I have a few different web front ends that I use ActiveX Data Objects and ADODB connections to query an Access Database on a network drive. Usually there's some JavaScript logic that helps build the queries or otherwise parses the returned data.

There's no server involved and, for a myriad of reasons, I'm going to try to avoid needing a server.

This approach requires IE 11 since it needs ActiveX. Which is now a problem for obvious reasons.

Is anyone familiar with another approach I could use that would work in a similar manner? If I can avoid re-doing all of the front ends, and find some other way to push queries to Access and get JSON objects back, it'd be a huge time saving.

  • Good Lord, did you unearth a forgotten pyramid or something? That design was horrible, even when it it was still active technology. If you do the same with current technology, it will still be a horrible design.
    – nvoigt
    Dec 12, 2021 at 17:37
  • This is a great question, because the idea presented here is so bad that we all can learn a lot from it.
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 20, 2021 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


No, browsers must sandbox the JavaScript so that it can't access arbitrary files or invoke contact processes on the host. It can only communicate via network requests. Without ActiveX serving as a bridge between the JavaScript in the sandbox and the host outside of the sandbox, you must implement equivalent software yourself: some software that runs on the host and can be contacted from the JavaScript via a network connection, preferably via HTTP. Alternatively, a browser extension could perhaps be given the necessary permissions.

Your choice is then primarily how you would like to deploy this bridge: you can either run it as a centralized server, or deploy and run it on every machine where the access would be needed. While there could be legitimate needs for per-user deployments, running a centralized server on an intranet is typically going to be vastly simpler and more secure.

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