Multiple users one database file

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by mickeydean, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. mickeydean macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2011

    I've never been much interested in software but rather interested in computer hardware, which is rather useless I guess.

    I'm a medical student and working with two other doctors on a small study.

    We are using a program called EpiInfo for which I bootcamped my MBP as they don't have it on iOS. I was wondering though how we could remotely and simultaneously contribute data to this single .mdb file?

    I've come across SQL servers, Access, Azure, etc without getting a real grasp of how it all works.

    Basically we are reviewing patient files and using this software for an epidemiological study. The patient information has been de-identified and there would only be 3 of us reviewing the records of thousands of patients.

    The software when you create a form, it creates a project file and a .mdb file.

    There is a function to save and transfer data but that is not optimal as we'd have to meet and we'd like to do it remotely and possibly simultaneously.

    We don't have a hospital/university server to use or an IT person easily available.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    The file extension .mdb is an outdated database file format that had been used by Microsoft Access databases prior to Access 2007 (if I remember correctly). Assuming that your front-end application EpiInfo is actually an old Access database front-end, then yes, you can have multiple users accessing it at the same time. Access is not a client-server database but instead a "file-based" database. Therefore, as long as you place that .mdb file in a shared folder that all users can reach on the network, and have permissions to write to, then they can all use it at the same time. Access will create an associated .ldb locking file in the same directory to keep track of the shared usage (using row-level locking) to make sure that multiple users don't edit the same record at the same time. Therefore, make sure to grant permissions for the entire group of users to allow them to have Change access to the parent folder where the .mdb file is as well.

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