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Act 2008 over VPN

Tuned Listener
Posts: 15
Country: USA

Act 2008 over VPN

I have an ACT!2008 Premium Dual Access environment with 10 users presently. A few users work remotely often(one does always) and would like them to be able to use the one DB via DT client through a VPN connection as opposed to the Web client which is not quite as fully featured as we'd like. The more I'm reading about this though, the more I am thinking that actual database sharing is not supported via VPN as it is for internal users on our LAN. Only synchronization between remote and host database seems to be supported via a VPN tunnel. Can someone please confirm this once and for all? I've been reading about the network synching service, etc and will go that route if need be, but I'd rather not if I can help it. Lots more set-up involved with making a copy of the database for everyone and setting it up to function on their laptops as subscribers. Thanks. Gary
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia
Tuned Listener
Posts: 15
Country: USA

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

Yes. This is the article that led me to believe that only synching between remote users and the main database was supported and not real sharing like our normal LAN users. Is it the data throughput limitations of VPN that would prevent real sharing through VPN?
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

Tuned Listener
Posts: 15
Country: USA

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

[ Edited ]
OK, I think that in your cryptic response you were pointing me to tech article #21685 that states: "Sharing a Database Over a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Sharing a database over a VPN is no different than sharing the database over a LAN. Each remote user must obtain a copy of the .PAD file for the shared database and have read/write access to the database folder and the Supplemental Files folders." I have copied the .PAD file to a flash drive to be put on a remote machine to test over VPN. Sharing permissions on the database and all supplemental files are wide open. Firewall on the server and remote machines are both off. I question though, whether the local .PAD file will find its database properly, but we'll see. Our normal local users don't need to have a .PAD file on their machines. Message Edited by GFielding2008 on 02-12-2008 11:54 AM

Message Edited by GFielding2008 on 02-12-2008 11:55 AM
Tuned Listener
Posts: 15
Country: USA

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

I tried the above and got the same "not accessible" error.
Copper Contributor
Posts: 97
Country: USA

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

Have you tried opening the PAD file with a text editor like Notepad and resolving the settings manually?
 
Or, from the remote machine... once you've connected the VPN, open ACT! and hit File | Open Database.  Change the "Files of type" drop-down to "ACT! Database (*.ADF)" and then navigate to your remote share and select the ADF file for the database.  This should force the creation of a local PAD file with the correct connection settings.
 
I know a guy who uses a VPN to connect all the time so I know it's possible, although I haven't tried it myself yet.
 
jason
 
Jason Sellers
ACT! Engineer 2000-2007
Platinum Elite Contributor
Posts: 14,384
Country: Australia

Re: Act 2008 over VPN



GFielding2008 wrote:
I tried the above and got the same "not accessible" error.


What's the exact wording?
Tuned Listener
Posts: 15
Country: USA

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

Alright! I think we're getting somewhere. I hadn't thought of this earlier because its more of an annoyance and not a big problem, but there is an odd condition for us when we use VPN. Mapped network shares need to be mapped to the IP used on our network instead of server name. When we opened the .PAD file in Notepad, the database was seen as being at \\WPI-ACT01 instead of at the IP. We changed that to IP instead of server name and got to the log-in screen for the DB. Definite progress, however, the DB would not open due to the supplemental files not being found. Is there another file that we could edit with Notepad that can correct the supplemental files problem?
Copper Contributor
Posts: 58
Country: UK

Re: Act 2008 over VPN

Teh supplimental files error is usually caused by the main database not being shared through the act menus:
 
Tools> Database maintainance > Share database (should have a tick next to it)
 
If this is ticked then I would have a look to check that permissions on the folder the database is in and the supplimental files folder are set to allow the remote user full control and that the directories are not flagged as read only.