A well-developed Access database will invariably have what is known as ‘Startup‘ switched on and enabled which means that when users start an Access database file it will take you to a starting screen (Access form) normally referred to as the ‘Switchboard’ (Menu).
This is used to add a simple but effective way to take end-users to a starting point and not be confronted with either the Database Window (Access 2003 or earlier) or Navigation Pane (Access 2007 and 2010) and allow access to most if not all objects – causing mayhem!
But if you wish to stop this bypass from firing up that impressive navigation form welcoming you to run a report, enter a new record or search for a list then using the following technique of holding down the SHIFT key when double-clicking the icon (the Access database file) will stop the ‘startup‘ and take you straight into the back-end system.
In some cases however, a really well designed Access database may have even stopped users from utilising the SHIFT key technique by programming Access (using VBA) to disable the bypass option altogether.
This is the first step to really locking and securing an Access database without using external forces (I mean Windows and SharePoint Services) and can be deemed good enough with the added bonus of having full control too.
The only caveat here is that if you apply some VBA code to switch off the SHIFT key then what if you want to gain access to the back-end tools? You will need to create a simple mechanism to allow certain users to switch on and off (using VBA again) the option to enable/disable this bypass switch. I always add this feature in any database I create and have a secret area for limited users to allow them access.
The first steps to having this little gem in place will be to ideally have your own user security utility which I offer for a very low price indeed. If you take up my offer and then send me an email with the subject “‘ByPass’ code please” and I will explain how to add this in too. You will need to understand the basic utility first before trying to add the code in your system which is why it’s not part of this offer.
Please feel free to add your comments below or contact me for further information.
Ben Beitler – “Your Access Database Expert”