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Last updated: 13 Jul 1999
Neither Approach nor SmartSuite have inbuilt facilities to accommodate this, so you need other applications to handle the communications.
If you're just interested in a remote dialup connection when needed, people have suggested using PC Anywhere or LapLink. This is by far the simplest and cheapest solution but only one remote user can access the host computer at once, and the host computer cannot be used by office staff while a remote users is linked to it. Depending on the complexity of the database and the number of screen redraws required it can be very slow, and so is really limited to situations in which the remote user just needs to access or enter a few records, rather than any major work. A major problem is that neither PC Anywhere or LapLink provides any transaction protection so that if the connection is lost mid-transaction your database could be corrupted costing you time and money... Approach does not contain any inbuilt protection against this. However, someone pointed out that with PC Anywhere or LapLink you are taking control of the host machine (you don't even need to have Approach installed on the computer that you're working on) so that the only data coming down the phone line is only to redraw the screen. All processing is done on the host computer, if a connection breaks the host the integrity of the database files should not be affected...
You can download a trial version of PC Anywhere from their web site.
To have remote multi-user sessions you really need a client / server
network and Dial Up Networking.
To accommodate more advanced requirements consider using Notes which can be set up over an IntraNet or for dialin access. The advantages include the ability to have simultaneous users, greater stability, security, transaction protection, scaleability, remote users can have their own local copy which will "replicate" with the server meaning that it is not necessary to maintain a constant phone connection. This last point may make it a cheaper option in the long run. However, it is considerably more expensive (you need a Notes Server licence, plus a Notes Desktop Licence for each user) and you need to be reasonable competent with Notes to set it up initially.