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Access 2003 Runtime Distribution

Posted on 2006-04-25
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi,

I am trying to distribute a runtime version of my Access app in Access 2003. The Application uses some ActiveX components, some that are part of Access and some that come from FMS.

I have the Access 2003 Developer Extensions (ADE) but the help on this is almost non exsitant and I get runtime errors when running my installed applications and can only put this down to not having all the ActiveX components installed correctly. The FMS components have an exe file to install their components which I have included in the distributable but how do I get the installable exe to run? This ADE seems to have bits missing when it come to installing file and gathering components.

How do I go about this?

Does anybody have an INNO Setup examples to do the same sort of thing?

Help!

Chris
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Question by:ChrisBerry
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LVL 85
ID: 16533188
You must distirbute, install, and register all ActiveX controls used in your application, or make certain that the target computer has those items (for example, you may not want to distribute MDAC, as most machines will already have this installed).

What "native" ActiveX controls are you using? You must distribute these as well ...

While the new version of the Package and Deployment Wizard is a definite step up, it's not really intended for full-featured deployments. You're far better off using a more professional installer. One problem you run into with installers is they can't "search" an Access application for items which need to be installed (most can do this with VB/C etc programs) so you must be diligent about ensuring that all necessary libraries are installed and configured with your app. For example, you do NOT distribure the msadox.dll library independantly ... this is part of MDAC (which must be distributed as a whole) and trying to install individual MDAC files will result is a corrupt MDAC install on your target machine (and a lot of very pissed off phone calls and emails).

Here's a link to a question involving Inno Setup ..

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/MS_Access/Q_21776260.html

The last posting by ryancs is the one you want to look at ... specifically the section titled [Run].

Do you have a GUI for building yoru Inno setup? There is a big 3rd party user base for Inno and they are some creative fellas:

http://www.jrsoftware.org/is3rdparty.php 

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Author Comment

by:ChrisBerry
ID: 16533546
Thanks for the reply.

The "native" ActiveX component I use is the MS ListView Control V 6.0.

How do I know where these things reside, get hold of them and register them using the ADE? It does not seem to cater for this!

My last exposure to Access was Access 97 about eight years ago and the Distribution app seemed to work much better, as I recall.

The GUI I use for Inno Setup is ISTool and have used it extensively for the deployment of Delphi apps.

As far as Inno Setup and Access is concerned, which files do I need to distribute my Access app and the Access Runtime application?

Regards

Chris
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 750 total points
ID: 16537367
Your Office Developer help file should let you know which control to deploy for the ms listview control ... I believe it MSComCtrl.ocx ... again, check the help file for this.

The ADE has no bearing on distribution ... you would tell your installer to include and install/register the necessary files. I find it easier sometimes to build a VB project with the same ActiveX controls and let my installer (Wise) search the project and find all references.

You must distribute your Access application (the .mdb or .mde file) as well as the runtime ... beware of doing this, as distributing the Access runtime to a machine with an existing Access install can wreak havoc on that machine ... many developers use the Sagekey scripts (www.sagekey.com) to successfully distribute an Access runtime

Here's a few runtime links:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/odc_ac2003_ta/html/odc_AcBasicsofRuntime.asp
http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/access/techarticles/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_ac2003_ta/html/odc_acdeployade.asp
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Author Comment

by:ChrisBerry
ID: 16588481
Thanks for your help so far.

I think I have managed to sort out the runtime apart from one thing, how do I set the Access Runtime Macro/Code security level to Low so as to stop the Unsafe Code message on startup? I have done it for Access itself using Tools/Macro/Security... This is a closed application and has no security problems hence no certificates required.

Regards

Chris
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