Using DropBox: Storing Your Microsoft Access Database Online

Using DropBox: Storing Your Microsoft Access Database Online

Ever contemplated using DropBox? I use this great free online service to store, transport and share large Microsoft Access database files – Yep, it can be shared and even keep track of different versions synchronising between multiple users and their requirements.

DropBox is a secure file syncing product service too that moves the latest version of your Access file to the Internet as soon as it is saved from your hard disk. It does this when the file is saved updating the DropBox database.

using dropboxYou will need to have or register an account at DropBox should you wish to control and invite others (who do not necessarily have to have an account) to share files stored either in a public or privately shared area. 

Using DropBox: Storing Your Microsoft Access Database Online

Once you have finishing setting up your account (only takes a few minutes), you can then start to create and manage folders and sub-folders along with other useful features. I’m not going to waste time going through them here as there is a very easy online reference guide about using DropBox.

The thing I like about this tool is the ease and convenience when I’m on a client’s site and is handy when I need to upload and download different version controlled Access databases. Since most of us now have a good internet connection, it does away with networking challenges and LAN issues.

One could argue about the security but then again if you are using an Access database in the first place and have set DropBox up for sharing and inviting selective members then this is a good enough.

You can of course use a more selective online service for your database if you intend to use the online web database management features which use the services of either SharePoint or Office 365 but for basic and simple file storing, DropBox is better.

Once you have invited a user to share your database, they will need to verify (via an email) before they can engage and use your database but it’s by invitation only making this secure enough.

Finally, I have seen recent posts about the question of if one can use an Access database from your iPhone or iPad. Well, there is a basic Apple app called Access Mobile Database Client which now allows the basic features of being able to read and edit tables and create simple queries on the fly but to be honest is not rich enough for your forms or reports.

At the end of the day, using DropBox and being and having MS Access on your Windows desktop/laptop is a good and free compromise.

Anyone used DropBox before for sharing files? Why not give me your rating and experiences in the comments box below.

This entry was posted in Database Theory, MS Access, Utilities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Using DropBox: Storing Your Microsoft Access Database Online

  1. Ben says:

    There is a mix of short and long blog posts with images and some video content.
    What else do you propose?

  2. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    Nevertheless imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!

    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this website could certainly be one
    of the very best in its niche. Excellent blog!

  3. Giorgio Rovelli says:

    How about using SkyDrive instead of DropBox?

  4. Dan D'Urso says:

    I do work for several clients and find drop box very handy. The alternative for me is to drive up to the client site with my database changes. What I do is put the updated Access database in drop box. Then I can log in remotely and export the changed items to the client’s database. I would imagine would serve as well for these purposes but the one I wound up setting up initially was dropbox.

  5. Ben says:

    Thanks for the feedback.This roughly translates into English as the following:”Using Dropbox as shared files synchronised system is an excellent alternative, I use it and has given me excellent results, however the use of databases with multiple users is not advisable to DropBox, since this service creates conflicting copies when a file is edited simultaneously by two or more users.
    While it is an excellent alternative when using the database as a single user I think that it would be better enhanced with the use of a database engine such as SQL Server or MySQL to act as it’s data server with MS Access as a platform to the use of data and DropBox as a possible system for synchronising data updates Access manager but still have to move the database to an external folder to the DropBox generated so they can be written and edited and that when you connect and edit data records into temporary tables and queries.
    In my opinion, DropBox in summary might be better as to serve and be used for MS Access databases as a single user or sharing information tables that do not suffer impaired by its use. MS Access using multi-user and cause conflicts in DropBox syncs files (mdb) database.”I fully agree with the fact DropBox when using MS Access in a multi-user set-up is not ideal but there are workarounds to this. At a basic level, you could use a split database storing just the tables in DropBox as its back-end database and have the client front-ends locally connected to it. With Added VBA, you could copy and replace files and manage temporary data tables for logged in users (in Access).Ideally, to really use the benefits of true syncing then you would probably lean towards Access servers like SharePoint and others.Thanks for the clarification – anyone else?

  6. Miguel Ángel Sandoval Sepúlevad says:

    El uso de Dropbox como sistema para comparti archivos sincronizados es una exelente alternativa, yo lo uso y me ha dado exelentes resultados, sin embargo la utilización de bases de datos con multiples usuarios no es aconsejable trabajarlo con dropbox, ya que este servicio crear copias conflictivas cuando un archivo es editado simultaneamente por dos o más usuarios.

    Si bien es una exelente alternativa a la hora de usar la base de datos como mono-usuario creo que se potenciaría con el uso de un motor de base de datos como SQL Server o MySQL que actuarian como los servidores de datos y MS Access como plataforma para el uso de los datos y Dropbox como un pero sistema para sincronizar posibles actualizaciones del gestor de datos de Access pero de todas formas hay que mover la base de datos a una carpeta externa a las que genera dropbox para que puedan ser escritas y editadas ya que al momento de conectarse con los datos estas cresen y editan los registros en las tablas temporales de consultas y datos reciduales de la misma.

    En mi opinión y como resumen podría decir que dropbox solo serviría para ser usado en bases de datos MS Access como monousuario o compartiendo información de tablas que no sufran alteración por su uso. el uso de MS Access multiusuario y Dropbox causará conflictos en las sincronizaciones de los archivos mdb o cualquier extención de base de datos.

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