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  1. #1
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    Self-Contained Database Application

    Can a database application created with Microsoft Access run on a computer that does not have Access installed? (The PC would have Microsoft Windows 7 as OS)
    In other words, can a self-contained Access database application be created and installed on another PC?
    Are there any caveats?

  2. #2
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    Eh, not exactly. There is an Access runtime and this permits running Access without licensing requirements and a full install of Access. However this does give you a "mini Access" environment and a separate Access database. It's good enough for most purposes.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=39358

    When you speak in terms of "self contained", most people are thinking of a runnable Exe file, like a self-extracting zip file. This doesn't really work at a conceptual level since 99.9% of all databases are updatable. Exe files are meant for code and although they can also contain data, if the code updates the data in the same object then you are scarily close to self-modifying code. This is a classic malware technique (it has been used for good as well, but that was always unusual). So you could expect all kinds of alarms going off from your security software if it detects this activity.

    Therefore I'd stick with the conventional solution, which is the Access runtime.

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  4. #3
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    BHarder,

    I haven't dealt with Access in a very long time, but there used to be a way to compile it into an EXE. This was only the front end and you still needed the MDB as a separate file.

    Not sure if you can still do this or not but I would be surprised if you couldn't.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    Eh, not exactly. There is an Access runtime and this permits running Access without licensing requirements and a full install of Access. However this does give you a "mini Access" environment and a separate Access database. It's good enough for most purposes.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=39358

    When you speak in terms of "self contained", most people are thinking of a runnable Exe file, like a self-extracting zip file. This doesn't really work at a conceptual level since 99.9% of all databases are updatable. Exe files are meant for code and although they can also contain data, if the code updates the data in the same object then you are scarily close to self-modifying code. This is a classic malware technique (it has been used for good as well, but that was always unusual). So you could expect all kinds of alarms going off from your security software if it detects this activity.

    Therefore I'd stick with the conventional solution, which is the Access runtime.
    Thank you for the clarification!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    BHarder,

    I haven't dealt with Access in a very long time, but there used to be a way to compile it into an EXE. This was only the front end and you still needed the MDB as a separate file.

    Not sure if you can still do this or not but I would be surprised if you couldn't.
    Actually, that is what BHarder described - and you have to install the "Developer Version" to do that. The tools have changed from the days of Access 97 and 2000, but it's the same general concept. However it doesn't seem to get used that much, as it restricts the users from creating their own queries and reports, and the professional version of Office that includes Access seems to be a reasonable way to get the full version.
    Wendell

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