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How to make a exe file from access 2013 database

Posted on 2016-09-07
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Last Modified: 2016-09-20
I have a access database 2013 that i need to share with other people in the office but don't want anyone to change any setting.
I need them to change the content of some of the tables but not the settings or the layout. Is there a way i can give them access but have no menu tabs at top of the screen and only the main menu that i have setup. Cant I make the database in to an EXE file. any help would be great.
Thank you.
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Question by:jodyreid
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PatHartman earned 500 total points
ID: 41788363
You cannot make the Access file into an .exe.  Executables are code only files.  Access databases are container files and contain many different kinds of objects.  Locking an Access app is a frequently asked question and the answer is - there is no absolute way.  This is a failing of Microsoft.  They think of an Access database as a document rather than an application and don't think we need this capability.  If we did, we would use a "real" application development tool.  What you can do to restrict access is a series of things that are fairly well documented.  I'm not going to repeat all the details because I know there are articles on EE that document this as well as many questions.

For starters, your application must use forms and reports to expose all application functionality as well as extensive error handling.  Only then can you start the lock down process and make very sure to make several backups so you can recover if you are too successful and manage to lock yourself out.

So, an overview.
1.  Use forms/reports/code to perform all application functions.
2.  Add robust error handling because once you lock the app down, if you run into an unhandled error, the app will simply shut down.
3.  Properly split the app so the users only open their own copy of the FE and never open a shared copy.  A simple distribution method is to use a .bat file run from a shortcut on the user's desktop.  The .bat file can copy the production copy of the FE to a local folder on the user's computer and open it from there.
4.  Set the AllowShiftBypass to no - there are many articles on this.  Be sure to read a couple.
5.  Compile the app to an .mde or .accde -- make ABSOLUTELY sure to backup the .mdb/.accdb because having to hire someone to reconstitute the source database results in a less than optimal solution.
6  The final step would be to rename the .accde to .accdr

Data is best protected by storing it in SQL Server rather than an .accdb.  If you use an .mdb/.accdb you must lock that file down also.  One simple trick though is to use an extension not related to Access so that double clicking on the database won't cause Access to try to open it.  You can still link to a file with a .bx4 extension, you just have to type in the file name.  Access won't present it to you in the file list.
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ID: 41788378
if your users install RunTime, you can put an icon on their desktop that forces use of it by adding the  /runtime switch. There is also another extension you can use on the access database file (which I think Pat knows, so hopefully she will jump in and add another comment -- so I won't look it up) to use regular Access and limit accessibility

to answer your question, though, you can distribute an ACCDE or MDE to prevent design changes -- look in the options for SaveAs under the File menu
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by:hnasr
ID: 41789723
Search youtube for: How to Make MS Access Database Executable.

I did not try it, so your feedback will be helpful.
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by:PatHartman
ID: 41789803
hnasr, that video shows how to make an .accde which is a "compiled" version of the database it is NOT an executable.  All objects are still accessible in design view unless they contain code.  So, anyone can still change tables, queries, and macros but they cannot change forms, reports, and modules.  I put compiled in parentheses because VBA is not a compiled language.  It is an interpreted language and that is another reason that an Access app can never be an executable.  In an .accde, the source code is removed entirely and all that remains is p-code which is then interpreted at run time.
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by:jodyreid
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Thank you.
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