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Name:Alex Dybenko

Location:Moscow, Russia

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Live test: Reverse engineering MDE to MDB

Recently I was contacted by Karl Donaubauer, Access MVP, who assisting both German and Italian Access community. He mentioned that it was a discussion in Italian Access newsgroup about iTechMasters MDE to MDB Conversion Service. Italian colleagues guess that it's a difficult and time consuming task for iTechMasters to get the source code out of the MDE, and they think that an MDE is still safe because it would be very expensive to get the source code out. So I decided to make one more test. And we asked in newsgroups to prepare a test MDE with 10 VBA modules.

MDE was ready, and at agreed time I sent it to iTechMasters. Less than in 30 minutes I got MDB back. You can download and look at all 3 files (867 KB)

Here few comments from Karl Donaubauer
I can confirm that they've done an excellent work. The MDB is completely functional. There are only slight differences to the original file:
  • certainly the comments are gone

  • certainly the beautiful constant names are replaced by the values

  • sometimes loops and other structures are replaced by different versions:Do Loop --> While Wend, Select Case --> If Then etc.

  • Public Property Get CurDbC() As DAO.Database--> Public Function CurDbC() As DAO.Database
Nothing that would change the behavior of the app.

BTW, now iTechMasters offers a MDE Unlocker, so you can get access to forms design instantly by yourself.

And finally – some good news. Currently iTechMasters working on MDE protector, which helps to make MDE more protected from reverse engineering or decompiling.


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