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Migrating from replicated MS Access database

Question asked by ThomasDahl on Mar 25, 2013
Latest reply on Mar 26, 2013 by philmodjunk


Migrating from replicated MS Access database



     I would be really grateful if someone could help me with the following-
     We have a Access 2003 based distributed database system for keeping track of customer contacts and actions within our company.
     Currently we have 4 users with Laptop and 3 users working with a direct connection to our network.
     The database is split into a "Master" which is located on a networked winXP machine in the office and each laptop has a replica of this master. They are able to synchronize with the "Master" when they come into the office. Each user then has a "Front End" database which is linked to a replica (in the case of the laptop users) or direct to the "Master".
     The database has become very large over the years but as it is fully normalised it is manageable. 
     It works very well and the users are able to keep track of projects and had "actions" to each other over the database. We are very happy with the solution. It is very stable and has worked for 15 years with no major issues. Once in a while I will sit down and add some minor functionality when users request it.
     We now hear that Access no longer support replication which means we will have a problem in the near future. This is itself is not really a problem so long as it continuous to work and the windows versions we are using keeps supporting it.
     It would be really cool if we could use the database on our iphones and start to build more robust back-up and usability features into the front-end of the system.
     How do we do all this with FileMaker? It looks like replication is no longer supported. Does this mean that we need to spend money on a real server which is rather expensive. Can someone estimate how much work is involved?  How much of the work (forms, tables, queries etc.) can be easily recycled .
     Many thanks!