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Today's guest writer is Neha Monga, Access PM in charge of the runtime.
The Access runtime is a valuable part of Access - Developers can distribute their rich Access solutions to users without requiring a full installation of Access. In the Office 2007 release, we offered the runtime available for free and we have seen tremendous download volume. We are excited that many of you are using it and want to better understand your experience with it from both feature and distribution perspective. This applies for every runtime version you may have used since we made it available back in Access version 2.0. We would appreciate your time to take the appropriate survey below and help contribute to its evolution.
There are 3 surveys targeted at different Runtime audiences:
Just curious. Why three different surveys and what's the difference between them?
Make ms access finish application distribution in a single EXE, like VMware Thinstall, eradicating conflicts. That's the reality developers wanted. If not affordable then even like RBase or Visual Foxpro.
I took the first two surveys and there are questions that require an answer and do not have a "none" option. I had to pick an option that was not correct just to continue. In the "Individual developers" survey, Q5 does not have an option for having only Access 2003 runtime, which is what I use. Almost all my clients only have Office 2003. *** Note: you may want to have proofread these?
Cannot add a comment here. Why? Censorhip?
My comments on A2007 Package And Solution Wizards bugs are censorhipped. Thank you.
Individual developers/consultants/Access MVPs: Question 12 is badly designed. The survey should contain more questions about runtime quality and maybe about A2007 Package Solution Wizard (PSW).
A2007's PSW is too buggy - almost out of any use:
1) CZ language version is not available.
2) It's impossible to create a setup for MDB-project. Deployment wizard renames MDB into ACCDB, MDE to ACCDR!
3) Deployment wizard creates a subfolder and places all installation files in it.
I chose D:\Data.
The setup files can be found in a subfolder EO11 (D:\Data\EO11) when I choose "File to package" C:\Instalace\KEOw\Databaze\EO11.mdb. The files should be placed in D:\Data.
It's absolutely non-sense, especially if I have the opportunity to select target folder.
4) Chained install: end user can't remember what happened during chained installation procedure so that he/she doesn't know what to uninstall when he/she decides to! Also, some parts of installation may be run in quiet mode - in such case the end user doesn't know what to uninstall either.
5) SUPER BUG: Deployment wizard does not deploy referenced files/dependency files!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In my MDB projects I have a few references to VB6 OCXs (ActiveX) but they are not included in the MSI-file!!!
6) Different versions of Access are not fully compatible. We're having BIG problems installing A2007 apps on machines with A97 apps.
I had to remove a link to MSDN from my post and I was pointed to main blog page.
My post was automatically deleted if it contained a link to MSDN. :-/
I answered as an individual developer.
10. Could not give the real answer since it was not in the list and there was no free text box. Looks like you won't get the correct answers from people on this question. For me it would have been the inability to take Sharepoint data offline.
11. Had the same item twice (or just about).
12. Had to lie on this one as it did not give me the opportunity to answer correctly. Answered "LAMP for web applications" just for a laugh. What is "LAMP for web applications" by the way? Correct answer would have been VB6.
Q12 - individual developer: Correct answer would have been VB6. Same as Alan.
Q12 - I added Oracle because I had to choose something. But in reality I use VB 6.0, COM+ and SQL Server. I use SageKey's scripts for deploying the runtime. Also, I dearly wish that I could acquire a copy of the 2003 runtime without having to pay for the entire VSTO 2005 package as I would prefer to working with Access 2003 rather than 2002.
I have no problems with Windows XP and Access Runtime 2007. But minor problems with Windows Vista and Access Runtime 2007 (including full access version). Will SP2 correct these problems?
For our solution, we don’t find Access 2007 Runtime installation being difficult or a problem. It is simple and easy enough for my clients to install. If it was a click once application, or even self updating (hot fixes and service packs), that would be awesome, but we're still happy on that side. The Access branding enforcement wasn't great, but we have no choice but to live with it. The biggest challenges we have the Runtime are 1. Bugs – Bugs are always problematic, and are compounded by lack of acknowledgement and documentation of the bugs, workarounds and when and if we can expect fixes. The documentation is lacking so very badly. I also hate that things behave differently in the full version than with the Runtime. This means that developer testing isn’t reliable and puts that much more pressure on our production testing, increasing the time it takes to put out builds. a. For example, if I add a Janus GridEx control (a great ActiveX grid that we’ve been using for many years) to a form in 2007, it works fine in the full version, but doesn’t load in the runtime. I still have to run 2002\2003 in parallel with 2007 just to add new instances of this grid, so that it loads in the runtime. 2. Spell check isn’t available UNLESS full Office 2007 (and only 2007) is installed. Our clients may have Office 2003 or earlier, and it isn’t our place to force an expensive upgrade for just spell checking. Again this is part of my previous comment of the Full version behaving differently from the Runtime. 3. Exports to Excel (not limited to the runtime). I’ve written in my own Excel, CSV and XML exports to work around this, and I understand its coming back in full Access 2007 sp2. I can only hope it will also be back in sp2 of the Runtime, but I can’t be certain due to lack of documentation.
Ihave never used any version of Access runtime, I have never tried to use it. I know that it will not work 100% everytime, sorry to be of such little faith. I'd love to test it and report on it but apologies, I dont have the time.
Have used Access 2007 to create 4 runtime versions of applications with NO issues due to MS Access. :)
As to export to excel, I've used Candace's code in Access 2003, 2007, and 2007 Runtime with no issues.