize"
an existing MS Access application on the Microsoft
business platform. Whether you
need to fix problems you are having, or you need to meet more demanding business
needs, our experts will work with you to determine the best solution that is compatible
with your business objectives, functional needs, and budget.