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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    I have written an application that is in great demand by several companies. The problem is that they don't have Access on their systems. I thought I could just convert everything to VB6, but they don't want to wait that long (altho I have dabbled with VB6, I don't "know" it well). Did a bit of research on the MS site and it appears there was a product available that has been incorporated into Access 2003 that made this possible -- for a price, of course. It allows a developer to distribute Access runtime royalty free. Anyone able to provide insight into this product for Access 2K, pros/cons for upgrading to Access 2003, where to purchase, etc?
    BTW, I've already suggested upgrading to Office Pro to include Access, but some of these companies don't even have Office at all.

    Thx in advance,
    Kathi

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    You may be out of luck if you stick with 2000, although you might find the developer upgrade somewhere on the internet. You need the developer edition in 2000 or 2002 in order to have the license to distribute the runtime files, even if you use a different product (like Wise, for instance) to build the distribution package. The 2003 ruhntime license and packaging tools are included in an add-in to Visual Studio.net, and there is no developer's edition of 2003 per se. If you don't have Visual Studio.net, you can still purchase and install the Visual Studio Tools add-in and it will include the Access runtime license and packager. As for just converting everything to VB, forget it. There are tools avaible to create a VB app based on an Access database, but they require a certain level of skill in VB to be able to fix all the things that don't convert properly between Access and VB.
    Charlotte

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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    You are correct - the runtime version of Access has been around for some time - unfortunately they have not released a version for 2003 as I understand it. It was distributed with the Developer version of Office, which for 2003 has been replaced with Visual Studio for Office. The best I can suggest is to try to find a copy of the Developer version of Office 2000 or 2002. The latter is probably a better bet, but you are likely to have to resort to e-Bay or similar resources to find either. <!profile=Charlotte>Charlotte<!/profile> works for a company that creates products that way and can provide better advice than I, but the general concensus seems to be that you want to get the Wise Installer and the SageKey scripts to create an installation package rather than trying to use the tools that ship with Office. (BTW, converting your app to VB would probably take at least 3 times as long as it took you to create the application originally.) Hope all goes well with your product.

    <font color=blue>Update:</font color=blue>I see Charlotte typed faster than I did - her info about Visual Studio is more accurate as I did not know they include the runtime version of Access with it.
    Wendell

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    It isn't included with Visual Studio.Net, Wendell, it's in the Visual Studio Tools for the Office Systems, which is a separate product that works either with Visual Studo.Net or standalone. It contains a standard version of Visual Basic.Net, as well as the Access extension tools, which includes the runtime license.
    Charlotte

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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    Charlotte, Wendell,
    Thanks for your replies. If I read you correctly, I guess I'm SOL. Why would MS make such a thing so difficult? In fact, I'm wondering why such a versatile product (Access) is virtually unknown to the mass majority. Are there really that many users who couldn't benefit from its abilities, ease of use, etc? Thanks for trying to help.
    Kathi

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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    Remember that your personal license to use Access is a single user license. If you want to distribute an Access app, you must purchase the right to distribute the runtime license, which is what you get with the Developer's edition of Office from 97 through XP and what you get with the Visual Studio Tools in 2003. It is very easy to build a BAD database, and many people are better off with an Excel spreadsheet unless they understand the relational concepts Access is designed to use. Otherwise, they wind up building the equivalent of a spreadsheet in Access, which basically eliminates the benefits except for the interface design. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    OK, I think I have myself straightened out now (for the moment). It's the SourceSafe product that is no longer included in Visual Studio Tools for Office. Which usually isn't a big deal if you are the only developer on a project. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>
    Wendell

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    Re: How do I sell an app to someone without Access (Access 2K)

    Hi Kathi,
    I wouldn't give up completely at this point - we were able to purchase a copy of the Developer Edition of Office XP (2002) a few weeks ago. It took some serious looking, but I suspect you could still find it. And the Visual Studio Tools for Office would let you do 2003 based apps. Or you could insist that your potential customers purchase a version of Office or a standalone Access package - I think it's still available that way. The only challenge there would be that you need to provide versions for 97, 2000, 2002 and 2003. I know of several companies who do sell packages that way. Deploying an application to many customers is a task not to be underestimated - customer support in particular can be a can of worms, but it can also be very rewarding.
    Wendell

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