You *CAN* install Access versions in whatever order you want

I see another posting stating that you MUST install multiple Access versions in chronological order.  That is Access 97, then 2000, 2003 and finally 2007.  This is WRONG< WRONG, WRONG.  I have very deliberately installed Access versions on my systems in a random non chronological sequence for the last six or eight years.   Random meaning I might’ve installed 2003, then 97, then 2007 then 2002 and finally 2000.  Or something like that.  Whatever.  

The only problem has been the Access 97  "There is no license" error message starting Microsoft Access problem.   Which happens if you don’t install Access 97 first.


Each version of Access should be installed into it’s own folder.

Do ensure that you don’t click too fast during the install process and remove the previous installed older versions of Access.

Errors using multiple versions of Access under Vista or Windows 7

Don’t worry about Jet 4.0 SP8 as if you are doing Windows Updates it has long been superseded by various security patches and is updated via operating system updates.

Time stamping a code signed Access file

The following was asked:

*Hi, I have a digital certificate and is able to sign my code. Back in XP I have to specify a timestamp server in the registry for my code to be timestamped. Now in Win 7 and Office 2010:*

*1. Where do I specify the timestamp server.*

*2. How do I timestamp my code.*

*3. How do I find out if my code is timestamped.*

John Marshall, fellow MVP although in the Visio area, posted the following in response..

Adding a Timestamped Code Signing Certificate to Excel VBA  by Paul Irvine. 

This should work nicely in Access although I haven’t confirmed it yet.

Edited - Added “by Paul Irvine”, minor formatting changes

Auto FE Updater – V3.12 – View users in SQL Server backend database files

I’ve added the ability to view the list of users connected to a SQL Server backend database files.  This is in addition to viewing the users in an Access backend database file.   Now this isn’t perfect as Access seems to timeout after a number of minutes and drop the connection to the SQL Server database.   You can download the latest version or, if you are already running the Auto FE Updater utility, go to the Help menu and select the Check For Updates option.

Thanks to the Len, Nick, Tom and Stuart of the Edmonton Visual Basic and Access Users Group who gave me some excellent feedback.  As a result I’ve changed the emphasis on a few features and have some features to add in the near future.   In particular a big thanks to fellow Access MVP Albert Kallal for emphatically stating his opinions.  And I mean that in the kindest of ways.  

Thank you to Click Spares of the UK for being the first to purchase the Enterprise Edition

Bruce Hartley, Managing Director of Click Spares Limited has made the first purchase of the Enterprise Edition of the Auto FE Updater.   He also located two bugs which have been corrected in a hotfix.  Bruce states “You can make something out of the fact that I have been using the Auto FE Updater for years. But have finally "done the right thing"”

He also had some good suggestions for some features.  One of them I’m really going to have to think about so that’s definitely a good one.    We also chatted on Skype for a bit to help resolve one of the bugs.

Thanks Bruce.  Much appreciated.  Tony

Auto FE Updater – bug in V3.0

It only take a day to find the first bug which is in the lockout configuration file screen.   Relatively minor but confusing.  

Bug:   A bug slipped in at the very last and I never caught it in testing.  This utility has to make one connection to the backend Access database file to fetch the attached workstations.   I have code to remove that one connection from your workstation from the list.  However for some reason it isn’t working now.  Unfortunately urgent family travel plans require that I can’t look at this problem for a day or so.

Any more bugs?  Please take a screenshot and send them off to me.

Finally got going with the Microsoft Answers forums in my NNTP news reader

I answered a few questions using the online Answers webs site but I sure wasn’t happy with Microsoft or other forums given the limitations that are common to many/most/all? web forums.  Such as sluggishness compared to using client software which downloads the message headers and details.   Also not being able to easily pick out threads and postings within threads that are new.    I figure I’m about five times more productive with an NNTP client than using forums and my frustration level is a lot lower.   

I downloaded the Community Forums NNTP bridge and installed it.  I chose to enable the LiveID auto login.   I also chose to Prefetch newsgroup list as per the recommendation.  Note that Microsoft does supply a bridge as well but it’s biggest limitation is having to use a copy of their bridge for each of the MSDN and the Answers forums. 

(It appears that the NNTP bridge, along with other programs I’ve noticed lately actually request some kind of identifier unique to you when first logging in.  Thereafter the program uses that special identifier instead of storing your password anywhere.  Nice security idea as that substantially reduces the risk of the client software inadequately storing your password in a unencrypted or poorly encrypted fashion.)

I setup a new folder for my NNTP client and entered in the news server parameter. 

Finally for some unknown reason the Microsoft Answers team has chosen to group Access along with a number of other products in the same forum.   That forum name is Answers.en-US.addbuz.   As expected the volume of Access Q&A has totally swamped the other products.

This entire process was surprisingly painless.

Auto FE Updater – V3.0 – The Enterprise Edition

Done.  The last years planning and work has hit a major release.

Enterprise Edition Features

Viewing the log, various EXE/DLL versions and locking out users is done from within the ‘AutoFEUpdater Log FE.mde’ supplied with this utility.

Many more features planned including copying of subfolders and being able to view the users who are in the SQL Server database.

Oh, and a minor update as well.

  • if target folder has an LDB/LACCDB file present then attempt to delete it.  If delete unsuccessful then display a warning message and stop executing.   This will stop the user from managing to run the Access application twice.

I would like to thank Tom Wickerath, Crystal Long, Clif McIrvin and Tom van Stiphout for giving me much needed advice and editing assistance on my web pages. I would particularly like to thank Jim whose users put up with being alpha testers of this product.

Never, ever again will I use the letter i as a counter in a loop

Ok, so I recently read an article, maybe by Joel Spolsky, about not using i, j and k as counters.  Those familiar constructs of

For i = 1 to Ubound(SomeArray())
next i

should be using a full variable name of some sort.

  The code I’m working on right now in the Auto FE Updater has a number of loops within loops.   As the outer loop got longer and longer I decided to change the use of the letter i to something more meaningful.  In this case DatabaseCounter.  No problem, just change the Dim statement, change the compile errors complaining about the letter i and done.  No problem.

(Several hours later)

Something isn’t working right as I’m doing my final testing.  I threw in debug statements here, there and just about everywhere.  I examined the code with the proverbial fine tooth.  Change the data I’m testing and now it’s working even stranger.

I spend at least an hour examining about 120 lines of code and suddenly see the problem.

I was using a 1 (digit 1) and not an i (letter i) in an array() reference.   Yeah, yeah, looks obvious in this font.  But not quite so obvious in Courier.  Of course that 1 had been wrong all along.  But in the limited testing I was doing before it wasn’t so obvious that there was a problem.  

Now I may, very likely will continue, to use the letters j and k in very short 3 or 8 line loops.  But never again will I use the letter i.