Microsoft Access Database - DropBox
Sharing a Multi-User Access Database in DropBox
Multi-User Access Database in DropBox
We are often asked if it is possible to store the CRM Access Database, Documents and Templates in DropBox and share them between multiple concurrent users.
Unfortunately not, is the answer. It may work fine for the Documents and Templates but it will not work for the Microsoft Access Database if there are multiple users or for SQL Server Express if you decide to upgrade (for free) to SQL Server Express.
Microsoft Access is designed to work on Microsoft Windows and it has built-in locking mechanisms to control multi-user access on a Windows network.
DropBox doesn't enable Access to work as it would on a Windows PC on a network. We have found that when attempting to share an Access Database in DropBox with multiple users, the first user's changes are saved but any other user's changes are put into a 'conflicting copy' which means that the changes are effectively lost.
DropBox copies files from your hard disk to the DropBox storage. DropBox is not an environment suitable for running Windows applications such as a Database. It is not a substitute for having a Shared folder on a Windows network or for having your own Windows Server.
Some people have successfully used Access with DropBox but that is with only 1 user accessing the Database at a time.
We like DropBox but, in our opinion, it isn't a solution to sharing a Database between multiple concurrent users (at least not yet).
Share Access Database
To share the Amphis Customer CRM database, you just need to create a Shared Folder on a Windows PC, copy the database to that folder and update the Amphis Customer CRM Configuration to point to the shared folder instead of the local PC. See Share CRM Data between multiple users
Upgrade Access Database
Our preferred approach is to upgrade the Access Database (for free) to use the Free version of Microsoft SQL Server called Microsoft SQL Server Express 2012 - see Upgrade to SQL Server. This provides improved performance, reliability and scalability compared to using Microsoft Access.
Web and Mobile Access
Our preferred architecture would be to run Web Software on a Windows PC or Server connecting to a Microsoft SQL Server database. This is the approach we are using with the new Web Software we are developing which allows for access from any web browser including mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows Phone.
Cloud Storage vs Cloud Computing
For more information on "The Cloud" including the difference between Cloud Storage and Cloud Computing, see Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage
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