Networking Shepherd’s Staff


In order to network Shepherd’s Staff, you must have the following set up:

» Computers must be networked together.

» It’s recommended the network be hardwired as opposed to wireless. A wireless network will work but it increases the chance of data corruption when reading from and writing to the database.

» All computers using Shepherd’s Staff must have read/write access to the database location along with network/folder permissions to that location.

» Shepherd’s Staff needs a drive letter for the database location so a network drive must be mapped to the database location. (Warning: A unc path will not work)

» Once these requirements are set, you will be able to select the database using the “Select a Church” utility.

You will probably need to use the “Change Folder” button within that utility to browse to the database location.


Below are more detailed, step-by-step instructions for connecting a workstation to the database stored on another PC on the network.  If the database location is already shared on the network for other workstations, you will only need to update your settings on the workstation.  Otherwise, if the 'server' PC hasn't shared the database location yet, you would share the database folder first.  make sure that Network Discovery is enabled on the workstation.  Open your Network and Sharing settings (in Windows 10, open Settings > Network & Internet > Sharing options).

First, make sure that Network Discovery and File Sharing are enabled on your server computer.  Open your Network and Sharing settings (in Windows 10, open Settings > Network & Internet > Sharing options).  Under the 'All Networks' drop-down, you should also make sure that password protected sharing is disabled.



Next, we will share the database on the 'server' computer.  Locate the folder where the database is stored (usually C:\ShepherdsStaff\) - you can see this information by opening Shepherd's Staff and clicking the 'Switch' button on the login dialog.  It will open the 'Switch to a different church database' screen and you can see the current database and where it is stored - in the screenshot below, my file name would be 'DemoDatabase.MDB' and it would be found in the C:\ShepherdsStaff\ location.




Open File Explorer and navigate to the Folder containing the database.  Right click the folder and choose Properties.




In the Folder Properties dialog that appears, click on the Sharing tab and then the 'Share' button.




In the Network Access dialog that appears, choose 'Everyone' from the Drop-down and click 'Add' to add them to the list.  Once 'Everyone' is added, click the drop-down for their permission level (should be Read by default) and choose Read/Write, then click 'Share' to share the database.



Once that is done, the setup for the server computer is complete and we're ready to set everything up on the workstation.  Move over to the workstation and we will map a network drive to the shared database location.  Open File Explorer, select 'This PC' and then click 'Map network drive' at the top of the window under the 'Computer' tab.


In the Map Network Drive dialog, assign a drive letter and use the 'Browse' button to select that shared folder. If it's not appearing when you click the Browse button, you can manually type in the network path instead (you would need to look up the path on the server computer, usually just the name of the computer or its IP address, followed by ShepherdsStaff.




Once you have mapped the network drive, open Shepherd's Staff and you can use the 'Switch database' button in the tools menu on the Shepherd's Staff Central Window, or the 'Switch' button on the login screen to open the Switch to a different church database utility where you can use the 'Change folder' button to locate the database on your mapped network drive.