Microsoft Access Database: How to Make MS Access Database Executable

Microsoft Access Database: How to Make MS Access Database Executable

This is not the first time I’ve discussed how to make MS Access database executable by converting it into either a MDE or ACCDE file format but some of the power users and developers are unaware of a couple of other post steps that should follow. 

Check out the quick two and half minute video on the first step and then watch step then second by locating a third party vendor’s free software application to create that all important script file.

So, you can see how easy it is to generate a run-time version and strip out the design components. There are a few things to also bear in mind… 

Microsoft Access Database: How to Make MS Access Database Executable – Few Pointers

Make sure you include the version’s free run-time application as a file in the script which is free so don’t pay for it. This will normally be required if the end user does not have MS Access installed on their computer which this is a freely available to install and use.

You may want to also add a text file or two with some release notes and general update information to help end-users to first install the run-time and know about support resources plus any general functionality changes if this were an update release.

It’s therefore important to have version control and number them accordingly. Any major release will normally start with 1.x, 2.x and a minor patch update may use 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2 etc.

how to make ms access database executable

Also, include any external files that will support your database file namely icons and image files which is normal for any polished looking and functional database application.

I would also suggest that you test your new script out before distributing your application but the challenge here is of course is that you already have Microsoft Access (full open version) installed. I tend to use an image like VMWare to run an empty Windows instance and then re-instate it for each new test.

So this is how to make an MS Access database executable – there are other alternative vendors too so browse around and see what fits best.

This entry was posted in Database Theory, Microsoft Training, MS Access, Utilities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Microsoft Access Database: How to Make MS Access Database Executable

  1. Ben says:

    You need make sure the database is split between the tables (as the back-end which can be left as ‘accdb’ format) with links to the front-end (queries, forms, reports, macros etc) which can be in an executable format and distributed to multiple users. There are other ways to do this but the answer is ‘Yes’.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Can I do this for a multi user database?

  3. Ben says:

    Please expand on what help it is you actually need.

  4. EPPSIE says:

    I found your tutorials quite insightful. However, i struggle to open my DBS after making it executable using steps mentioned.

    Could you help?


  5. Ben says:

    The last statement was demonstrating the flexibility that I use different images for different projects with varying versions and has nothing to do with install scripts (for this post).

  6. Giorgio Rovelli says:

    It does, thanks Ben, when you say, “I have a standard image with just Windows installed and no other applications including MS Office” to me it means you don’t have MS Office installed with the standard image so why further down do you say, ” I have images for different version MS Access alone (from 97 through to 2007)”?

  7. Ben says:

    Hi Giorgio,

    The ACCDE approach is primarily designed for users who do not have MS Access installed on their PC’s and have opted to install the free run-time which can only run the ACCDE file and not ACCDB.

    That means, end users who have no requirements to modify or design Access objects (just use the database) will benefit from this setup and your database design is maintained in a full Access environment elsewhere (the ACCDB file).

    There is no requirement to use an install script like Inno if the end user has MS Access (full version) already installed as the ACCDE will still be locked from design. In fact, if the end user installed the run-time manually and then loaded the ACCDE file on the desktop, this would also suffice.

    One assumes that developers want to package and distribute their database to users who may not have any instance of Access. It’s a bit like providing the free runt-time Adobe Reader for PDF files (just don’t assume everyone has the application). It just makes this a clean way to deploy a database!

    With reference to VMWare, I have a standard image with just Windows installed and no other applications including MS Office as I want to test the install script worked by adding the various files including the Access run-time. I always want to test any script before distributing it – just good quality control.

    Because the image file can be restored to a state prior the script being run, it now means I don’t have to rebuild my computer each time I want to test any script. VNWare is a useful application to allow many different instances to co-exist without having to rebuild your PC each time. I have images for different version MS Access alone (from 97 through to 2007) as some cannot exist together.

    I hope this clarifies the benefit why one could use this approach.

    Kind regards

  8. Giorgio Rovelli says:

    I’m not sure I understand, at the end of the video you have to open the accde file in the installation folder so why not dispense with the whole Inno Setup and create a shortcut on the desktop to the accde file? Also, can you clarify what you mean by running an empty instance of Windows? Does it mean that you just have the operating system and Inno Setup and Access Runtime installed and nothing else? What’s the advantage over testing your script by launching Access with the /runtime switch without using VMWare?

  9. Ben Beitler says:

    Also consider completing all the database properties (Access options) like the application title, icon and stripping out ribbons, place your own customised ribbons and pop-up menus before converting to either a MDE or ACCDE.

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