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Today’s guest writer is Neha Monga, the Access PM responsible for the runtime. she was recently asked a few questions that are likely worth sharing more broadly.
Question: Is it in the design of Access 2007 runtime to be able to run in the SAME PC as one where there is already another Access License installed?
[Neha] Yes. Access 2007 runtime should be able to run with concurrent installations of other versions of full blown Access.
Question: Can the RunTime2007 application xxxx.accdr run on the same system as an yyy.mdb file whether it is Access2003 or Access2002 or Access 2000 or Access97 license already installed and there could be some older access applications running there perhaps?
[Neha] You are right. In that case your .accdr files will open with Access 2007 runtime. Do keep in mind is that if you have multiple versions of Access installed, then your other .mdb files will open with the “last run” version of Access or Access runtime. So when you try to open an .mdb file, it will open with Access 2007 runtime if that was the run last. The workaround to have your .mdb filed open in Access full-blown versions, is to launch open Access (XP, 2003, whatever you may have) and let it register as “last run” version of access. Next time, your .mdb files will open with that version of Access instead.
Question: I assume if a customer had Access2007 installed by any chance then the xxx.accdr would run under the full Access2007 without the need to download the AccessRunTime.exe file?
Question: What I am getting at is to try and deliver just one database in RunTime2007 mode so that I do not have to deliver an alternative yyy.mde file to run on older access licenses. Can I do that?
[Neha] You should always read the licensing agreement first—we don’t give legal advice through the blog.
You should be able to do deliver one database with Access runtime 2007 and it should work regardless of other Access full licenses installed on the users’ PC.
Furthermore, you can also make use of the packaging solution in ADE (Access Developer Extension) and create your custom msi with all the files and runtime bundled together. It also allows you to create a custom icon to launch your app with the runtime on the PC. You can find more information here.
I can think of at least one Deployed Access 2007 Runtime feature that would be a godsend for professional development: AccessRuntimeWindowCompletelyhiddenFromUser = True AccessRuntimeWindowAppearsWhenVistaTaskbarButtonClicked = False I always deploy databases in .mde format from Acc 2003. Garry
Garry: I'd also appreciate:
AccessThrowAwayAllBugsAndIssues (most wanted!!!)
Albert D. Kalal: You are right that there are some improvements in Access. But I'd like to mention old bugs which don't seem to be fixed... ever... (?) Clint C. has my e-mail with a document that lists some bugs & issues but I have no idea if any of them will be fixed in A2007 SP2. BTW, I think I've discovered a new issue in Access 2007 reports' page header - auto resize doesn't perform as expected. I will have more about it soon...
A2007 report header AutoHeight doesn't change section's height. Neither it moves controls below the control with CanGrow set to Yes.
I at first rebelled at the Ribbon paradigm, but in working with Access 2007, I found it a more flexible wat to structure menus, but what I still find annoying is: 1. Hiding of legacy command bars in the Ribbon under the Add-Ins tab. 2. The way Ribbons are implemented by having the design functionality totally outside Access/Office. 3. The extreme difficulty of working with Ribbons. 4. The patchy provision of a design environment, and poor info on FACE IDS etc 5. Leaving it to third parties to develop an in-Office tool to build Ribbons: there is still not a really decent product available.
If Microsoft wanted to improve Access in important ways for developers, they'd make the runtime really workable (ie idependent of retail Access), but most importantly, get it together for working with SQL Server and other robust RDBMS...kind of like they started to do with Access Projects for A2000. That's what, TEN YEARS ago! Because they must have started working on Access Projects a couple of years before the release of A2000. Albert I learned from your posting. But even if this release has some dev features, it lost more of those than it gained, and for the worlds most popular and productive db front end, it's a shameful performance by Microsoft. IMHO.
I have learned from you in the past through user-groups and through reading your site. I noticed you are a very generous professional that is willing to share your hard earned knowledge and your talent with others and I respect that very much. All that notwithstanding, I wonder if you have some sort of personal investment in Access. In other words, are you part of the Access team, or plan to be? Or something in that nature that leads you to take such a stand as a fervent advocate of Access07? You sound more like a representative of the company then a knowledgeable customer. The reason I ask this is that you don’t seem to even slightly acknowledge the issues that have been raised by other developers. Is the question about the tree-view really so odd? Yes activeX has been around but is it a technology you would recommend? Is it easy to deploy an ActiveX control as part of an application as it is to deploy a text box or a combo box? Can you use the Access “Package and Deploy” to safely and easily include it in your application? Its like a car company would offer a new version to the market, and customers would complain that you can’t take it to the road. The representative would say: “What are you talking about? We added a new steering system, a new dashboard, we have many new engine features that are top of the line..like this and that..”, and he will provide a nice list.
But the customer will say: “These are wonderful, but I can’t seem to take the car to the road. There is a problem with the wheels”. So the rep would continue to list some more wonderful new additions and features, ignoring the customer’s complaint. In the real world this car would not be sold, unless it is the only car on the market, or unless it is sold as component of a bunch of other products. Access is one if a kind on the market, and many people (maybe most) have it installed as a component of Office. I understand that there are many who did manage to get Access “on the road” so to speak, but I think these are the exceptions to the rule. You could connect this sort of car to a horse and then enjoy its wonderful new additions, but that would be missing the point wouldn’t it? Plus, you would need to be an expert with horses also. To me it is like a discussion between two deaf parties. The dependencies are an issue, the compatibility with previous versions, the difficulty of deployment, the need for third party products, incomplete Package and Deploy feature. Etc. there is no need to list all the issues. I think if the Access team would think “complete and robust” instead of think “neat” all these issues would have been resolved by themselves. I also don’t agree with the “end user’ argument. The ribbons did not make the life of end users easier. The real customers of Access are the developers. I contend that end users do not use Access. It is ridiculous that when developers complain they are told that they must understand that Access is not really for them, it is for ‘end users’. Vladimir started this post sitting the response of Paul Litwin and Ken Getz with regard to their great books. From my personal experience, no other books come close. I wonder what they would have to say about these issues. Is their decision not to continue with the book a sort of statement about Access and about where it is going? I hope not.
Golly, I did not think my post was “fervent” support. My personal investment in access is no different then yours. I just thought it was unfair that people pointed out no new features for developers (and I gave a short list of features that are really nice). If no one points out the features then you get a group speak about no new features and that just not fair. That why I posted those features. Strange that I suggested that the built in pdf feature is great. Then people suggested here that it is not a big deal because you can grab a 3rd party pdf solution. Well you can also grab a third party solution for installing also (sagekey). I seeing kind of a contradictory position here? I welcome the built in pdf ability and it is asked for a lot in the newsgroups. The fact of a third party installer or pdf should not throw dish water on this being a useful addition. We had great pdf and installer solutions for a long time now but that don’t mean access should not get these features. Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton Alberta Canada
our perspective, there are many needs of our broader community. Most Access users don't have skill or ability (i.e. permissions) to build apps on SQL Server. There is a group of people that have been successful building ADP apps on SQL Server but they are in the minority. We look forward to doing more for developers in future releases--we have a responsibility to balance that with the needs of all our users. Like I said before--my preference is to find features that are good for end users and developers. Zup--you asked about comments. We disable them for all posts after one week. We have had previous problems with spam and porn comments lingering on threads we weren't actively monitoring. I personally make a effort to monitor all posts made within a week but after that it gets too hard to keep things clean. Additionally, I have noticed that threads left open have a tendancy to ramble off topic and typically be filled with rants that have been covered many times before.
>Is their decision not to continue with the book a sort of statement about Access and about where it is going? I hope not. I don’t’ think so. Many auto magazines, and computer books magazine have gone by the way side because there is so much good information on-line. People don’t have to purchase books anymore. In the last 5 years, I seen a substantial increase in the number of blogs and web sites that has free code and examples for ms-access. It could be for other reasons but I don’t see this as a characterizing that ms-access is not a developers tool anymore. Albert D. Kallal
>for working with SQL Server This week I am deploying a multi-user application to be used in 3 cities at the same time. To accomplish this feat I am using the free on-line edition of office live (that is free SharePoint for those who don’t want to spring for it). To deploy this multi-user application we did not have to purchase a server, we did not have to setup sql server. We did not have to re-configure anyone’s corporate network or firewalls to allow incoming traffic. In fact, we do not have install ANY software or change hardware on the customers network or servers. With office live I now have a free in the cloud sever for ZERO costs. Why even bother with sql sever when I don’t even have to set one up now? I am ecstatic that I can deploy software in 3 different cities for free without anyone purchasing hardware. My software just works I am pitching this “anywhere” feature of my software to many of my clients that have 2-3 seat multi-user editions of my software. Some of my clients are going wireless in their office with laptops. Prior to 07, wireless file shares was a no no. Now not a problem! Telling clients they can take their laptops on the road, home, hotels or anywhere is HUGE selling feature. I can sign up for office live and build a on line server in less time for a customer then it takes me to write this post! The result is a free multi-user server system for the customer. And, did I mention NO red tape to get approval for hardware stuff from those clients? New features of 07 is opening all kinds of doors in terms of solutions and flexibility that I now can offer to my customers. I guess I just see how these new features are helping me. Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Albert--sounds like you are having fun with SharePoint. I would love to learn more--I have sent you an email.
to Zup; FINAL/ULTIMATE SOLUTION IN RT DISTRIBUTION:
- Thinstall Virtulization, Please visit www.thinstall.com, Package the ms access runtime with your finished access application and create a single EXE. - Formula: Ms Access Runtime+MDE/ACCDE= Single EXE Really great, I can even run my finish EXE in Ubuntu using Wine Emulation! Although there are minor limitations I found in my finish mde/accde
when deployed using this tool but the remedy is very easy. known minor problems so far: 1. shelling- resolve to running an external batch file
2. listview control click event-resolve to double click
3. report to or send object action to xls or doc. - resolve to manual
opening the output file.
4. Report Export to snaphot (.snp) -OK
5. Custom icon sometimes do not load in XP- VISTA OK. I am also monitoring the backend mdb and accdb, so far no problems in
terms of data processing both standalone and shared (15 users). I really wonder why? Ken Getz, Litwin,Gunderloy,Kallal, Tejpal and other MVP's do not share their knowlege about "Painless MS Access Runtime Distribution". Maybe..maybe... maybe.....SAGEKEY has spies inside MS ACCESS TEAM.
Well, I have posted some of my inno scripts for installing the front end, and silent installs of the a2003 runtime. So, sure, share much of my knowldge in this regards. However, thininstall is most certainly a solution (as is the free VPC). I am very aware of this AMAZING thininstall technology. (I even played with the demo copy). The problem is last time I looked a license was $5000. So, it is hardly an easy and affordable solution for most developers. If the pricing of thininstall has changed dramatic, then it MOST certainly is a solution that come down to earth for most of us developers. So, no, not trying to throw dish water on thinstall, but it pricing makes it a non recommend solution right now. Albert D. Kallal
Albert, Software development tools technology and pricing is like a "WATER 4 GAS" Issue. Thinstall will be free sooner, when MS Access team will allow us to compile the end product into EXE like Rbase and VFP! Virtualization is the future!! and thinstall lead the way in application level. VMWare+Thinstall=Cost Effective Solution. This is really I think purely an eCommerce and political issue inside MS. I'm puzzled, are thinstall guys smarter than MS guys?