The Best Way for Two Computers to Use a Common Database

by Bonnie Conrad

Whether you use your computer for home or business, designing a database can be an excellent way to share data and allow multiple users to make updates. Unlike other software, database software is specifically designed to allow many different users to work in it at the same time. Anyone who has access to the database can open it, see real-time information and make any necessary updates.

Design Your Database Properly

To make it easier for two computers and multiple users to share the database, design the database properly from the start. Databases are great because they combine a powerful back-end engine with a user-friendly front end, allowing even users who are not technically savvy to get the information they need to make sound decisions. One of the best ways to make the database easy for everyone to use is to create a user-friendly data entry form to make entering data faster and easier. When users open the database, they will see this form, and not the complicated parts of the database.

Choose the Right Location

If you have a server at your office or on your home network, it is a good idea to save the database itself to that network share. Keeping the database in a centralized location will make it easier for users to access it. To allow users to access the database stored on the network, simply create a shortcut on each of the computers by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing \"New\" and then \"Shortcut\" from the drop-down list. Click the \"Browse\" button and navigate to the location of the database, then click \"Finish\" to paste the shortcut on your desktop.

Create a Share

If you do not have a server at your home or office, you can save the database to a specific folder, then share that folder between the two computers. To share a folder, right-click on it and click \"Sharing and Security\" from the drop-down list. Click the \"Sharing\" tab, choose \"Share This Folder\" and give the folder a descriptive name. Then go to your second computer, right-click on \"My Computer\" and choose \"Explore\" to open Windows Explorer; click on \"Tools\" and then \"Map Network Drive.\" Type \"\\\\computername\\sharedfolder\" where \"computername\" is the name of the computer where the database is housed, and \"sharefolder\" is the name of the folder containing it. You will now be able to access the database you created and stored on one computer from a second PC.


About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.