Runtime update


I’m truly sorry that this is dragging on longer than I ever expected. Am I frustrated?  Yes.


Just before the runtime was to be released a critical bug in setup was found that caused setup to not install on random machines. Multiple attempts to fix the issue failed but we are hopeful the last one will do the trick. A build kicked off today–best case is it will take a week to verify the fix, run the final test pass, and get something on the web. If we a recall bug comes up–we can’t in good consciousness release the runtime and the clock will start over.


 Once again, sorry for the inconvience this has caused.

Comments (37)

  1. joseguia says:

    Better late than ever.

    Thanks for the update!

  2. Chris Bartley says:

    Thanks for the update. Maintaining this kind of honesty could transform Microsoft into less of a faceless corporation concerned primarily about their image and more of a trustworthy group of people doing their best. And as a software developer: I understand the frustration of unexpected bugs!

  3. Thanks Chris–I do feel terrible about it. People make promises to customers and can’t deliver on commitments because of our thrashing. Our team is talking a lot about how we can be more agile and move quicker to meet the needs of our customers. Hopefully we can learn from this experience.

  4. Alan Cossey says:

    Clint, hopefully the latest build will work. If it doesn’t and since the problem is an installation problem, would it please be possible to release that build, with as many conditions as you want to stipulate, to those of us who months ago committed to customers on the basis of the original statement that the runtime would be available "Shortly after the release to the general public of Access 2007" which was in January, i.e. 5 months ago? See http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905400.aspx. At least that way, I could try the installation with them myself (assuming it failure of the installation does not require reformatting the hard drive).

    I’ve explained about the delays, May 15th being OKish to start with then the expected two week delay from May 14th (which would make it ~May 28th), then the delay from June 8th for "hopefully… a couple of weeks" then from 14th June  as you have posted above. However, I know what I would be thinking if I were in their shoes and it would not be particularly polite.

    Not good.

  5. Alan Cossey says:

    Update to my comment.

    Having looked again at how my comment reads, I think I need to clarify it a bit. It is not meant at all to be a dig at your openness, Clint. Thank you for keeping us updated with each put back of target date. The problem is that commitments were made on the basis of the original post at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905400.aspx, enthusiasm for the new product and a belief that knowledge base articles for Access 2007 runtime dated November 2006, e.g. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926803, meant that Microsoft had it all tied down and nearly ready to roll.

    Alan Cossey

  6. SteelDeer says:

    Thanks Clint

    Alan Cossey ….. I totally agree

  7. davidmdm says:

    Concerning the Runtime.  If you can run Access 2007 in runtime mode by simply specifying /runtime, why is it so difficult to have a runtime version whereby the /runtime flag is not specified in cmd parameter vs it just auto-starts as runtime.  

    Seems to me, the /runtime flag turns off modification abilities.  So a runtime  version should be the same as access 2007 except withthe /runtime flag hardcoded at startup?

    Maybe I am overthinking it, but I fail to see why this delay even occurs if the full version is already "supposed to be" ready to go?????

  8. tim_j says:

    Hi Clint,

    Many thanks for the update, it’s much appreciated. These things take time and it’s far better to have stability.

    You and your team’s hard work is much appreciated. All the best finding a fix.

    Tim

  9. Carl says:

    M. David Matney : The Runtime is much more than turning off modification. You can give away access apps without the user actually owning access. That is the main purpose.

  10. Vincent Tabor says:

    Thanks for the update.  For me, SS integration is key.  (All our Access apps are "in house" and our clients have full Office 2007 installs).  Currently our company has 2007 but we are developing in XP since without SS integration we can’t in good conscience develop code in 2007.  Can you let me know if there are issues with the SS integration too?  We would like to begin to upgrade our apps for the new features, but are waiting on the SS integration.  AnNy insight that would help us plan is appreciated.

  11. David–the hardest part of the runtime is getting the setup and packaging done right. It involved components that our team doesn’t own which introduces challenges when you consider the amount of code that has to get installed and properly registered.

    Alan–when the original announcement was made, I don’t think we imagined it would ever take this long to work through the setup hassles. We are going to do our best to learn from this experience.

    Vincent–SS is part of the ADE and integrated into the ribbon. We built all of our 2007 templates using SS which helped us drive quality high in that area.

  12. Anders Andersen, Norway says:

    Hi Clint!

    Thanks for the update, I really hope that your latest build works!

    Keep us posted on the progress, please 🙂

  13. h says:

    Every industry has dirty pesky chores. Bugs are ours. Tanks for your efforts.

  14. davidmdm says:

    Carl,

    LOL, I know what the purpose of runtime is.  I’ve been using it for years.  My point was with implementation of it in the code for the actual runtime vs. the full product.

  15. Seth Bacon says:

    Clint,

    Thank you for the update. Would you be willing to let us know as soon as possible if you hit another snag? That way we don’t wait a week thinking things are going ok, then another wondering what the holdup is, then hear from you in 3 weeks that it might take another week…

  16. Mark Darroch says:

    This is incredibly frustrating. We (like many others) made commitments based on when the Microsoft team said the runtime would be ready… we have had to change schedules on our customers even though we made the schedules with a significant "Microsoft always runs late" factor built in… there is a fine line between "late" and "unreliable" however… it is the middle of June and still no runtime. Again, very frustrating.

  17. David Kates says:

    Software is the most wonderful and most horrible stuff to develop.   I always deliver to clients to test first before they take it live and no matter how much testing I do they always, always find something.  Either a machine it won’t work on, or a function or feature that doesn’t behave the way it did for me.  Certainly no offence Clint but if the run-time runs without any problems then that will be a first in the software world.  I don’t think anyone can predict and test for every scenario.  "Shortly" for software means when it’s ready… no one can fortell when.  You guys are doing a great job.  Just keep plugging away and I know you’ll get it to us when you feel it’s good.  Thanks for your efforts.  David

  18. Edward Elman says:

    Dear Clint:

    Thank you very much for your honesty and keeping us informed about the situation. Please do not feel upset or sad about what has happened – you and your team are doing your very best to fix the problem. One cannot ask for anything more.

    The honesty, sincerity, and dedication that you and your team display counts for much more than the delay. And having the runtime available when you feel it is ready shows your professionalism towards developers and their customers.

    With very best wishes,

    Edward Elman

    Calgary, Alberta Canada

  19. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the update and best regards. Your teams’ diligence for quality and stability translates to my customer’s perception of my quality and stability. It’s nice to know you put forth that effort so I can put my effort elsewhere.

  20. Altiplano says:

    Thanks for the honest updates Clint, I’m looking forward to the final product, whenever it may be released.

    Anyway, I don’t see why these delays are so terrible. No sensible developer should make any promises to customers based on software that hasn’t been released yet, let alone tested in the real world.

    We are not going to develop any critical applications for Access 2007 until we’ve seen at least SP-1 released (same applies to rolling out Vista, for that matter). If properly explained, every customer will go for stability over cutting-edge technology.

  21. Alan Cossey says:

    Altiplano,

    With regard to Access 2007 stability, my experience is that it is similar to Access 2003 with latest SP even before Access 2007 SP1. There are some bugs, to be sure, but so far in my work nothing that cannot be got around (I’m not guaranteeing it for anyone else though!).

    Despite the woes on the current lack of Access 2007 runtime, I have to say that I am glad my two latest customers have taken an Access 2007 application, with one of them using Sharepoint integration which would not have been possible with Access 2003. So, to sum up, when the Access 2007 runtime arrives, my customers and I will be happy bunnies.

    Alan Cossey

    PS Apart from not having a user-level security system of course…

    PPS Access 2007 is much more fun to use than Access 2003 as well.

    PPPS Remember that Allen Browne has a good list of Access 2007 good and bad points, inc. bugs, inc. how to destroy your database using Vista.

  22. Alan Cossey says:

    Woops, should have said that Allen Browne’s Access 2007 page is at http://www.allenbrowne.com/Access2007.html.

  23. daniel isoje says:

    access 2007 is great especially as it works with sharepoint. can any one tell me if access works directly with a remote sql server over the internet. if this works why use sharepoint that still has data differences with access.

  24. Sascha Trowitzsch says:

    In my opinion this long development period is due to fact that the setup of the full version product is buggy too. See e.g the problems concerning parallel installations of A2007 and A2003 or OL2007. To me it looks like if the team now – finally! – takes it’s time to clean up these setup routines. (?)  A good sign, but frustrating, because MS should better have released O2007 later than it happened and really fix the bugs …

    @Alan:

    "With regard to Access 2007 stability, my experience is that it is similar to Access 2003 with latest SP even before Access 2007 SP1"

    You’re the only one! Nearly all Access MVPs state that specially developers should wait for SP1 before applying it in productional environments. Allen Browne too.

    There are many bugs i realized in the past half year. I’m curious about if they will have gone in the runtime. 😉

  25. davidmdm says:

    Clicn, Can you confirm what Alan has said?  Is this delay to fix parallel installs of 2007 with other prior versions?

  26. davidmdm says:

    Clint, Can you confirm what Alan has said?  Is this delay to fix parallel installs of 2007 with other prior versions?

  27. Anastasia says:

    Ok, thanks for the update. Great customer service. You said the best case is a week. Now…………………………………..what’s the worst case????????????????

  28. Chris Meinders says:

    Thanks for the update.

    Will this runtime engine also handle previous database versions?

  29. There is a delay restarting Access 2007 once an older version was run. I’m hopeful the issue will be fixed in SP 1 (I’m not authorized to talk about any SP 1 available dates–so please don’t ask).

    From what I’m told, the re-configure delay issue doesn’t repro with runtime apps.

    The runtime engine does work for 2000 and above mdb databases.

    Everyone have a great fathers day? I did!

  30. Andy W says:

    Considering the 2003 runtime was only available at a cost and a big cost at that, a small delay to iron out bugs is not a big deal, at least we get a more stable runtime.

    . . . AND ITS FREE, WOOOOO !

  31. Chris Meinders says:

    Thanks for the swift reply Clint.

    Although "promise dates" have been mentioned above, I think most of us echo Andy W.  "… AND ITS FREE, WOOOOO !" B-)

    Thanks again,

  32. Stevbe says:

    I am specifically NOT asking for SP1 dates but would like to know if there are plans to incorporate the SP1 fixes into the runtime closer to A2007 SP1 release than the current situation. I ask because I work for a large coporation and I have lots of Access runtime apps which will need to be converted to 2007 but the issues with the current version make this a no go situation until SP1. If the SP1 fixes for runtime  are not scheduled to be released until 8 months after RTM I will need to use that in my guestimates.

    Thank you,

    Steve

  33. Stevbe says:

    as for free … nope … we pay dearly for an EA.

  34. Stevbe,

    SP 1 fixes are not part of the runtime. The runtime code we will release includes source code control, building templates, and packaging/setup for the runtime. The runtime won’t fix bug in the EXE–core product fixes will be released with SP1.

    Do you have a list of blocking bugs? Having customer feedback that says Issue X is keeping me from deploying is always helpful to set priorities and make sure we are getting done the most important issues. If you were to send me your issues I would be happy to forward it to the team working on SP1 as another data point. Feel free to use the email link at the top of the page to send the list.

  35. Steve R, says:

    Very nice updates to the runtime issues.  I have not even started to think about development with 2007 until I have the "FREE" runtime.  My customers and I can wait.

  36. Xack Clay says:

    Okay, I’m going out on a limb here. Given the experience I’m having with Office 2007 itself, I don’t get your reticence about releasing a buggy product. It didn’t stop the Access team (try shift selecting all the columns in a table in a query).

    Let the bugs fly. We know what the fix is.

    Office 13.

  37. Steve Goldring says:

    I haven’t seen anything yet on how the runtime will support Trusted Locations. I.e. on PCs where only the runtime is installed. Getting rid of the security prompt will be great.