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Microsoft: Access Other topics FAQ

Access 101

What is an .MDE and why do I need it? by DougP
Posted: 24 Jun 00

It is a Compiled Access database which your users cannot change certain things. They cannot change or edit a form, a report or module. They can however add tables, add, edit, delete data in tables and make new queries.

You still need Access to run the .MDE but it stops corruption of the database especially when many users are in it at the same time. Corruption can occur when the Access database is open and a catastrophic event occurs, such as Power goes of to any PC that has it open including a Server where it is.

Each time you need to change something like a form you have to do it in the original .MDB and make a new .MDE from it again.

You want your users using the .MDE from now on, so change any icons on their desktop to match. I change the name of the original .MDB and just put a dash in front of the name like ôûwip.mdbö so the .MDE is ôwip.mdeö and the backend isö wip_be.mdbö

What is a backend (_BE)? (you only have to do this once)
A backend database is another Access database where just the data is stored. The reason you need to make a Backend (_BE) is because when  you make a .MDE you end up with 2 separate databases. The original .MDB and a database which is actually a copy the .MDE. The data in the tables is separate too. So if your users start using the .MDE they will make changes to the data which is not in the .MDB.  The next time you make a change to the database a month later and create a new .MDE the data in the .MDB which is a month old will overwrite the data in the original .MDE and the data will be lost.
After you make your _BE and you are in the .MDB and decide you need to add another field to one or more of the tables you have to open the _BE and change it there then save it and re-open your .MDB which will reflect the new changes.

Do not make the backend into a .MDE or trouble will occur. The Backend only holds data donÆt put any thing else in it.

Steps to make a backend (_BE)
1. Click ôToolsö menu then ôAdd-Insö then ôDatabase Splitterö
2. Click the ôSplit databaseö button
3. Accept the default location and name and click the Split button
4. In a few seconds you will have a backend _BE
Also you will notice that all of the tables have a little black arrow in front to them this means they are linked.

To actually make a .MDE see my FAQ:
Look in the Access 101 section at the very top for
How do I make an .MDE?  FAQ181-90

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