Tobi K. Hoffman
Migrating a project into the Citrix platform provided a workable environment for
Tobi Hoffman’s company’s people nationwide to access a single database, yet
presented some unexpected challenges. Since Citrix forces all users into a single
application, keeping track of users’ individual security clearances was almost
impossible—until the application got a form that no one saw.
THE Citrix system provides some special programming challenges. Citrix
allows people to connect to a remote computer and work with the
applications on that computer as if it were an extension of their own
desktop. The users are actually running the application on the Citrix server,
and (here’s the problem) the users are opening multiple instances of the
application—each user gets his own copy of the same EXE, all running on the
remote server. Therefore you break what many of us have learned as a basic
rule of Access development: Don’t have many people using the same front-end
database. The novice Access developer often learns this lesson by putting a
front-end database (with its forms, queries, and reports) on a network server
to be shared by all users, and then wondering why everything runs so slowly.
In a crisis, especially if the database also holds all the tables, forms, queries,
reports, and code, they find that their databases are frequently corrupted.
The lesson is that you should split the database into two parts:
• A compiled (.mde) front end that holds the queries, forms, reports, and
whatever code you need to support your application
• A back end with the tables containing the actual data
Each user gets the front end installed on his or her computer, while the
back-end database is installed on a network server. The tables in the back end ...
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