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Interesting question, and one probably more suited for people who are experts in the MS Access toy (well let's face it it's not a grown-up's database :D )
I'm guessing the MS Access application is a client side app. in which case I would guess that the authentication for use access is done through the application itself, and is not really a concern of the underlying database that the application runs against (Can MS Access apps, actually run against anything other than MS Access databases?).
If this were a project put on my desk, I'd be pushing for a full scale migration of database and app at the same time, looking to re-work the whole database (as appropriate) and re-create a new app using something like Oracle Application Express (APEX), and that would eliminate any potential cross-technology issues.
MS Access will be the client. It will establish a connection and session with Oracle. This needs to be authenticated.
So you can approach this as a standard app tier problem. The client automatically connects to the database, using trusted credentials. The client then authenticates the user itself, by checking that user's credentials (itself, or against the database via its trusted database session).
PS. I agree with Blu. I would dump MS Access all together and redo this using Apex.
Thank you !
You are right, they have now decided to replace the application as well. So, no more worry :-)
Billy and Blu have already identified Apex (Application Express) as a likely candidate for your application. To add weight to their argument, in case you're not aware, Apex has a migration tool for MS Access that can ease some of the pain. See