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FAQ

  • What causes an Access Database to corrupt?

    1. Hardware failures
    The most common hardware issues that can affect database integrity relate to Networking equipment and Hard drives. Network cards/Switches that drop packets and hard drives that have bad sectors are highly likely to cause database corruption (as well as many other computer failures!).

    2. Software conflicts
    Having 3rd party plug-ins for Access installed on your machine and using them in your databases can lead to corruption if they have not been designed correctly. This includes 3rd party ActiveX controls.

    3. JET Software conflicts
    The Jet Database Engine has been changed considerably over the years. Since its release, the Jet engine has had 4 major release versions, however each of these have had numerous service packs and updates.

    Very often database corruption can occur when you have one database shared between multiple users that have different Jet service packs and updates installed. This is due to minor differences in the mdb file format and file locking mechanisms. Luckily this situation is much improved in the latest version of Jet, v4.

    4. Multi-user access
    Since the Jet database engine is file-based (unlike SQL Server which is client-server based), in order to enable multiple users over a network to share the same file, the Jet engine uses a Lock file (.ldb) in order to synchronize database read/writes. Unfortunately using this Lock file relies on Windows OS API calls to handle the file synchronization which in turn relies on file-transfer networking protocols. All network connections have a bandwidth limit, and any other software on your machine transferring data over the same network socket could potentially slow down the Jet communication, when this happens the connection often disconnects due to a 'time-out' failure.

    5. Inefficient Database Design
    Due to the technicalities of having a database format designed for multi-user access at file level, Jet/Access Databases are renown for causing severe bloating to the file size. Unfortunately in a network environment with multi-user access to a Jet Database this extra bloating puts extreme pressure on any network protocol and thus increases the risk of corruption detrimentally. Generally speaking, multi-user databases with a split front end GUI and back end database offer much improved network performance and less corruption risk than the one-database-for-all approach.

  • Can faulty network gear cause corruption?

    In a word Yes. Damage from ESD to Switches Routers and Network cards can cause a database to become corrupt. Any problem that causes a disconnect from the database file while the engine is actively interfacing with the data has a opportunity to corrupt the database.

  • What are the upper limits for an access database?

    The actual file limit for an Access MDB is 2 gigs. By the time you reach that limit it is likely that you will have encountered problems with performance way before you hit that mark. It is from our own experiences that we offer these criteria with >= 10 concurrent users on a split database format at around 400mb we begin seeing performance issues with MS Access. Will it function? the answer is yes. Will it have problems with bloat and corruptions? The answer is also yes. So when you begin to have these issues we can offer a solution.
     
  • What is SQL Server 2005 Express Edition?

    Microsoft has all the info at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/
     
  • Who will own the newly converted code?

    You will own the code in its entirety complete with a copy of Winning Designís standard library used in the code. We do the work and turn over the code at anytime the customer requests a review and at the end of the project.
     
  • What are NDAís?

    NDA stands for Non-Disclosure Agreement. It is our policy that all your data and information is proprietary and will not be disclosed to anyone. We will submit a NDA agreement before the evaluation process begins.
     
  • What is the standard time frame for converting software?

    Converting software is a custom task. We want our clients to receive quality software in a reasonable amount of time. To this end after an initial review of your specifications we strive to give an accurate estimate of time required for your specific project. That being said most small projects can be completed in as little time as 2-3 weeks.
     
  • What if I like having an access program, can I have the data on a SQL server?

    The answer is yes. In most access programs use conventions native only to MS Access. There is a certain amount of rewrite that must occur with a split database between Access and SQL.
     
  • What are your rates?

    Our onsite rate is $250.00/hr. We rarely have a need to be on site. All of our jobs are a quoted price.
     
  • What if I need some modifications to my program not a complete rewrite?

    We can definitely accommodate your needs. We will review your request and advise changes that would need to be made and how it will effect the operation of your current program.
     
  • What is VBA?

    VBA stands for Visual Basic Application. This is the language that is used in Microsoft Office to create programs/applications.
     
  • My data is secret. How should we handle this?

    We strongly suggest zipping your information with a password after we receive your data it will be removed and placed on our isolated developing network with no ties to the outside world.
     
  • My database is a spreadsheet what can you do for me?

    Spread sheets are great for flat file information display. They do however lack the relationship aspect that is available in a true database. By converting your data over into real database you gain a greater amount of flexibility in viewing and reporting on the information that you have collected. We also have the ability to generate spreadsheets on the fly if the rest of your system relies on that format.
     
  • Can I get my data in a text file?

    The answer is yes. We donít advise accessing data this way. Text files can be very cumbersome when used to view and/or manipulate your data.