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Correct Tool?

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I am considering using this type of application to enable my field staff to operate some Access databases from their mobile devices.

Most of them are using Apple Iphones.

As a test I downloaded Wayk Now, however it was particularly easy when remote operating my Surface. I found it a bit disconcerting moving the mouse pointer about and having to be fairly precise with check marks and the like.

The check box is important with what I have in mind to build, consequently my demo dummy has a few of them. As i said clunky at best would be a fair description of the experience.

First question I guess is am I using the right tool or should I be testing with a different application?

Second question I was of the understanding a lot of these tools had auto resize on board. I didnt think that was happening on this application. Is this a feature I can turn on and off?


Clock3 mths


Since Access isn't a true mobile technology, a remote access solution like Wayk Now (or Remote Desktop, VNC, TeamViewer, etc, etc) would likely be your best option. However, as you say, the experience is likely to be clunky and you'd have to weigh the convenience against the benefits of using a more suitable technology (exposing the database as a true web application or native app would give the best experience).

There are difficulties driving the traditional PC interface using a mobile device touchscreen - the iPad now has some limited mouse and keyboard support, but not the iPhone. Desktop controls (like checkboxes) don't lend themselves well to a touch environment, because the targets that you need to touch end up being extremely small.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by auto-resize? In Wayk Now, you can use the typical "pinch" and "spread" gestures to zoom in-and-out of the remote display. When the display is zoomed, you can pan around by dragging the mouse pointer to the screen's edge. So you can feasibly zoom the display to make the checkboxes / touch targets large enough to interact with, but then you are very limited in what else can be seen on the screen until zooming back out.

So, while it's certainly possible to get things done with such a setup, it's certainly not ideal. I agree that "clunky at best" would be a fair description.

Coincidentally, we did have a feature request recently for some changes to the input mode on iOS that could make things work "slightly" better in your scenario.

Ultimately, if you are committed to the Access solution and need remote access via iPhone or other mobile device; then Wayk Now or a similar product is the kind of tool you should be looking at, but you will be forced to deal with some pretty large limitations.

Thanks and kind regards,

Richard Markievicz


Clock3 mths

Adding to what my colleague said:

Desktop applications like Microsoft Access can be used with a remote desktop application like Wayk Now on a mobile device, but usability will always be best effort. Since those applications were not designed with a touch interface in mind, their usage will always be clunky at best. Trying to adapt and improve desktop applications to enhance their usability from a mobile device is out of scope for us.

There are a few niche players specializing in adapting or "refactoring" desktop applications for better mobile usability. One of them is PowWow Mobile:

These kind of applications integrate with the desktop application directly to figure out user interface components such as check boxes and presenting mobile equivalents on the mobile device. However, these are meant for use cases where the investment required to port a legacy desktop application to a mobile application far outweigh the cost of adapting it on-the-fly with a platform like PowWow. My understanding is that this would be overkill for your use case.

In all cases, I confirm that Wayk Now is not the correct tool if you wish to make Microsoft Access more usable than it currently is from a mobile device.

Best regards,

Marc-André Moreau


Clock3 mths