What is the use of an .accdc?

I understand that an .accdc has a certificate I create associated with it, but does it have any practical value when compiled to an .accde and installing on a client machine?

Thanks in advance,

Clive BeatonAccess DeveloperAsked:
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Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
It's Access Signed Package.
.accdc files allow users to distribute trusted database files over the Internet.

Access makes it easy and fast to sign and distribute a database. When you create an .accdb file or .accde file, you can package the file, apply a digital signature to the package, and then distribute the signed package to other users. The Package and Sign tool places the database in an Access Deployment (.accdc) file, signs the file, and then places the signed package at a location that you determine. Others can then extract the database from the package and work directly in the database (not in the package file).

Source: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/introduction-to-access-2010-security-cae6d764-0318-4622-955f-68d9f186d6ca?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US
Clive BeatonAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Yes, but how do I package and sign and .accde?  I created an accdc and when I tried to run it, it wanted to extract it back to an accdb.  In other words, I can't get to the File tab in an accdc to create an accde and vice versa.

Hello ThereSystem AdministratorCommented:
You can use this tool to retrieve the .accdb.

This is the reason why you should backup your original .accdb file.
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Clive BeatonAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I should have been more clear.  My question really is: How do I package and sign an accde using the Access Package and Sign option in Save and Publish?
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Package and Sign will create an installation file for you, and will use your digital certificate to sign that package (not the Access file). To use it, you just select that in the Save Database As section and follow the prompts.

That said, this is not the most robust way to deliver your Access app to others. Most who distribute commercial applications use a professional installation tool, like Advanced Installer or SageKey.

If you're going to distribute this to others, you'll need a commercial code signing certificate to do so. This is something you purchase from places like Digicert or Comodo.

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>> How do I package and sign an accde

The .accdc is like a Zip File, containing the database that is to be distributed.  So if you want to distribute your file in .accde format:

1.  Compile your database into .accde format
2.  Open the .accde, select the file menu, then click Save As (or Save & Publish in Access 2010)
3.  Click Package and Sign, providing your credentials when prompted

You will have trouble with this if your database blocks users from using File Menu commands at startup.

Although some organizations require this, as Scott pointed out there are better alternatives out there.
>> does it have any practical value when compiled to an .accde and installing on a client machine?

Also, depending on the nature of your developer-client relationship, and how your digital certificate is obtained and maintained, the .accdc might be a risky approach.

My organization requires it.

Digital Certificates may have expiration dates associated with them (ours do).  That means that at some point the signature on your released database will no longer be valid.  If you allow it to expire, the database users will receive a Trust warning alerting them that the certificate is no longer valid.  If you work for an organization that is providing you with your digital certificates, you should ensure that you re-sign and re-release any databases that are signed with certificates nearing expiration.  Additionally, you should have backup personnel who can re-sign and re-release databases in your absence or prior to you leaving the organization.
Clive BeatonAccess DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Thanks, both.  Very clear.  Just what I needed.

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