Deploy MDE on PC's without MS Access


Board Regular
Nov 14, 2007
I have a database (Obviously) that I need to deploy on some PC's without Access. It has a front and back end, both of which are held on a small LAN. I've searched through the posts which seem to indicate I need the developer’s version of access? (The run times are not on the LAN.) The database has been created using office XP (2002) which I believe does not have the development version built in. I also have a copy of office 2003 - Not installed, is the development kit with this version? If so can it be installed independently and work with Access 2002? If so how do I do this and ultimately how do I create MDE's that can be used without having access installed.

Thanks in advance for any help offered, especially for all you clever people out there that give up their time to help us less knowledgeable folk- This forum is a fantastic resource!

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Unfortunately, the Developer version is a separate Office version and no longer available for earlier versions of Office. A short history:
Up to and including Office XP, the Developer version had the runtime
In Office 2003 they canned the tools from the Developer version and put the runtime tools into VSTO -- an expensive purchase
In Office 2007 the runtime is a free download.

So... try the Office 2007 version. Do some searching for any tips and issues; there was a nasty bug with the original version so they pulled it for a while, but it's back on line and apparently OK now. I can't comment further -- haven't had the need to use it. Check to see if the runtime engine will suport .mdb and .mde files before you get too far down the track

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Hi Adam, I agree -- if you go to ebay you will most likely pick up a copy. I meant that you can't go into your local store, or to the MS site, and buy the software. I tried a couple of years back...

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More info on the runtime, from this page on the MS site:

Start quote --

For Access 2003, the Access runtime software is shipped with the Microsoft Office Access 2003 retail product, and the royalty-free Access runtime license is a component of the Access 2003 Developer Extensions. Even though the runtime software is included in the Microsoft Office Access 2003 retail product, the right to distribute the runtime is not included. You must purchase the Access 2003 Developer Extensions to obtain a royalty-free license to package and distribute the runtime.

The Access 2003 Developer Extensions combines the tools and resources you need to create, test, and deploy Access solutions. For instance, the extensions include:
  • The royalty-free Access 2003 runtime license that allows you to use and distribute an unlimited number of copies of the runtime packaged with your solution.
  • The Package Wizard, which helps you create professional installation packages for your custom solutions.
  • The Custom Startup Wizard, which helps automate the procedure of quickly creating a final version of your database with a customized set of startup settings.
  • The Property Scanner, which lets you easily locate all occurrences of a string so that you can make global changes.
  • The complete Microsoft Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) source code for the Package Wizard, Custom Start Wizard, and Property Scanner, and a royalty-free license that gives you the right to employ that source code in your own solutions.
For more information about the Access 2003 Developer Extensions, see Build with Access 2003 Developer Extensions. The Access 2003 Developer Extensions is not available as a stand-alone product, but is included in your Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Universal subscription, if you have one. The Access 2003 Developer Extensions also ships with the Microsoft Visual Studio® Tools for the Microsoft Office System — a suite of tools that provide technologies that help you build the next generation of solutions for the Microsoft Office System.

End quote

So, yes the runtime is freely available. But you have to pay for the right to distribute databases using it.

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Thanks for the help so far, do you have any guides on how to use it?
The microsoft help isn't very clear
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