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MS Access Security Primer

The first point regarding an Access Security Primer is this - ALWAYS CREATE A CUSTOM SECURITY FILE (or MDW). The mdw is also known as a workgroup file. ALWAYS. Never use the default system.mdw that comes with Access.

My second point regarding an Access Security Primer is this - read a good article on Access security. Follow it to the "T". If you do not have a good (no, make that great!) article, here is one. I recommend it. Read it NOW. Microsoft Article on Access Security


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My third point regarding an Access Security Primer is this - do not use the JOIN method from the Work Group Admin program. Let your default mdw stay as the unmodified system.mdw. That way, if you want to design a small (quick) database, you won't be forced to use passwords. Instead, use the following shortcut method.

Shortcut Start Method

Rather than using the Join method of the Work Group Administration program, I always use a shortcut start up method.

I create a shortcut on the user's workstation with the following properties. (the image does not match the listing of the properties, but is presented to help you see what a shortcut's properties screen should look like)

In the Target property, on the "Shortcut" tab, use this (all on one line with a space after each of the 4 sections):
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MSACCESS.EXE" "C:\folder_nameA\database_name.mdb" /WRKGRP "C:\folder_nameB\database_name.mdw"

In the "Start in" property, use this:

In a traditional network use of Access, with a split database, "folder_nameA" would be on the C: drive, and "folder_nameB" would probably be on the network drive, rather than the C: drive, so that everyone uses the same security file.

NOTE: if you have never created a shortcut, one easy way to start it is to find your MS Access program (Msaccess.exe, not the shortcut, mine was in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\), right click on it, and use the Send To - Desktop as shortcut choice in the menu. Then right click on the resulting shortcut and modify its properties.

P.S. don't forget to study that article mentioned at the start of the article; and read the whole thing before starting your security switch-over

Note: This web site dedicated to MS Access database users is an independent publication of Richard W. Killey and is not affiliated with, nor has it been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft® Corporation.


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