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What is the Access Runtime by Boyd Trimmell (aka HiTechCoach)

An Access database does not have the ability to be used stand-alone. You have to use either a retail version of Access or use the RunTime components. RunTime is a way to use an Access database without having to have the full retail Access package installed on a computer.

Starting with Access 2007, distribution of RunTime applications is completely free. You can download the RunTime components here.

In prior versions, legal distribution of RunTime applications was only possible if you purchased specific versions or additional software. In version 2000 and 2002 you had to purchase the Developer version or higher of Access. In version 2003, you had to purchase Visual Studio Tools for Office System (VSTO). For a more detailed explanation of what is required for Access 2003, please see this article.

Running a database in the RunTime environment requires that that database be well built, since many of the features that are available in the retail version of Access are not available in RunTime.

For instance, there is no built in error trapping mechanism to allow debugging of code. Therefore you, as the developer, must make sure all code is error-trapped, handled with grace, and messages displayed to the user as to what has happened. Otherwise, in a RunTime environment the application throws the error and then simply shuts down.

Certain toolbars and context menus are disabled, so all navigation has to be well thought out and provided by you.

There is also no ability to edit Access objects or code. Do not confuse the lack of ability to edit Access objects in a runtime with the removal of ability to edit Access objects in a MDE/ACCDE.

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This page has been accessed 11,733 times.  This page was last modified 01:24, 7 February 2012 by Jack Leach. Contributions by Alan Greenwood, BananaRepublic, Ace and Walter Niesz  Disclaimers