You should never let users access a table directly. When they need to add, delete, or modify data, give them a form to work through. Unfortunately, some users won't be satisfied, and they'll try to work around your data entry forms. One of the simplest ways to protect a table is to hide it, as follows:
- Right-click the object in the Database window.
- Choose Properties.
- Click the Hidden option.
Doing so removes it from the Database window list, but it's still there. Most users won't know to look for hidden objects, but some might. Viewing hidden objects is easy enough:
- From the Tools menu, choose Custom.
- Click the View tab.
- Check the Hidden Objects item in the Show section.
Another way to hide a table is to add the prefix Usys to the table's name. Access interprets any table with that prefix as a system object and hides it. (Access hides all system objects.) Checking the Hidden Objects item (step 3, above) won't display hidden system tables. However, clicking System Objects in the Show section will. A few users might be perceptive enough to try that option even if they don't know what it will do.
Hiding tables won't always be enough. Consider inhibiting the Database window or even deploying Access workgroups security.
Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.