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Can't open 2 versions of same acces file in a computer RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I'm having quite a puzzling issue with a database I'm developing. First of all, I'm using Access 2013 on a Win 7 64 bits. I'm developing this for a relative and they also have Win 7 64 bits and, actually, I used their copy of Office to install it in my computer since I had an older version (which I wiped clean) so the Access versions are exactly the same.

    Now that that's settled I'll describe the problem. Like I said, I'm developing a database (complete with forms, reports, queries and vba code) for a relative. I do this on my computer and then I go periodically to their place to show them my progress and get feedback on it. What I generally do for that is to plug an external USB drive to my computer, copy and paste the file to the drive and then open the file from the USB drive plugged into my relative's computer.

    The first time I did this, it worked perfectly. I ran my .accdb file on their computer, showed them what I'd done... perfect. Two weeks later, the .accdb file has more code, forms and stuff to it, so I go back to their place and try to do open the database: I get an error. First something saying the .accdb file has the wrong extension or something like that. And I'm thinking WTH! It's the same file as 2 weeks ago!! So I leave access open and try to open from file: in this case it opens some of the tables and queries but then stops saying it can't open some of the content. I tell them I'll look into it and they offer if I want to try on their laptop. I do and it works just fine!!! 2 weeks later, back with a newer version of the database and it won't work on either their desktop or laptop. From some things I'd been reading online I ask if it's OK to reinstall their office. They say OK so I do on their desktop and when I try to open my access file it works!!!

    Basically, from what I can see, the first time I run my database on a computer it will work and so long as I run the same version of it or something that I've modified on that computer it's fine. The problem comes when I've run a version of the file on a computer and then I come back with a newer version of it with more forms, queries and vba code that I've developed on a different computer and try to run and it won't work...

    I don't know much about access (this is my first 'big' project) but it seems to me as though it's saving libraries or the compilation of the database or something and when I develope it further and bring it back, what it has and what I bring don't mesh up... I'm truly at a loss and will be very grateful for some assistance! =)

    As for details: there is no FE and BE (just learned about this when I started looking into this problem, actually); there is only a single file that they run. Someone said it's not a good idea to run an access file from an external drive because it's likely it'll corrupt the database... any truth to that? Then again, someone else told me that maybe access was saving some paths and then just a copy into the external drive was not the right way to go and that I'd better do a 'Save As' onto the external drive so these paths would be right for the external drive but that would mean opening the file from the external drive and 'Save As' to my relative's computer, so that kind of contradicts the first one...

    Help, please?  

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:02 PM

Answers

  • In the first place, never open an Access database from a USB stick. Always copy it to hard disk first.

    In the second place, it is essential that you split the database. Create a backend with only the tables, and a frontend with all the queries, forms, reports, macros and VBA modules, plus linked tables that connect to the backend.

    When you have updated some forms etc. in the frontend, you only need to copy the new version of the frontend to your relative's computer and relink the tables through Database Tools > Linked Table Manager.


    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:11 PM
  • See for example Why Split a Database? Although it was written for older versions of Access, the reasoning still holds.

    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 3:40 PM

All replies

  • In the first place, never open an Access database from a USB stick. Always copy it to hard disk first.

    In the second place, it is essential that you split the database. Create a backend with only the tables, and a frontend with all the queries, forms, reports, macros and VBA modules, plus linked tables that connect to the backend.

    When you have updated some forms etc. in the frontend, you only need to copy the new version of the frontend to your relative's computer and relink the tables through Database Tools > Linked Table Manager.


    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:11 PM
  • I see, thanks for the quick answer! =)

    Now, this may sound a bit dumb, and it probably is, but why? Why split the database? (Like I said, I just learned about this recently and just starting to get the idea and I've no idea why I should do this... I understand it's to improve performance when the database is used by multiple users, but does that affect why I cannot open the file, you think?)

    Again, thanks a lot for the quick answer!

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 2:49 PM
  • See for example Why Split a Database? Although it was written for older versions of Access, the reasoning still holds.

    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 3:40 PM
  • In the first place, never open an Access database from a USB stick. Always copy it to hard disk first.

    Hi Hans,

    I agree with you that it is generally not a good idea to open an Access database from a USB stick, but more than once I use this feature. Yes, it is slow, but I have not (yet) experienced any other drawback.

    What is the reason for your firm: "never open"?

    Imb.

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 9:23 PM
  • USB sticks don't write data to the drive immediately - they cache data in memory and write data to the drive in bursts. This can clash with the way Access works - it continuously reads and writes from/to the database.

    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (http://www.eileenslounge.com)

    Saturday, August 1, 2015 9:49 PM
  • USB sticks don't write data to the drive immediately - they cache data in memory and write data to the drive in bursts. This can clash with the way Access works - it continuously reads and writes from/to the database.

    Hi Hans,

    Thank you for your clarification. It is clear that in a multi-user environment this can give problems.

    The situations that I use the USB-stick to run an application is - happy for me - a single user situation.

    Imb.

    Sunday, August 2, 2015 10:05 AM