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How do I use Runtime?

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-07-28
How do I download, install,  and use Runtime on a computer that has ACCESS 2010 loaded on it? My I laptop is 64-bit. I want to distribute a small database application to a small number of computers.
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Question by:SowleMan
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 750 total points
ID: 40213083
If it's a small number of users, have them download and install the runtime from Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=10910

Then just give them a file copy of your DB.  If you've used any 3rd party controls or DLLs, then you can cobble a distribution together or use an installer like Inno or Sage.

Jim.
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Author Comment

by:SowleMan
ID: 40213201
Thanks, Jim. I am the developer and have ACCESS 2010 on my machine. I have used the link you suggested to download and then install RUNTIME .  I have Googled and found that, once installed, all  you must do is double-click on the .accdb file and (in some miraculous way) RUNTIME will run the application. As far as I can tell, when I double-click myapplication.accdb, ACCESS 2010 fires up and runs the application. I am asked if I want to enable the contents, so something different is going on.

Do I have to create a "banner" form in order for RUNTIME to work (I found that on Google)?
Can I use RUNTIME on a machine with ACCESS 2010 already on it?
Should I create a .bat file with a fully defined path to RUNTIME and an argument (fully defined path to my .accdb file)?

Thank you. Jim.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jack Leach
Jack Leach earned 300 total points
ID: 40213359
If you have a full copy of Access installed, you don't need Runtime.  You can emulate Runtime behavior with the full version in one of two ways:

Rename the file to .accdr

Open it using the /runtime switch.

The former is easier, as the latter requires the actual MSACCESS.exe call, such as:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Office15\MSACCESS.exe" "C:\YourFile.accdb" /runtime

hth
-jack
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LVL 85

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 150 total points
ID: 40213809
Also, when you are in Runtime mode, many features of Access are disabled, so you have to do more work. For example, the users won't be able to see the Navigation Pane, so you'd have to provide them with a "menu" form to allow them to open Forms and Reports. Also, the Ribbons are not shown in the Runtime, so you'd need to be sure and provide them with a Ribbon if needed.

See these links:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb501030(v=office.12).aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc136539(v=office.12).aspx

These links are for 2007, but they're relevant for 2010 also.
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LVL 58
ID: 40213948
To add just a bit more and help make this clear; the full retail version and the "run-time" are the same.  Only difference is the licensing keys.  In the run-time, all the design features are disabled.

 So if your users had a full copy of Access, then all you would need to do is give them a copy of the DB itself.

 If they don't have Access installed, then they would need the run-time, or purchase the full version.

Jim.
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Author Comment

by:SowleMan
ID: 40218483
Jim - Did your message suggest that I need a special licensing key for Runtime?

1.  That makes sense, since the Runtime installation process asks for my 25-char Product Key but won't accept the Product Key I received with my copy of Microsoft Access 2010.

2.  On the other hand, since Runtime is free and is intended to allow users to run applications w/o buying Office/Access, why is it it asking for a Product Key?

3. Is it correct that the syntax to successfully run Runtime is like this, for example:
     c:\fully qualifiedpath to Runtime\runtime.exe  c:\fully qualified path to .accdb file\MyApplication.accdb
    Where can I read about Runtime?

Can you help shed light on these three Runtime issues?

Thank you.
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LVL 58
ID: 40219292
<<Jim - Did your message suggest that I need a special licensing key for Runtime? >>

 No.  I was referring to the license keys in the registry.

<<1.  That makes sense, since the Runtime installation process asks for my 25-char Product Key but won't accept the Product Key I received with my copy of Microsoft Access 2010. >>

  You install has gotten messed up.   You should not be getting prompted for a product key.

  To be clear: you do not need the run-time because you already have a full retail version of Access.   The only people that need the run-time are those that don't already have Access.  The "full" and "retail" versions are one in the same.  The only difference between the two is the registry settings.

  Go to control panel, programs and features and do a repair of the Office install.   Note that if you see Access listed on it's own, do an uninstall on that first, then do the repair on your Office install

<<2.  On the other hand, since Runtime is free and is intended to allow users to run applications w/o buying Office/Access, why is it it asking for a Product Key?>>

  Normally it does not.

<<3. Is it correct that the syntax to successfully run Runtime is like this, for example:
     c:\fully qualifiedpath to Runtime\runtime.exe  c:\fully qualified path to .accdb file\MyApplication.accdb
>>

   Yes, but the .EXE is still MSACCESS.EXE.  

<<    Where can I read about Runtime?>>

 Unfortunately there's not much on the run-time specifically anymore.    Microsoft is in the middle of switching their focus to web apps and all the documentation on Access now focuses on that.   It's hard to find anything on the run-time any more.

 The run-time for all intents and purposes is the same as the full version except all design features are disabled.   As has been said already, you can simulate the run-time mode by either:

1. Starting the full version with the /runtime switch

2. Renaming your ACE db to .accdr from .accdb

 So my best advice would be to simply try your app out and see how it works.   What you'll find is that it's basically unchanged.

 What you still can find some limited docs on is the package and deployment wizard:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access-help/package-solution-wizard-overview-HA010294985.aspx

 This is something that allows you to take your app and package it up into an installer (your creating a setup distribution).    You would then hand this out to users and they'd end up with your app and the runtime.

 However unless you had a large number of users, I would not bother.  The P&D Wizard didn't work all that well and in fact was removed in Access 2013 (again, the focus is the web) and most in the past used either the Inno installer or Sage.

So to sum up:

1. Test your app using the /runtime switch to see how it runs.

2. If your user has Access, just give them a copy of the DB.

3. If your user doesn't have Access, point them to the run-time install and give them a copy of the DB.

Jim.
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Author Comment

by:SowleMan
ID: 40225464
JIm, Jack, and Scott -

I solved my RUNTIME problem by simply downloading and installing it on a friend's PC, pointing it to my my ACCESS application file (.accdb), and away it went. It performed as expected.

It seems a little disappointing that MS makes it so difficult to load RUNTIME on the same machine as the full ACCESS program. I don't have multiple PCs to test on.

Jim - Thanks for sticking to my problem. Jack - Thanks for the tips on trying to get RUNTIME to work properly on my machine. Thanks for your advice, Scott.

Jim - 250 pts
Jim - 100 pts
Scott - 50 pts
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Author Closing Comment

by:SowleMan
ID: 40225483
IMHO, Jim Dettman offered the most help and had the best solution.
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