How do I create an Access 2003 runtime application?

I have a database application created in Access 2003 which I need to distribute to multiple users who do not have Access installed.  From what I can find about this, I need to create a runtime application in order to distribute the software correctly (and legally), however I am struggling to find answers to the following points:

What software do I need in addition to Access 2003 to accomplish this and where can I get this from?
Once acquired, how do I use this software to create the distribution?

Who is Participating?
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Connect With a Mentor Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
First: The Access 2003 Runtime is no longer available except through an MSDN subscription.

However, you can most likely use the Access 2007 or 2010 runtime, which is freely available and easy to distribute. Users can download the correct version of the runtime here:


If you decide to go this route, you must thoroughly test your .mde file in that environment. While most times you can easily run a .mde file in the runtime, there are some issues that can arise.

As to deploying, you can use any of the commercial installers, and several of them are free. See here:

That's the easy part :)

The hard part is insuring that your application will work on your target machines. Do you have any reference that are NOT the standard, builtin Access references? Open your VBA Editor, click Tools - References, and post back here what you find checked in that listing. If you have any non-standard references, you'll have to insure that you install those on the target machine (if possible).
You need the Access 2003 Runtime (included in the the Microsoft Office with Access 2003 Packaged). The steps to deploy:
You can refer to and its consecutive text in
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Note that the only way to legally distribute the Access 2003 runtime is if you own the Microsoft Office Developer product (known as the Access 2003 Developer Extensions). Unfortunately, the only way to get the ADE is through an MSDN subscription. Referring to your link above:

Please note this comment from that page:

"Even though the runtime software is included in the Microsoft Office Access 2003 retail product, the right to distribute the runtime is not included. You must purchase the Access 2003 Developer Extensions to obtain a royalty-free license to package and distribute the runtime."

Also, please note I am not implying that you are encouraging anything illegal or unethical, but simply making sure that the author understands the whys-and-wheres of MS licensing (if that is actually possible!).

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.