Obtain and deploy the Access 2003 runtime

Applies to
Microsoft Office Access 2003

Access provides a rich platform for developing database management solutions. To distribute those Access solutions so that they run without requiring a full installation of Access 2003, you must package and distribute your application with the Access 2003 runtime. The Access 2003 runtime is essentially a full version of Access 2003, but with certain design-time features disabled.

How to obtain the runtime and license

The Access runtime software and the royalty-free Access runtime license formerly shipped as part of a Microsoft Office Developer (MOD) product with earlier versions of Microsoft Office. 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. These tools include:

  • Access 2003 Developer Extensions    Note that you do not have to purchase Visual Studio or Visual Studio .NET in order to package and distribute Access applications using the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System.
  • Visual Studio Tools for Office    These tools bring the power of Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework to business solutions built on Microsoft Office Word 2003 and Microsoft Office Excel 2003. With this technology, you can use Visual Basic .NET (included), or Microsoft Visual C#® .NET to write code behind applications that are based on Word and Excel. Note that Visual C# .NET is not included in Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, but is available as part of Visual Studio .NET, sold separately.
  • Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard Edition    You can learn the Visual Basic language by constructing applications for Windows and the Web. In addition, you can use the Visual Studio Tools for Office with Visual Basic .NET Standard Edition.
  • Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 Developer Edition    This edition lets you develop and test SQL Server solutions. It includes all of the functionality of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition, but with a special development and test end-user license agreement (EULA) that prohibits production deployment.

For information about how to purchase the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System, see How to Buy: Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System.

How to deploy the runtime

You can deploy an Access application to users who do not have an installation of Access 2003 by packaging and distributing the application with the Access runtime. To package the application, you use the Package Wizard included in the Access 2003 Developer Extensions to create an installation package. Your installation package will include your application and the Access 2003 runtime, and will specify a number of installation parameters, such as the folder in which to install the application and whether to create application shortcuts.

For more information about deploying and building runtime-based solutions, see the following articles:

Applies to:
Access 2003