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Linking Office Programs with VBA

Posted on 2014-02-16
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Last Modified: 2014-02-16
I have an application written in MSAccess 2010.  It is a large and complex application and it works fine.  I distribute this application with the MSAccess runtime environment.  This environment only contains the Access runtime engine and no additional MS Office software.

I have a user request to add a feature to dynamically create an MSExcel spreadsheet with data from the application.  To include this feature I have to link the Microsoft Excel 14.0 object library so that calls to Excel.Application, and all the workbook, sheet, and cell functionality can be used.

The problem that I have is that if I include this library, then the software won't run on machines that have NO excel installed, even if I don't use this functionality.  It is just a matter of the dynamic linking at load time.  Even more so, if the user has excel 2007, 2003, or any other than 2010, the code won't load either.

So, what I'm looking for is a way to handle load time errors, just like I can handle runtime errors with an "on error" statement.  If I can handle these load time errors, then I can add conditional code that will allow calls to the appropriate routines if needed/allowed/desired.

Anybody have a clue?
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Question by:samjomoore
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Expert Comment

by:Norie
ID: 39863635
You don't need the reference if you use late-binding, so that would take care of the version problem.

Not sure about how you would handle the case when a user doesn't have Excel installed.

Actually what you could do is something like this.
Dim xl As Object

    On Error Resume Next
    Set xl = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
    On Error Goto 0

    If xl Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "This function requires Excel to be installed and available.
        Exit Sub
    End If

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Author Comment

by:samjomoore
ID: 39863638
Awesome!  How to I use late binding?
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Accepted Solution

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Norie earned 500 total points
ID: 39863664
Well one of the first things you do in late-binding is to change declarations like this,
Dim xl As Excel.Application
Dim ws As Excel.Workbook
Dim rng As Excel.Worksheet

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to this.
Dim xl As Object
Dim wb As Object
Dim ws As Object

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You would also change something like this,
Set xl = New Excel.Application

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to this.
Set xl = CreateObject("Excel.Application")

Another important thing is that if your code uses any of the constants that the other application uses, eg xlUp, xlShiftToLeft etc, then you either need to declare them yourself or replace them with their values.

This is how you would declare xlUp and xlShiftToLeft.
[code]
Const xlUp = -4162
Const xlShiftToLeft = -4159

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Those are the main things you need to do.
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Author Closing Comment

by:samjomoore
ID: 39863667
Awesome!  Thank you so much!
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