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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.
> Go to thinstall NOW! Ouch, I just checked their pricing, and it looks like it gone up! Perhaps because they were purchased by vmware? 50 client installs retails at $8,187 (3 year support) So, that works out to $163 dollars per install. Unfortunately, they don’t sell packages with less then $50 licenses at a time. I think that is a big mistake on their part. Why should they care how many licenses you buy at one time. As long as they are getting their $150 or so per install, why should they care? I have no idea why they force the purchase of 50 licenses at one time? So, I suppose for some types of software, it makes sense, but other types it is quite expensive due to their pricing model right now. I wish they were more flexible in this regards.. Albert D. Kallal
wao, this blog was difficult to read. I understand clint now, when they close the post. This was supposed to be about runtime, and it has a lot of topics to be discussed, a lot of them very interesting by the way. There is only one thing that i really misses from old access 2003 and before, is the ability to export access reports to excel. Certainly we can create code to do such feature, and we can do the groupings and all that stuff, but this was all automatic, now we need to re-do more than 200 reports to provide a feature that was there all the time. This is the only thing that I’m missing. As a professional day to day access developer, who provides support to access apps i can certainly point some new features and enhancements, like. I love the new resize of controls, but we will need a table layout panel in a way where controls do not grow in top of others. A new conditional format like excel. And i can make the list very big, but here is not the topic. Anyway, go ahead clint and zac, make access the vry best office tool, please remember us the access / sql developers. Thanks
Edwin Blancovitch: I'm affraid Zac has left MS Access team a while ago...
Zac Woodall moving on...
01 March 08 12:03 AM I'm sure you've all noticed that I've been less than active on the blog lately. I'm sorry for the lull, and the reason is that change is afoot. After 7.5 years working on the data team here in Office I've decided to make a change. Monday 3/3 I'm starting a new role with the Virtual Earth team. Meaning no next generation tech design will be implemented in Access 14? It's great, they can't really fix the RT issue? but they divert to Access/GIS technology. VIVA Access! MS Release it to open source if you can't fix it?
First, its good to see the developers finely standing up to Microsoft on this. Early on when A2007 was released, I felt so much like a lone ranger posting all the things the developers are posting here, that I finally gave up on posting. Albert, I read your posts, and to be honest, let me tell you what you describe as "for developers" is very lacking. 1) I turn off the Data control for all dates (God only knows, if I miss on) because it is probably one of the most graphically bad designs of a pull-down date control Ive ever seen. 2) I have yet to get the PDF feature to work. Even the new printer driver for the microsoft document doesn't work. I gave up. So this is also useless 3) I played with split forms. I found it to be GUI Crappy. Still won't use it, for its lack of ability to validate and place custom actions and controls. No Events appropriate to handle actions we need. 4) I spend MORE time in the Scrolling interface Scrolling for my objects now. If Im working on a module, and I need to open a table, I have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll to get to the table. I used to "click a tab, and maybe scroll to the right once. the new UI is NOT developer friendly. It wastes SO MUCH OF MY TIME. 5) when I migrated my MDB to an ACCDB, the first thing I had to do for EVERY FORM was add a insideheight = 1440 * x (X representing the form height) and insidewidth = 1440 * X (X representing the form width) to EVERYONE of our forms. Just so they didn't open in a box that was 100pips x 100pips. times about 80 forms, that was a waste of time. 6) Things that worked in MDB stopped working, Had to recode it. 7) SP1 comes out to fix some problems, and microsoft makes it to where the runtime sp1 doesn't overwrite the current runtime install, thus we have to have our end users UNINSTALL runtime before they can install our solution. This added a bunch of support time for those that don't know how to uninstall. I, like you, can go on and on on how access has moved away from developer solution. We recently bought RealBasic 2008. We are in the process of dumping the Microsoft Access 2007 solution we have had for so many years, that worked well for so many years and re-writing using a NON-Microsoft product. We could have gone with vb.net, however the decision was made that putting our faith in Microsoft continually is what causes these headaches. Microsoft DOES NOT listen to the development community. Microsoft has its own agenda, one has to question if taking over the computing world is not the primary agenda. I think you will see more and more, people shying away from Microsoft Product Solutions simply to keep from depending upon your company. It truly is a sad thing. Cause you have a leading product that is an Awesome RAD tool used by developers and you drive it into the ground. You justify it by indicating "but you asked us for these features" - We may ask for alternate color rows, or calendar controls, etc. But these are OPTIONS, not requirements. But changing the toolset has not made us more productive. It has hindered our productivity. I can't tell you how much time I waste on doing things such as "Minimize and then maximize the VB Editor just to do a find replace" or "where in the ribbon did they put this?" You guys just don't get it.
Yes, I'm seriously considering using Realbasic, too. It seems to be the next obvious choice for development. Garry
MS Access 14?
www.volny.cz/.../MSAccess14.doc This is a document that I sent to Clint Covington a while ago.
DOC, 10 pages, 1 455 616 B Enjoy... ?
>I turn off the Data control for all dates (God only knows, if I miss on) because it is probably one of the most graphically bad designs of a pull-down date control Ive ever seen. Virtually everyone I know using it loves it. It means we don’t have to resort to using an activeX control. I really am at a loss as to why you think it poor feature? This feature simply eliminates the need for 3rd party controls, or even restoring to activex controls. > I have yet to get the PDF feature to work. So you mean that because you having a problem with pdf’s, the adding of pdf’s to access is a bad idea? That is just such silly logic here. There is not a developer on the planet that I talked to who told me that adding pdf ability to ms-access is a bad idea. You stand alone, very alone in this view. Now, if your having some problem with the feature, then you have 100% my sympathy and I hope the problem can be solved. However, to stand here and throw bath water on the “idea” of adding pdf ability to ms-access not fair at all. > I played with split forms. Still won't use it, for its lack of ability to validate and place custom actions and controls. You have to tell what you mean by the above? I think it a great ui and you often see it in applications. I have no idea what you mean about validation or custom actions? If you add any event code to a control on the form side, then that SAME event code will run/fire if you edit on the datasheet side. So, your perfectly able to add code to the SAME SET OF events that you ALWAYS been able to. I suppose if your doing something out the ordinary then you can just fall back on using a form+sub-form. Perhaps you expand on what the problem here is, but I am really falling to grasp what you talking about?
>4) I spend MORE time in the Scrolling interface Scrolling for my objects now. If Im working on a module, and I need to open a table, I The first afternoon I spent working on a large application, I also did not like the new UI. Now I love it. You simply need to change your approach a bit to take ADVANTAGE of the new navigation system. The old way, you had to click on a tab, and then scoll/move though the list. The new way: (make sure you enabled the search option in the navigation pane…right –click to do this – you only need to do this once). To bring up a form with the new system, you click on forms section (you had to click on the forms tab before). Now in the search box type simply type in the first few chars of the object your looking for. For example, I have medium sized application with 160 forms. I always categorized my forms with some type of prefix. For example I have about 12 forms for user interface stuff. So, they are all prefixed with GUI (eg: GuiInvoicePrint, GuiMail etc). So, to bring up a list and work JUST with those 12 forms simply type in GUI in the search bar. Presto!!, I now have a NICE SIMPLE list of 12 forms that starts with GUI. Hold on to your pants, because now if you drop down the reports list, you ALSO get the list that starts with GUI. In other words, you can now display the two lists of related objects together (and, this even more super for queries). Now you reports, forms and quires and be filtered together as a group. To say this is not cool is an understatement. Note that the up/down arrow keys (and, also left/right arrow keys expand/collapses the nav pane nodes EXACTLY like they do with a a tree view control) (I assuming you like using keyboard shortcuts like me). In fact, the nav pane really is a treeview control if you think about it, but with the addition of a that search option. Note that the search is NOT limited to the prevfix. So if you type in invoice, then you get all forms/reports/queries with invoice keyword anywhere in the name (how cool is that!!!). So, you can now with GREAT ease bring up a set of related forms/reports/query that have invoice in them. When you scroll through the list with arrow keys, simply hit control-enter to bring up that form in design mode. (and hit ctrl-w to save, and you right back to the nav pane). The new filtering on the nav pane is the KEY to making it work for you, not against you. I think your main problem with scrolling is that your trying to do things the old slow way, and you now have a better way to filter and group things. You just have to spend a bit of time to learn it. I like to work with small groups of things, and you look at the trend in .net or most development systems, you will see the same trend. > I, like you, can go on and on on how access has moved away from developer solution. I guess we see this different. You telling me because you had a problem with the pdf, or don’t like the UI for the new built in calendar control that this invalids these features as welcome additions by developers? I guess I disagree with your view on this. I want developer features also since that is what I use the product for. The list I gave was by no means extensive. The problem here is we only hearing from people that have complaints. I am only posting here to give some balance, since the ones that like things are not saying anything at all here because they are happy. You can tell me you don’t like some of these new features, but to come here and tell me there nothing new for developers is unfair. If I don’t say anything then you have a bunch of people coming here and going, yup, nothing new here…and then everyone else repeats that. Heck, I just stumbled into the fact that reports now have a on-load feature in addition to on-open…
>You have to tell what you mean by the above? I think it a great ui and you often see it in applications. Specifically, my experience is access likes to updated data records prior to validation of the data. I like to validate data before ever issuing a write to the DB. The Object model of validating a field AT ENTRY OF THAT FIELD does not always lend itself to the dataset itself, nor validation of the field on "after update". I allow my users to enter all the data, then validate. then they get one erorr message, NOT ONE ERROR MESSAGE EVERY TIME THEY LEAVE A FIELD. for this reason, I do not like the datasheet view. I think its functionality is worthless since it requires validation on a field by field level vs. record level. In Object oriented model, yes, field by field is correct, however object oriented is not always the best way to approach a good user interface. Users don't want to be "bothered" everytime they leave a field. They want to bothered once, fix what they messed up and be done. So the split form idea is useless in my opinion from a design standpoint since it is object oriented validation with encapsulates the validation code with the field itself and thus creating more code work to provide the validations as well as an unfriendly user experience.
I have read your input on the nav pane. Grouping items such as table with form with report with query, etc. only works if all those items have a key foundation. I have many many popup modals to accomplish various tasks that are NOT tied to a query, table, etc. But logically they do belong to a group of objects. I have played with the different forms of grouping items, and I fail to see the advantage. I can see an advantage in Simple form on top of table type of designs, but you get into the complexities of the designs we have, it simply doesn't benefit, it hinders Either way, you STILL HAVE TO scroll, or use the filter, but I don't always remember the title of the form, or table, or report to even use the filter, I need to see the name of the object, which means I need to see all my objects together. So when Im working on a modules and I need to review a table, no matter how I have things grouped, I still end up scrolling more than necessary. Its still extremly cumbersome. Fine if it works for you. GREAT, Im very pleased. But it doesn't work for everyone, and having a nav pane option would have been nice. Example: Dreamweaver, has a Designer View, Coder view, etc. THEY DIDN'T GET RID OF LEGACY VIEWS, they added and allowed the developer to choose which tool worked best for them. Microsoft Access team could have done the same thing, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Same with the ribbon, Microsoft access team could have allowed legacy menus, or ribbons. Again, we wouldn't be having this conversation. As to the calendar feature. You can't honestly tell me that you would rather use what they built instead of an activex. Why is using an activex so hard anyways? Its super simple. You simply add it to the form, and your done. Its no more complicated than adding any other control. I read that we had the calendar control and I was excited over it. I thought, Thats an awesome developer enhancement. THEN I USED IT, and I was appalled. Its graphically horrible. It doesn't line up with the field. You have an obtrusive icon to the right of the field, traditionally, its part of the field. As to PDF's OMG I NEED IT SO BAD, you have no clue how bad I need it. But its not a developer tool, if it don't work. Its just extra code added to the Microsoft Access and its useless. I HAVE SUCH A MAJOR NEED TO GENERATE PDF, as a matter of fact, that is the one sole reason I upgraded to the A2007, was for PDF cause my users have been asking for it. Imagine how disappointed I am to realize it don't even work, and I did all this code modification just so our A2003 ran in A2007, just for PDF, and it doesn't work. While were on the subject of things. Can someone tell me why when I do a search in A2007, the default help search is for ALL Products, shouldn't it default to search A2007 documentation ONLY? I don't really much care about Visio, or word, or excell when Im trying to figure out something that is Access related. The help system has gone downhill. Incidentally, Erwin, I have started to review the DBACentral builder 2. So far, what I can see, its not bad and thanks for the recommendation.
"# clintc said on July 11, 2008 12:53 AM: 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." Again, the ‘end user’ argument. I just don’t understand this argument. It is like a magic sentence that answers all complaints. If you complain it is because you are a developer, and Access is actually intended also for what is called ‘end users’. But who are these ‘end users’? And how do the changes in Access07 serve them? Can they really make use of Access07 if even developers can’t seem to? Can you show me one end user that used the ribbons or that made any meaningful use of A2007? And isn’t it true that end users actually go for Excel and do not really bother with Access? As far as I can understand, this is a way to avoid any raised issues instead of dealing with them. But maybe I don’t understand because I see myself as a developer and not an ‘end user’. "# M. David Matney said on July 15, 2008 1:23 AM:
You justify it by indicating "but you asked us for these features" - We may ask for alternate color rows, or calendar controls, etc. But these are OPTIONS, not requirements." David, I like your distinction between Options and Requirements. I think that all the nice added features are nice and welcome additions or ‘Options’ as you call them, but if ‘Required’ basic functionality is lacking or missing then the added new wonderful features (assuming they work) can’t be of much use. That is why, in my view, a lengthy discussion of how all these new bells and whistles have been added is really missing the point. Gilad
I am new to designing and working with Access, and I have an issue with an existing database that their tables are not getting all the information they require. One question from the owner of the company was if we can add new fields to existing table in our database without creating problems with our data and the integrity of the database itself. If I understand correctly, this would not be an issue, but I wanted to make sure I was correct and ask people who have much more experience with Access than I have. I would appreciate any input that you can give me.