Creating and Joining Workgroup Information Files

When you open a database, Microsoft Access reads the workgroup information file to find out who is allowed to access the database. If security was put into place, you will be prompted for the user ID and password. The first hands-on in this chapter will walk you through the steps required to create and join a new workgroup information file. Once you join the workgroup, you will create a new Access database and set up a password for the Admin user. This information will be saved in the workgroup information file that you've just joined.

The workgroup information file is created using the Workgroup Administrator. This option is available from the Tools menu after you launch the Microsoft Access application and before you open a specific database file. To work with this chapter's example procedures, you will create a new workgroup information file in Hands-On 17-1.

For more information on using Workgroup Administrator, workgroup information files, and securing Microsoft Access databases using the built-in user interface, start Microsoft Access and choose Help | Show Office Assistant.

Part II

Type Workgroup Adminstrator in the search box and click Search. You can also type this search string after pressing F1 in the Database window.

Our first project in this chapter will create a secured Microsoft Access database. Securing a database is a complex process that can be achieved in more than one way. You can use the options available on the Tools | Security menu to manually secure your database or you can run a User-Level Security Wizard as demonstrated in Custom Project 17-1. Securing a database boils down to creating a new workgroup information file, adding a new member to the Admins group, and removing the default Admin user from that group. You also need to remove permissions from the Admin user and from the Users group, and assign permissions to your own groups that you create.

Don't be discouraged if you need to go over the security steps more than once. Access security is complex and can be approached from many different angles. Books of several hundred pages have been written to explain its inner workings. The approach presented here will simply provide us with a secured Access database file we will use to perform the programming exercises in this chapter. Although you could learn how to use the ADOX commands for managing security using the currently open unsecured Access database, I think this particular approach will give you a better set of skills to begin with. So let's begin.

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