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Difference between MS Access  mdb and MS Access ade files

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello there,

We will be using a 3rd party MS Access developed application to be delivered via Citrix XenApp 4.5 published app. He has given us mdb application files, and when asked to generate ade files so that we can use in command line parameter in Citrix published app, he expressed his inability saying that, his application is not designed to generate ade files?

I would like to know the basic difference between mdb and ade files, and what is the pre-condition to generate ade files?
Thanks
ks
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Question by:goprasad
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by:thekeyboardwizard
ID: 33499023
Ok, an MDB is access (upto 2003) standard database file.  You can edit it if you wish.  The MDE is the compiled version of this file you can't get at the source code on.

Then you link in SQL server and you get an ADP file which is like the MDB but linked to SQL.  Finally if you compile the SQL one you get an ADE file which is the source protected SQL linked database.

The issue is if you write an MDB file changing it 1st to ADP might well kill some scripts as they run differently, you can use the upsizing wizard to try this.  If you make it to an ADP file then the ADE is no problems it will work ok.

I'm guessing your guy is struggling to get from MDB to ADP as his programming is crashing and may need a re-write.

~~thekeyboardwizard~~
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LVL 85
ID: 33499423
Most .mdb files can be converted directly to an .ade file (AFTER moving the data to the SQL Server platform, as suggested by thekeyboardwizard above), but my question is why would this be necessary to do so? Citrix can run .mdb/.mde files (I am working with a client on the Citrix system now, and we're working with .mde files), and unless you're planning on upsizing to SQL Server, then you really don't have any need to run the .adp/.ade format.
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by:jruhe
ID: 33499823
LSM--I'm curious about this myself, but also want this answer for goprasad -- aren't mdb files unprotected?  Can't the user just hit the F11 button and have access to the design?

Thanks,
jr
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LVL 85
ID: 33500293
If by "unprotected" you mean could a user make changes then: Yes a file in the .mdb format would be unprotected. You would be able to open this file and make any changes you wish assuming (a) you are working in a Full Retail version of Access and (b) the .mdb file is not secured with User Level Security or a Database Password.
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by:jruhe
ID: 33500422
OK Thanks--I wasn't certain.  So goprasad, that's a compelling reason to go with ade files, unless there's only one or two "safe" users accessing the mdb.  I don't know of any "prereq" that would inhibit ade's unless perhaps your third-party consultant didn't use SQL.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 1500 total points
ID: 33501406
To be clear: The ONLY difference between .mde files and .ade files is the format from which those files were created. You can only create a .ade file from a .adp file, and you can only create a .mde file from a .mdb file. You cannot create a .ade file directly from a .mdb file.

You could convert the .mdb to an .adp file, and then compile that .adp file to a .ade file - but what's the point? It would require quite a bit of work, in most cases, since you'll have to move your data to sql server and perhaps refactor code.

So the question I have is this: Why do you require the .ade extension? This isn't a Citrix requirement, but you may have a valid reason for doing so.
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Author Closing Comment

by:goprasad
ID: 33634550
Though explained, the underlying difference was not made clear
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