Creating a Digital Signature

I have created an Access 2013 database that I wish to send to a client.  They do not have Access on their test PC, meaning that I need to create a runtime licence, which is fine.  However, it now says that I need to "Sign" the package.  I've never done this before, so could someone tell me a low-cost way to do this (properly).

Thank you.
Andy BrownDeveloperAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Andy,

I use a Symantec (previously, VeriSign) code signing certificate for all of my programs that I distribute (it is reasonably priced — less that $100 per year). I've never used a certificate related to MS Office, but I noticed at their website that they offer one:
http://www.symantec.com/code-signing/microsoft-office-vba/

I don't know if this is what you need for your MS Access database, but it's worth a look. Btw, the Symantec/VeriSign support folks have been very helpful, and they are experts in digital signing certificates, so they'll probably know straightaway what's needed for your situation. Regards, Joe
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PatHartmanCommented:
You don't need to sign the app.  The user will get the security message the first time they open it and if they make it a trusted document, they won't be bothered again.

You might want to look into using SageKey to create the install package.  The product is not cheap and it requires a different license for each version of Access (which I object to on principle) but it does create smooth installs and it does handle the trusted folder issue.
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Andy BrownDeveloperAuthor Commented:
Thank you Joe - I'll take a look at that.

Pat - Thanks also, but I can't see a way of saving it without Signing it.  The old versions let you, but on 2013, it definitely wants something.  Also, I've used SageKey before on a 2003 database and it worked really well, so I may look at that.  But it does seem a little overkill for this project.
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PatHartmanCommented:
That option is used when you are using the Office packaging wizard which is not as good as the SageKey option.
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Andy BrownDeveloperAuthor Commented:
Hi Pat - I agree, but I can't see anywhere of packaging it without a key.
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PatHartmanCommented:
The packaging wizard isn't doing anything particularly useful for you.  I don't use it - ever.  I either use the SageKey tool or nothing.  When I use "nothing", I:
1. compile the app as an .accde (make sure you keep the original .accdb in a safe place and back it up.  I always zip it)
2. rename the .accde to .accdr - this tells the database engine to pretend to be the runtime even if it isn't.
3. find a link to the Access runtime engine for the version you want your users to install.  I would send them the link rather than worrying about keeping my version of the download current.
4. zip the .accdr and send it to the user.
5. create instructions for the user to install the runtime engine (he only has to do this once) and then for unzipping the FE.  Don't forget to include how to relink.

You didn't say whether this distribution was for in-house use or for people who are not on your local network.  I occasionally create applications that are sold to the public.  Those I ALWAYS distribute with SageKey.  For apps I create for clients to distribute internally, I NEVER use a packaging tool.  I/the network adman handle the runtime install as a separate step.  Then I place the FE in a shared network folder and send the user a shortcut to place on their desktop.  The shortcut runs a batch file and the batch file creates a local directory (if necessary) and copies down a new version of the app and then opens it.  So, every time the user starts the app by clicking on the shortcut, he actually gets a fresh copy of the FE.  We don't have to worry about relinking since I use the UNC path to link to the BE so it doesn't matter how individual users have drives mapped.
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Andy BrownDeveloperAuthor Commented:
Thank you both for your help on this.  In the end, I simply purchased the latest version of Sagekey, which did the trick perfectly.

All the best.
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