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Access 2013 - what should I expect with a legacy VBA, DAO App? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I’m an independent/one-man-band business, developing Microsoft Access applications since1994. Often these are custom / one off solutions, but I also have some standard products (+/- 150 Site Licenses). Here is a link to describe them: http://www.earnestdevelopment.com/desk_overview.asp

    I’m trying to address questions that have started coming in from my clients, such as:

    We currently subscribe to your desktop products and we will soon be upgrading from Microsoft Office 2007 to 2013.  Can you tell us if the Earnest desktop products line currently support Office 2013?

    The client who sent me this inquiry works for a huge org with an enterprise-wide license for a custom version of my product (Earnest SRP), and they run it in more than a dozen different offices world wide. They won’t all – ever- have the same combination of Windows and Office versions.  I’d like to do some testing, to answer the question (for them and myself), but can’t possibly maintain numerous machines set up with Every Possible Combination of Windows and Office versions. This gets more difficult with every new release. Rant Off.

    Some of the answers I seek:

    1. Does Access 2013 come in 32 bit? (believe me, I spent a few hours today searching the MS site, and various groups and forums, and cannot find a difinitive answer).
    2. My products run on extensive VBA (DAO) code, and need to be backwards compatable to Access 2k, ‘cause that’s what some clients run. Why cant I find a straight-forward explaination of what problems – if any - I should expect to find when run in Access 2013?
    3. Are there resources for Access developers like me to do some testing of my apps in 2013 with out breaking the bank?
    4. I'm not funded to develop all new web applications, and I’m not prepared to do a complete re-write to satisfy 64 bit. More importantly, managing separate versions (DAO, ADO, 32 bit, 64 bit, Sharepoint, Azure...) would be totally impractical. How do other (small time) Access developers resolve this?

    DBDiva

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:07 AM

Answers

  • 1: Yes. And that's still the preferred version to install. Only install 64-bit Office if you really, really know what you are doing.

    2: Because nobody knows until they try. There is nothing like testing in your environment with your code. Of course there is a "what's new in 2013" page you should memorize: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access-help/discontinued-features-and-modified-functionality-in-access-2013-HA102749226.aspx

    3: Access is not THAT expensive. Some Office-365 accounts come with a local install of the full version of Office, I think in the $20-30/month range. This is the cost of doing business, to be passed on to customers.

    4. They don't. They stick with what their customers ask for, and if those customers ask for something they don't offer, they do a cost/benefit analysis, as difficult as that may be.


    -Tom. Microsoft Access MVP

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:11 AM

All replies

  • 1: Yes. And that's still the preferred version to install. Only install 64-bit Office if you really, really know what you are doing.

    2: Because nobody knows until they try. There is nothing like testing in your environment with your code. Of course there is a "what's new in 2013" page you should memorize: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access-help/discontinued-features-and-modified-functionality-in-access-2013-HA102749226.aspx

    3: Access is not THAT expensive. Some Office-365 accounts come with a local install of the full version of Office, I think in the $20-30/month range. This is the cost of doing business, to be passed on to customers.

    4. They don't. They stick with what their customers ask for, and if those customers ask for something they don't offer, they do a cost/benefit analysis, as difficult as that may be.


    -Tom. Microsoft Access MVP

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:11 AM
  • As to testing under different Access versions and different OSs, consider VMware.

    It can be a bit tedious, but it does save having a room full of computers to keep track of.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:36 PM
  • Why not use the stable AC2010-SP2 runtime package ? I don't "see" any advantages towards moving to 2013.  In fact when I saw they moved to a "short text" and "long text" format reference for columns, the first thing I thought of: Will all of my dbText, dbMemo enumerator references fail ?
    New releases of Office are always dangerous. To wit, the change in Excel 2013 to MDI from SDI effectively renders most 3rd party addins totally disfunctional....they all must be rewritten for the new GUI style.

    The run-time is free. Just make sure your code is bulletproof.

    In looking at the new features in 2013, I saw this: "Convert to an Access app – Using Access 2013, you can import your tables into a new Access app and forms for your application are automatically created for you. You can extend the functionality of the base forms Access creates for you and users can use your application on the web"

    Of course that means the ton of VBA coding you have done in your forms is not used or translated at all...that's effectively lost.
    And also note the lack of mention of HOW you can extend the functionality......

    • Marked as answer by George HuaModerator Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:01 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by DBDiva Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:42 PM
    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:27 PM