News, links, downloads, tips and tricks on Microsoft Access and related

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Name:Alex Dybenko

Location:Moscow, Russia

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Access 2007 Runtime and Developer extensions will be free!

Clint Covington just announced: The runtime and developer extensions will be FREE! Great news! I have never understood why developer needs to purchase something in order to distribute his application. And especially for Access 2003 it was complete unclear what to purchase in order to get developer extensions – it was bundled with VSTO (while you were not able to build something for Access with VSTO, only for Word/Excel), but only with special version, which was difficult to find. Finally it is free!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Database window in Access 2007

Database window is not longer exists in Access 2007. I made a new database in Access 2003, created one table. Then I opened this database in Access 2007, and here a picture I got:

First I thought it still opening, then I thought it hanged. But no – it is already opened, just no object shown. Funny?

Ok, here is how you can bring back classic database window in Access 2007.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Access, Terminal server and VCheck

Recently one our customer decided to use thin client PCs and Window 2003 Terminal services. They have 2 Window 2003 servers for all users and load balancing service which put users between both. Users have simple 200-dollars PCs without hard drive, which gets loaded from network with Windows XP Embedded (I think), and then start terminal services client. This configuration works fine, quite easy to maintain. Of course, they run our MS Access 2003 application with SQL Server 2000 database, SQL Server runs on a separate server.

Before Terminal services we used VersionCheck to copy front-end MDE to each workstation C: drive. The same setup was moved to Terminal services, but we got a problem - all users have the same C: drive, and use the same MDE! Of course it starts to grow, it was not possible to compact it (only if you throw all users). As we use an approach, where we build pass-through queries SQL with parameters' values, save queries and then use in forms/reports record source - users start to report bugs: they see completely wrong data (of course, from other user!). Solution was clear – each user should have his own copy of frontend, fortunately VersionCheck offers an opportunity to define path with %USERNAME% variable, which get replaced with actual user name. I have modified pvc file in C:\windows, so application local path become C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Application Data\MyApp.MDE… But then came the funny part.

While opening pvc file in notepad showed new version with %USERNAME%, opening and running same pvc file in VersionCheck showed old one! This was really amazed me, the only explanation I made to myself – some kind of cache. But no, after some time nothing changed. So where should then go MVP to find an answer? Right, Knowledge Base! The article Terminal Server registry settings for applications gave me an idea what is going on – every user has his own copy of pvc file! So, I added a new application compatibility bits flag 0x00000408, which shows that VersionCheck is 32-bit application and there is no need to substitute user Windows directory. And it works now!

Of course, it would be possible to save pvc file somewhere else then C:\windows, but I was not aware, that Terminal services do such "dirty" tricks. Anyway – it is always good to learn something new, and hope this post will help others also!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My first article at Microsoft Access Advisor

Finally my article “Change Report Grouping and Sorting Dynamically in Microsoft Access”, written together with Doug Steele, (Access MVP and frequent writer) was announced at Microsoft Access Advisor magazine! Article is based on my Report Grouping Sample, so if you are not a subscriber of Microsoft Access Advisor – you can download sample from our site.

Yes, it takes quite a time to have this article published. First I wrote it for Microsoft Office Online site (it was summer 2005), they liked the concept, but did not like my writing style. Then I asked Doug to make it more “English”, and after few revisions it almost met all requirements. But then suddenly everybody at Microsoft Office Online become busy with Office 2007 content, and postponed our article.

Fortunately Doug offered it to Microsoft Access Advisor, and they have accepted it. We made few corrections and today we got an alert that it is been printed!

Looking forward to get a printed copy! And thinking about next one...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Microsoft Office Access database engine 2007 setup

Microsoft Office Access database engine 2007 setup can be found at Microsoft Downloads. Access 2007 introduced a new database format, and using this setup you don’t need to install Access 2007 in order to connect to Access 2007 database from .NET or Delphi, whatever.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How to call “Insert Object” dialog from VBA

If you have data stored in OLE field, like pictures or documents, then perhaps you need a code to run “Insert Object” dialog. Here it is – you first set a focus to OLE field and then run
DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdInsertObject

 Although – better idea is to store pictures and documents as files on HDD or server, and save path to these files in database. Or store files as binaries, like described in “How To Read and Write BLOBs Using GetChunk and AppendChunk” KB article.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Locations of Access 2003 commands in Access 2007

Lost in Access 2007 ribbon? Yeah, I also felt myself Access newbie when I first tried Access 2007. There is an article Reference: Locations of Access 2003 commands in Access 2007, which helps to find yourself in Access 2007 forest