Access 2003 app on Citrix server


J

Jim Franklin

Hi,

I wonder if anyone can advise me please?

I have a typical Front-End/Back-End Access 2003 application which is
currently being used by a client over their LAN. It uses Access security
with a .mdw file. Each user's front end folder also contains an
FrontEndUpdater.mdb which is fired whenever the front end is opened and
there is a more recent version of the front-end located in a folder on the
shared network drive. There are less than a dozen users.

We are now moving this application over to a Citrix server, so users can
access the database from more than one site. My question is:

I am guessing I need to retain the FE/BE split? But do I need to have a
separate FE on the desktop (or directory space) for each user, or can I have
a single FE which each user opens via a desktop shortcut? Do the normal
issues of having several users open the same FE file arise, or is this
handled by Citrix? (As you can guess, I am a Citrix novice!) Obviously a
single FE makes updates easier, but if each user has their own copy of the
FE, I will need to re-configure the FrontEndUpdater, to facilitate
distributing new versions of the FE.

Can anyone tell me which is the ideal way to run an Access db over a Citrix
server?

Many thanks as always,

Jim
 
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P

Paul Shapiro

Jim Franklin said:
Hi,

I wonder if anyone can advise me please?

I have a typical Front-End/Back-End Access 2003 application which is
currently being used by a client over their LAN. It uses Access security
with a .mdw file. Each user's front end folder also contains an
FrontEndUpdater.mdb which is fired whenever the front end is opened and
there is a more recent version of the front-end located in a folder on the
shared network drive. There are less than a dozen users.

We are now moving this application over to a Citrix server, so users can
access the database from more than one site. My question is:

I am guessing I need to retain the FE/BE split? But do I need to have a
separate FE on the desktop (or directory space) for each user, or can I
have
a single FE which each user opens via a desktop shortcut? Do the normal
issues of having several users open the same FE file arise, or is this
handled by Citrix? (As you can guess, I am a Citrix novice!) Obviously a
single FE makes updates easier, but if each user has their own copy of the
FE, I will need to re-configure the FrontEndUpdater, to facilitate
distributing new versions of the FE.

Can anyone tell me which is the ideal way to run an Access db over a
Citrix
server?

You still want a physically separate FE for each user, for the same reasons.
The terminal server just shares the computer's resources, but each running
copy of Access is still independent.
 
K

Korski

Jim,
I know the experts will highly advise against the sharing of a
single FE file, however, it does make updating much easier than maintaining
FE's for each individual user. I've set up this type of config. for a
database used by multiple users (10 or less usually) and we've had no
problems.

There is one issue that you may run into:
When setting up the target for the secure shortcut, depending on the layout
of citrix and the drive location of the actual Access program......I ran into
an issue where the shortcut needed to point to the D: drive due to our server
setup and location of the actual Citrix location of Access. This can be
solved by having a "Citrix Shortcut" and a separate "Desktop Shortcut"
located in a folder on a common network folder accessible by everyone.
 
T

Tony Toews [MVP]

Korski said:
I know the experts will highly advise against the sharing of a
single FE file, however, it does make updating much easier than maintaining
FE's for each individual user.

Not really. Once you have an updated FE available you need to kick
everyone out before you can update the FE.

The Auto FE Updater handles this updating quite nicely and works with
Terminal Server and Citrix. For more info on the free Auto FE
Updater utility see http://www.autofeupdater.com to keep the FE on
each PC up to date.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Tony's Main MS Access pages - http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
For a convenient utility to keep your users FEs and other files
updated see http://www.autofeupdater.com/
Granite Fleet Manager http://www.granitefleet.com/
 
T

Tony Toews [MVP]

Paul Shapiro said:
You still want a physically separate FE for each user, for the same reasons.
The terminal server just shares the computer's resources, but each running
copy of Access is still independent.

To add to Paul's reply. You'd put each users copy of the FE in a user
specific folder on a file server located in the same LAN as the
Terminal Server/Citrix server system.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Tony's Main MS Access pages - http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
For a convenient utility to keep your users FEs and other files
updated see http://www.autofeupdater.com/
Granite Fleet Manager http://www.granitefleet.com/
 
J

Jim Franklin

Thanks guys. Seems to me that individual FE's is definitely the way to go. I
appreciate all of your help,

Jim
 
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D

David W. Fenton

I know the experts will highly advise against the sharing of a
single FE file, however, it does make updating much easier than
maintaining FE's for each individual user. I've set up this type
of config. for a database used by multiple users (10 or less
usually) and we've had no problems.

What version of Access? It worked fairly OK in A97, but from A2000
on it can't possibly work well, because of the change to the way the
Access project is stored.

For what it's worth, my first paid Access work was in 1996, and it
was a split app because it was networked, and each user had a copy
of the front end. This seemed blazingly obvious as the proper
architecture for deployment even then. It has only become even more
essential as Access has evolved.
 
J

Jim Franklin

Thanks David, I realised all that. I have also been using Access for several
years. What I wasn't sure about was how Citrix worked - whether it produced
copies of a single FE for each concurrent user, or whether they were all
accessing the same physical file.

As it turns out, the way the client has their Citrix set up, they don't
store separate desktops for each user, but generate a generic one
dynamically using a script, each time a user logs in. Therefore to avoid a
single FE file being used, I have had to stipulate that the FE will be
included in the login script, and so will be copied every time a user logs
in.

Hope that makes sense to somebody! I am not sure it does to me!

Jim
 
D

David W. Fenton

As it turns out, the way the client has their Citrix set up, they
don't store separate desktops for each user, but generate a
generic one dynamically using a script, each time a user logs in.
Therefore to avoid a single FE file being used, I have had to
stipulate that the FE will be included in the login script, and so
will be copied every time a user logs in.

Are you sure you have to depend on the login script? I'm pretty sure
Tony's FE AutoUpdater would do it for you and you wouldn't have to
depend on the login script (though you'd have to get the shortcut to
the updater onto everybody's desktop, but you have to get the
shortcut to your app there, already, so I'm not sure it's more
complicated).
 
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T

Tony Toews [MVP]

David W. Fenton said:
Are you sure you have to depend on the login script? I'm pretty sure
Tony's FE AutoUpdater would do it for you and you wouldn't have to
depend on the login script (though you'd have to get the shortcut to
the updater onto everybody's desktop, but you have to get the
shortcut to your app there, already, so I'm not sure it's more
complicated).

Correct. All you would need is a network share/folder somewhere on a
local server. Then the Auto FE Updater could create user specific
folders in that network folder using Target Folder =
\\server\share\folder\%user%

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Tony's Main MS Access pages - http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
For a convenient utility to keep your users FEs and other files
updated see http://www.autofeupdater.com/
Granite Fleet Manager http://www.granitefleet.com/
 

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