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Creating an executable file that users cannot view or modify the source code

Pat, my name is Mike Decker who has limited programming skill in Access2000. I have developed a database (table, query, form, report), but I would like to make it on a stand alone such as an exe. so that users cannot view or modify my stuff. What and how do I do it, step-by-step, if possible? Thank you for your help first. PS: I bought a copy of the Access2k Developer Edition.


If you have limited programming skill, you can make a couple of choices for creating your application.

I'd strongly encourage you to find a developer that is willing to work with you, either as a job or as your partner. This will help you get your product together much more quickly, and will bring some experience to the project. This arrangement doesn't work for everyone, but this is by far the quickest and usually the most profitable way to approach this kind of problem.

If you really want to develop the product yourself, you need to make a few decisions.

Access is a great tool for allowing people to work with their data. This makes it a poor choice for developing proprietary applications, since given enough time the end user will discover nearly everything there is to know about the application. There are a number of things the developer can do to slow this process, but I haven't seen a system produced in Access that a good user couldn't reverse engineer in relatively short order.

If you want to produce an executable file, you probably want to use Visual Basic. The programming language behind Access is VBA, which is Visual Basic for Applications. Visual Basic is VBA's "big brother".

VB does not support many of the conveniences of Access. The database engine (Jet) is identical, so tables and queries can be copied fairly easily. VB has forms, but they are different than Access forms. VB also doesn't really have anything quite like an Access report, although there are lots of third party products you can buy that do the same kinds of jobs.

In return for what you give up, VB gives you a lot. It is much faster than Access. Things that take way too long for Access are comparatively quick in VB. VB keeps your source code secure, so that if you compile a program correctly, it will be nearly impossible for anyone to read.

Good luck on your project!

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