What constitutes a design change in MS Access 2013?


Keywords:ms  access 


Question: 

I have a Access 2003 and lower databases. The company i work for is currently using MS Office 2007 and Access 2003 instead of Access 2007 because of issues with library references. We're currently converting the Access 2003 databases to Access 2007, but some users are already being upgraded to MS Office 2013 and Access 2013.

I am aware that Access will only change library references when design changes are made in Access 2013 which is not something we want because it will cause issues for users still using Access 2007.

My question is what constitutes a design change? For example we have some forms who's labels change based on user selection, would that be considered a design change? We do not want Access 2013 users to inadvertently make design changes.


1 Answer: 

The only way to avoid users making inadvertent changes would be to either use the Runtime instead of a full version of Access on their machine or force the database to open in Runtime mode by changing the your front-end's database extension to accdr.

Now, if your aplication relies on the standard office references, you should be ok (for most of them) as Access will use the right one for the version you have.

Any any rate, the fact that you are worried about users making inadvertent modification seems to imply that your users are sharing a front-end, which is not the recommended way to deploy an Access application: the application should be split.

Database containing the shared tables of the application remain on a network share. The Front-end, containing the UI and business code, should be deployed on the local machine of each user. The front-end only contain links to the tables in the backend.

This is a safe multi-user design since only data is shared, not the UI state.

Now if you have that design, if would not matter too much if users made accidental updates since that would only be local to their machine.
In that configuration, you can also keep sharing a specific mdb database with various front-ends for Access 2003, 2007, 2013 being deployed for different users.

Deployment is the hard part since you want that to happen automatically when there is a new version of the front-end available. There are tools like Auto FE Updater that can help.