Deploying Access 2007 Runtime-Based Solutions
Summary: Learn how to use the Package Solution Wizard to build and distribute solutions that include the Microsoft Office Access 2007 Runtime. (7 printed pages)
Mike Stowe, Microsoft Corporation
Applies to: Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Office Access 2007 Developer Extensions
Download the Access 2007 Developer Extensions.
Download the Access 2007 Runtime.
Overview of Runtime-Based Solution Deployment
After you create a Microsoft Office Access 2007 application, you must distribute it to users. The Package Solution Wizard, which is included in the Access 2007 Developer Extensions, is designed to make distributing your Access 2007 database solutions easier.
This article reviews the components of the Access 2007 Developer Extensions. These include the Package Solution Wizard, and describes the settings that are available when you create a redistributable deployment package that includes the Microsoft Office Access 2007 Runtime.
Access Developer Extensions
Table 1 describes the components of the Access 2007 Developer Extensions.
Table 1. Access Developer Extensions Components
Package Solution Wizard
Enables you to create a Windows Installer Package (.msi file) that installs your database and any supporting files on the user's computer. Your deployment package can also include the Access 2007 Runtime, or it can prompt users to download the Access 2007 Runtime.
Save As Template add-in
Enables you to create database templates (ACCDTs) that you can feature in the Access 2007 Getting Started page.
Source Code Control add-in
Enables integration with Microsoft Visual SourceSafe or other source-code control systems so that you can check in and check out objects—queries, forms, reports, macros, modules, and data—and see changes that are made to checked out objects.
For more information about the Access Developer Extensions, see Introducing the Access 2007 Developer Extensions Runtime.
Deploying Applications Using the Package Solution Wizard
The Package Solution Wizard is an add-in that is available as part of the Access 2007 Developer Extensions. It provides a simple way to bundle and deploy Office Access 2007 database applications. The wizard guides you through the steps that are required to bundle stand-alone Access 2007 applications into deployment packages. You can use the Package Solution Wizard to include the Access 2007 Runtime in your packages and to create shortcuts that start the appropriate Access file. The output of the Package Solution Wizard is a Windows Installer (.msi) Setup file that guides users through the installation of your Access application.
After you create an Office Access 2007 application (.accdb, .accde, .accdr, .mdb, .mde, .adp, or .ade), you can deploy the application to users who do not have Access 2007 installed by distributing the application together with the Access 2007 Runtime. The Access 2007 Runtime is a version of Access 2007 in which the design-time features are disabled. For more information about the Access 2007 Runtime, see Introducing the Access 2007 Developer Extensions and Runtime.
This section examines the settings that are available in the Package Solution Wizard. To start the Package Solution Wizard, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Developer, and then click Package Solution.
Wizard Templates and Output Options
On the first page of the Package Solution Wizard, you can decide to use the settings from a previous use of the wizard as a template. To do this, click Load wizard settings from a saved template file.
To save the current Package Solution Wizard settings as a template, click Save Wizard Settings on any Package Solution Wizard page. The next time that you start the wizard and decide to use a saved template, the wizard pages are pre-populated with values from the template.
Under Output Options, the Destination folder setting specifies the folder in which the deployment package will be stored.
Figure 1 shows the available options on the first page of the Package Solution Wizard.
Figure 1. Wizard Template and Output Options
Page 2 of the Package Solution Wizard contains the following Installation Options settings:
File to package specifies the path and file name of the Office Access 2007 database that you want to include in the deployment package.
Root install folder and Install subfolder specify the folder location where your application will be installed.
Pre-installation requirements lets you specify if you want to require that users have Office Access 2007 installed before your application can be installed, or if they have to use the Access 2007 Runtime. Table 2 describes the available options.
Table 2. Pre-installation requirements settings
Require Microsoft Office Access 2007 to be installed
Access 2007 must be installed on the computer before your application is installed.
If it is not, users receive an error message that explains that they must install Access 2007 before they install the application.
Require the Access 2007 Runtime to be downloaded if Access is not already installed
If Access 2007 is not installed, users must download the Access 2007 Runtime.
The file name extension of the database that you specify in the File to package box is changed to .accdr to ensure that your database always opens in run-time mode (see Figure 2). If users try to run the installation package without having Access 2007 or the Access 2007 Runtime installed, they receive an error message that includes a URL where they can download the Access 2007 Runtime.
Require nothing and install the Access 2007 Runtime
The Access 2007 Runtime will be installed with your application, even if Access 2007 is already installed.
Specify the location of the AccessRuntime.exe file on your computer in the Access 2007 Runtime setup package text box. The file name extension of the database that you specify in the File to package box is changed to .accdr to ensure that your database always opens in run-time mode (see Figure 2).
Figure 2 shows the Installation Options settings as they appear on the second page of the Package Solution Wizard.
Figure 2. Installation Options
The Shortcut Options section on this same page contains settings that configure the shortcuts to be installed on the destination computer that has your application.
Install Locations specifies where a shortcut to your application will be created when the application is installed.
Shortcut name and Icon settings specify the display name and icon for the shortcut.
Startup macro and VBA Command value settings specify the name of a macro or a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) procedure that runs every time that your application is loaded.
Figure 3 shows the Shortcut Options on the second page of the Package Solution Wizard.
Figure 3. Shortcut Options
Additional Files and Registry Keys
Page 3 of the Package Solution Wizard contains the Additional Files section, which you can use to add any file outside the database that your application depends on. For example, you might want to include a readme.txt file or some sample files for your application. To add these files, click Add, and then select the files.
In the Additional Registry Keys section, you can specify any Windows Registry keys that you want to be created when your application is installed. When you specify a registry key to be added to the All Users root, you should prefix the key with Software\. If you do not do this, users might receive an error message when they install the application.
Figure 4 shows the Additional Files and Additional Registry Keys sections on the third page of the wizard.
Figure 4. Additional Files and Additional Registry Keys Options
General Properties, Feature Information, and Advanced Options
Page 4 of the wizard contains the following settings under General Properties:
Product Name specifies the name of your application.
Install Language specifies the language to be displayed when users install your application.
End user license agreement (EULA) specifies the location of the license terms file to include with your application. The license terms file must be in Rich Text Format (.rtf).
This page contains the following settings under Feature Information:
Feature Title specifies the title of the feature displayed when the user selects the Custom option while the user installs your application.
Feature Description specifies the description of the feature displayed when the user selects the Custom option while the user installs your application.
Figure 5 shows the General Properties and Feature Information sections that appear on the fourth page of the wizard.
Figure 5. General Properties and Feature Information
In the Add/Remove Programs Information section of the wizard, shown in Figure 6, you can specify the information that appears when users click Click here for support information for your application in Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
The File Properties for the Windows Installer Package section of this page lets you specify information that appears when users right-click the setup (.msi) file and then click Properties.
Page 4 of the wizard contains the following settings under Advanced Options:
Background Image specifies the image that you want to appear as the background of your installation program. For example, the image could be a .jpg file or a .bmp file that displays your company logo.
Product Code specifies a unique identifier for a particular product release, represented as a string GUID.
Upgrade Code specifies a GUID that represents a related set of products. The Upgrade Code is used to search for related versions of the product that are already installed.
Figure 6 shows the Add/Remove Programs Information, File Properties, and Advanced Options on page 4 of the wizard.
Figure 6. Add/Remove Programs Information, File Properties, and Advanced Options
Package Solution Wizard Output
When you click OK on the last page of the Package Solution Wizard, the deployment package is created. This package contains all the files that are required to install your application. The package is created in the folder that you specified in the Destination folder setting on page 1 of the wizard.
The root folder of the deployment package contains two files: Setup.exe and Autorun.inf. Setup.exe is used to start the installation of your application. Autorun.inf. specifies what happens when the user inserts a CD that contains your application. By default, the Setup.exe file runs automatically.
The Files subfolder of the deployment package contains the .msi file that the wizard created. The Files subfolder also contains the AccessRuntime.exe file if you specified that your application should execute in run-time mode.
You can copy the deployment package to a CD, or put it on a shared network location.
This article briefly describes the components that make up the Access 2007 Developer Extensions. It also describes the settings that are available when you use the Package Solution Wizard to create an Access deployment package and include the Access 2007 Runtime. The Access Developer Extensions components that include the Package Solution Wizard, can make deploying and working with your Access 2007 solutions much easier.
For more information about Access 2007, the Access 2007 Developer Extensions, and the Access 2007 Runtime, see the following resources: