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Access Distribution - show form only

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi

I have a simple app that I have debeloped in Access. It has one form.
What is the easiest way to distribute this to clients who don't have Access
so the see the form only. Is this possible?
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Question by:Murray Brown
5 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:MINDSUPERB
ID: 34915031
If you are using Access 2007 or 2010, you can use the free Access Runtime that you can include in your application package. See the download link below:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=d9ae78d9-9dc6-4b38-9fa6-2c745a175aed&displaylang=en

Sincerely,
Ed
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:borki
ID: 34915057
To distribute an Access program to people that don't have Access, you need the "Access Runtime". It is essentially a kit that packages your application into a single file. On the end-user's computer it installs all the bits it needs to run access, without giving the user a chance to interact with Access outside of the scope of your application.

Personally, I think an app with a single form is an overkill to create an Access runtime app. It probably be easier to develop a web form and collect your data that way.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:MINDSUPERB
ID: 34915064
If you don't have the developer extension installed go to this link:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=D96A8358-ECE4-4BEE-A844-F81856DCEB67&displaylang=en

You need this information as your guide.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb501030.aspx

Sincerely,
Ed
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 2000 total points
ID: 34915590
You would need the runtime, as others have mentioned, but in order to show ONLY your form, you'll have to jump through quite a few hoops. See this technique:

http://www.mvps.org/access/api/api0019.htm

Note these caveats/limitations:

1) This does NOT eliminate the need to have Access installed. Basically, if opens the form in Popup mode, sizes it to be larger than the Access environment, then uses some API tricks to have the form overlay the Access environment

2) This REQUIRES your forms to be in Popup mode, which basically makes this a SDI (Single Documnet Interface) environment - users must interact with ONE and ONLY ONE form at at time. They cannot switch between FormA and FormB. They would have to closer FormA and the open FormB

3) You MUST have robust error handling. Errors popup in the Access environment, which means that your user may not see one that is generated by Access. If that happens, your app will appear to have become frozen, and the user won't be able to get to the Error to close it out. The only means of closing it at that point would be through Task Manager.

4) This method is NOT foolproof. Even on machines with Windows XP and Access 2003 (a VERY common combination) this has caused odd and unexplained behavior. This is a big-time kludge, and carries with it the problems and issues associated with any of those big-time kludges.

In other words - this is something that is less-than-perfect (in a BIG way). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It works on some machines perfectly fine today, but then crashes tomorrow. And, as Microsoft updates their operating systems, you could certainly come to the point where it just simply will not work (and I can pretty much guarantee you'll have troubles on the 64-bit platforms, which are becoming more and more common these days).

As I've always said: If you don't want your users to know this was done in Access, then don't write it in Access. Use VB.NET, or some other language to build your interface.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Murray Brown
ID: 34917225
Thanks LSM. Great answer
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