MS Access over WAN with Optimisers (1 Viewer)

nuttychick

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Jan 16, 2004
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Hi - I've searched the forum but couldn't find anything on this.

We are moving from LAN servers to a shared cloud across a WAN, with optimisers installed that apparently should give the end users a very similar experience to what they get today - I have no doubt they will for other applications.

Does anyone have any experience in using MS Access across a WAN with BlueCoat optimisers installed? These are MS Access 2000 and 2003 applications, client front and backends

Appreciate that really we should be looking at alternatives to MS Access but that will come in time...for now we are testing these applications to see what problems we are likely to encounter, but wondered if anyone has been there and done it?

We are expecting problems such as dramatically reduced response times and corruption, no idea of the scale of this though?

Much appreciated :confused:
 

shadow9449

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Mar 5, 2004
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Nicki:

I am not familiar with the Bluecoat Optimisers but in general, it's not a good idea to use MS Access over a WAN. Albert Kallal has a really good explanation of why this is and I recommend you read it:

http://www.kallal.ca/Wan/Wans.html

Your best bet is to either use a web database (which has its limitations) if you are using Access 2010 or 2013 or to use Terminal Services. I go the latter route and I have as many as 60 happy users using my Access databases simultaneously. This approach does not require rewriting the application for the web and has all the functionality of MS Access with no limitations.

Good luck!

SHADOW
 

EssexRich

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Nov 18, 2011
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I agree with SHADOW.

My recommendation (with my Microsoft certified systems engineer hat on) would be a remote desktop server either providing a full remote desktop experience or just the databases as remoteapps.

It'll be easiest to deploy and manage!

If you're worried about costs, then rent the software from a Microsoft SPLA provider.

Any questions then feel free to ask!
 

Rx_

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Totally Agree!
We use Citrix (very close to Remote Desktop technology with some great administration tools).
The Citrix allows one deployment copy - all users run from the server.
The bandwidth is tiny as it sends screen scrapes and only sends the square of pixels that changed. End users don't need Access installed (big cost savings in maintenance). The speed of running Access on a server, next to the back-end is fantastic. There is a huge movement twards doing this over web apps.
Our applications support national users, including those in the remote rural areas using Windows or Apple systems with less than 56K equal wireless signals.
 

Acme

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Jun 14, 2013
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Hi All,

Wouldn't the easiest solution be to use an SQL BackEnd on Azure? I am trying to determine if a share front end distributed via citrix would be better than using local clients to access SQL backend but I am not quite getting the picture on it. Any explanation and elaboration on the topic is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ac Me
 

Rx_

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The Azure will change performance. For example, since it is across the web, a record set won't bring everything across. You will have to be very aware of the limitations of each fetch.
On Citrix or Remote Terminal, all the process takes place on the server, not the client. The ICA client only communicates across the changes in a screen, mouse, keyboard. Regardless of the actual data being processed, the screen updates is about 15K in bandwidth (thus the name Thin-Client).
An added bonus of Citrix (RT) is that it will work on Apple, PC or any platform that supports ICA. Citrix now has one for the Android (so they say).
 

Acme

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Thanks for the very helpful response. Just to be sure I do not get confused.

The azure performance change is due to the front end, and if I use the think client with Citrix, that problem will not exist, or it will, and I should migrate the SQL db to a sql db server next to the app server, and let people access the app through the ICA.

I ask because I really do not want to do another SSMA migration. But if the ICA with an Azure SQL db somewhere else still leaves the problem you intro'd with above, then I won't fully benefit unless I do move the db.

Can you help with these questions? Also, I checked out Citrix's site and it looks like they have a program to make me partner ready I can leverage. Still, I wonder how much of a lift it really is to make an access split db Citrix ready.
 

Rx_

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I am heading for the commuter train, so this is a quick response:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14088469/azure-mobile-service-query-doesnt-return-all-the-rows
Regardless of the front-end, Azure is web based and must limit the rows to save bandwidth. For an App, too many records is not needed anyway. For a rich front-end, Azure must be hand-held to get what a client-server expected. With the limited records returned, Azure will make decisions of what they should be.

The ICA client provides the full rich-environment as if a user was connected to a server with both front-end/back-end. But, the delivery is on extremely small bandwidth conducive to my users being in rural fields using limited wireless on tablets, surface, or mac.
 

Acme

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Jun 14, 2013
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Hi Rx,

Just wanted to follow this discussion up with some more info on my experiences. This past week I worked on getting remote desktop up and running with Azure. My back end is an Azure SQL database. As of last night I have a fully functioning remote desktop that accesses an image of my app hosted on the same Azure account as the sql db. I tested it last night and I can tell you, even on my dsl wireless connection, it is very fast, as fast as my local version of the split db.

If you plan to do this, and you have function calls to other ms apps as I have, you will need to pony up $20 a month for an enterprise level office subscription, this in addition to your monthly azure costs, which are not bad at all. In total, I think I'll be paying $50 per month.

Shortcuts aren't allowed per se in remote app, however, there is a cheap and easy workaround whereby you build a small .exe in Visual Studio that opens your target file in runtime (startprocess cmd). Be sure to sign the code so it won't get blocked when you attempt to publish it.
 
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