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Access Developer Extentions - Package Wizard - Update runtime systematically

Posted on 2006-10-30
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I am using Access 2003 Developer Extensions to package a runtime solution for my database.  I often come up with changes and would like to deploy them without having to go to each PC.  When I have a new version to install, I have to go to the PC... go to the control panel and uninstall the current version... then run through the setup.

Is there a way to set all of this up in a batch file?  So maybe the user could run this and have the application updated all at once - without my needing to go and do this on each PC??
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Question by:Scotto13
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LVL 39

Assisted Solution

by:thenelson
thenelson earned 200 total points
ID: 17837439
Take a look at Updated Front End at http://www.thenelson.name/ for how to do this automatically.  It is well documented but you may ask me any questions here.

Nelson
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Author Comment

by:Scotto13
ID: 17837568
Hi Nelson,

This looks like a great solution, but I am not using a front end, rather I have a runtime that needs to be installed on indivuals PCs.  These people do not have MC Access on their PCs.  Can this be addopted to manage this?  
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LVL 84
ID: 17838448
The PDW should build your Runtime install for you. Nelson's solution would simply update the program you provide for use with the runtime (your .mde/.mdb file).

Are these local users, on the same network? Or remote users?
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Author Comment

by:Scotto13
ID: 17838464
Local users on the same network.  I don't know what a PDW is.  I use the installer that comes with the Package Wizard.  I think its MSI.  
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LVL 84
ID: 17838572
That's the Packaging and Deployment Wizard (the PDW). It does produce a Windows MSI package.

Are you packaging the Access Runtime along with your developed application? If so, then you would only deploy the package once; afterwards you'd deploy a Patch or Update and doing that is quite difficult - you'd be better off using a suggestion like Nelson. There are other utilities to do this, or you can use a simple batch file to copy your new frontend across the network.
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Author Comment

by:Scotto13
ID: 17838593
I'm not getting something...  When I make changes to the .mdb, I then package this and it needs to be installed on each PC.  Nelson, how does your tool help with this?  It seems that it would only work if I had the .exe installed on the network instead of each PC.  Is that what you're suggesting I do?

If I use another utility to "copy the frontend accros the network", would this deploy the .exe?  Please break this down for me, as I am new to using PWD.
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LVL 84

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 300 total points
ID: 17838882
Generally, the only time you need to "install" would be the very first time the app is installed on a machine. At that time, you'd have to install the Runtime, any ActiveX controls you may be using, any code libraries/dll/ocx files, etc etc ... after that, however, you only deploy the files you need to update (and that would NOT include the Runtime). Generally, you would only need to update the actual "frontend" file, but none of the supporting files.

So a utility to simply copy the new frontend from a server somewhere to the workstation would suffice ... no need to repackage and redeploy, unless you need to distribute a new ActiveX control or code library.
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 300 total points
ID: 17838915
BTW: here's a link to another free frontend update utility:

http://www.granite.ab.ca/access/autofe.htm

This has been around for some time and doesn't use the Scripting runtime to copy files ... the scripting runtime is often disabled by corporate IT departments in an effort to reduce spyware and malware, and can be picked up by antivirus and spyware detection program, plus using the scripting runtime would preclude the use of digital signatures, if you need to do this.
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Author Comment

by:Scotto13
ID: 17843393
Thank you both for the excellent ideas.  I will work on making it happen with my app.  
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:thenelson
ID: 17844040
Thanks for the assist.  Good luck on your project.

Nelson
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