How to Split and protect Database in Microsoft Access

Most of the databases we will create are referred to as desktop databases because they are meant to be installed in the computer where they will be used. For maintenance purposes, the problem with this approach is that, if you distribute your database to the users or if you have distributed the database to a few people already, if you modify the database, you will have to visit each one’s computer to install a new version of the database or to modify the database on each user’s computer. For example, imagine that some or all users of the database call you and say that a certain form or report seems to produce a wrong result and you suspect that an expression in the database is false.

Once you find out what needs to be done to correct the problem, you would have to visit each computer to make the change. Also, if you want to backup the database, although you need only the values stored in the tables, you may have to visit each computer. Sometimes this is not possible and it is unprofessional. Microsoft Access provides an alternative to this problem.

You can divide your database in two parts. One part would be installed on one computer that can be a server or just another computer. This is referred to as back-end. The other part would be installed in each user’s computer. These users computer can then connect to the back-end database that stores the actual database. The users computer have only the graphical interface that allows them to work. If you modify the database (for example if you correct an expression that was producing wrong results), you can do it on the back-end database and the users’ computers would receive the change. To implement this scenario, you split your database.

Splitting your Access database offers numerous advantages, including increased flexibility, security, efficiency, and scalability …

This video show you how to password protect the back end of a split database.

You need to:

Split the database
Delete the links to the tables in the front end
Open the back end in exclusive mode
Add a password
Close the back end and open the front end
Link the front end to the back end
Add the password once


Since 20 years I work on Database Architecture and data migration protocols. I am also a consultant in Web content management solutions. I am an experienced web-developer with over 10 years developing PHP/MySQL, C#, VB.Net applications ranging from simple web sites to extensive web-based business applications. When not writing code, I like to dance salsa and swing and have fun with my little family.

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