Sometimes I get emails as response to my blog post Access MDE to MDB Conversion Service. Generally people ask – does encryption and User Level Security (ULS) help to better protect from MDE recovery? Encryption, most of all, protects database file from viewing data in text editor, and it is not very strong. ULS is very weak in Jet databases, I remember in Access 2.0 times it was enough to run a small Access Basic function to get rid of ULS. And now you can download several (one I know for sure, because I used it once) utilities to unlock ULS.
But I just wondered – how this works with MDE recovery? I have asked iTech Masters and got following answers:
- Encryption is fully reversible
- ULS is a flimsy security 'layer' of JET. If you don't use JET to access the database then it is irrelevant and easily bypassed
That means that they don’t care about both. And both do not help to better protect your MDE.
Still want a better protection? The only way I see – is to use MDE Source Code Protector or Total Visual CodeTools.
BTW, iTech Masters has recently released MDE Unlocker v2.00 for Microsoft® Access, which helps you to make changes to your MDE file without having to rewrite your VBA code. Access 2003 SP2 now supported. But not Access 97! So if you still working in Access97 – you have a better chance to protect your MDB! :-)