Access Runtime is on Hold

There is more information coming shortly.Unfortunately, I'm on jury duty for the next three weeks and will not be able to provide updates. FWIW - I haven't worked on the runtime project, so my jury duty won't effect availability. The Access blog will post any information as soon as it is available.

Edited 7/26.

Comments (26)

  1. DB says:

    Hummm, I installed the extensions 6/26/07, found a ton of problems. Then I find the extensions/packager no longer appear at all in the menu. I can see this is going to be a tough row to hoe.

    A few thing I noticed before the extensions disappeared: No link for user to install runtime online. I tested a download installation of the 2007 runtime and my app as packaged by the extensions, the runtime did not run my app which runs easily under 2002 runtime. There were more errors then I could count. I see no reason to consider moving to 2007 for my distribution. I do however see just another reason to move my app away from Access.

  2. Vladimir Cvajniga says:

    Never mind… I’m going to try A2007 CZ trial soon. But I’ll not buy MS Office 2007 Professional before SP2 so that Acces team has a lot of time to test ADE & runtime.

    IMHO, they should have not released MSO 2007, they’d better wait for 2008… or maybe 2009… so that they had some time to fix old bugs.

  3. Ben Johnson says:

    Well… I have been waiting for this runtime for a few months now, and I’m a little tired of waiting. I migrated my application over to 2007 in hopes of deploying th runtime to give my users a little taste of the new Office IU. But by the time the runtime is released now, we will be deploying full-blown Office anyway. I work in Higher Education and the Fall semester is the time to upgrade everybody to matchup with the new textbooks.

    I’m just going to have to either insall Access 2007 on all of the machines and support any issues that arise; or develop two versions of my appliction for another two months.

    If I had known the FREE tag came with such a price, I would have waited to migrate.

  4. pw says:


    Since I’ve been waiting for runtime and ADE all the way back when Office 2007 was in beta releases, this has made me very sad… I’ve managed to download the runtime and ADE, I’ve been trying to use it just in case if it can get me through completeing my current Access2007 project. If someone is interesting what were the bugs, I’ve found a few of them.

    I’m note sure if they classify for the runtime, but I’ve compared the same Access solution on two virtual machines with plain Windows XP SP2 without anything else on it. One had installed full Access 2007 and the other had Access 2007 runtime. Full access 2007 worked without any problems and it served as comparsion for runtime applications.

    * tested solution is an Access Data Project (ADP) / ACCDR (on runtime, created with ADE)

    Two key things that I’ve encounterd with the runtime:

    1.)  report that was bound to sql server view reported error 2580 – record source specified does not exist, and I’m sure it exists because the underlaying form runs on the same view, and this works as it should on full Access 2007

    2.) I have a subform that is bound to the result set of a stored procedure, parameters for the stored procedure are on the master form. Subform is requeryed when any of the parameters are changed. This works on full Access 2007, and on runtime, nothing happens, not even an error message or someting like that, subform just isn’t requeried.

    I compared the same thing with full access 2007 running with /runtime command line arguments and it worked as it should.

    Today, I went looking for a solution and I saw that Access 2007 runtime and ADE has been pulled off, so I’ll stop with trying to resolve this issues since I think that this is all related to "the pull off".

    I would be glad if Microsoft provided the concrete reasons why this happened (the pull off).

    Anyway, I think that these issues should have been tested before the release, even though the relase came so late. Now I’ve spent few hours trying to make something work, instead of spending my time on variuous other projects that I’m involved with, and I think that if this isn’t resolved quickly enogh, I’ll move all my ongoing Access projects to .Net, Smart Client Factories and the real architecture that works on my other projects without relying on promises of excelent new "runtime" versions… In the time that I’ve spent waiting for this release, I could have created the whole project on .Net, C#, CAB, SCSF and other technologies/practices that definitively need more time for development but surely provide many benefits compared to Access 2007, at least a stable roadmap that I can sync with my investors wishes.



  5. Mark Darroch says:

    I have been developing in Access since 2000, and over the years have noticed a change in the way Microsoft deals with its customers/clients. The ‘2007 runtime debacle’ is now indicative of the what many developers, to a lesser or greater extent, have come to expect from MS. Maybe the company has just become too big, maybe some key people have left over the years, or maybe it just continues to be a multi-billion dollar a year company regardless of the experience of its developers. Whatever it is, a smaller company would simply go out of business if it was this unreliable in delivering key pieces of technology to its clients.  

    The fact that the runtime is free is, of course, irrelevant. I would gladly pay $800 for a working runtime, and products as complex as operating systems are developed on time for "free". It would be interesting to calculate just how much time and money developers have spent in the last six months on the ‘free 07 runtime’.

    It is also strange that this type of thing comes after MS made a (it’s been a year or two now) strong public statement that its about ‘developers, developers, developers’.  Doesn’t it worry the teams at Microsoft that it cant get something as (relatively) simple as a runtime for one of their flagship products shipped properly? It worries people that rely on Microsoft technology. It is a shame as Access itself has been a joy to work with over the years, but we have decided to move away from Access as soon as possible for all our products.



  6. Mark H. says:

    For us, moving away from Access is the absolute last resort — I hope MS takes a long hard look, renewing its efforts in towards this distinctly powerful development platform. After comparing many other solutions over the years, I don’t know of anything else like it.

    Seems like there’s quite a few very talented folks on the Access team…and not to overstate the [possibly] obvious, but perhaps one of the foremost problems is that the runtime release was announced too early?

  7. Tim Getsch [MS] says:

    Regarding DB’s comments about the developer extensions disappearing…  This is a side-by-side issue where Access 2003 disables our COM add-in.  Here is a KB article that describes how to work around the issue.

    I apologize for the inconvenience.  

    We on the Access Developer Extension and Access Runtime team hear your woes and concerns, and we understand your pain.  We are doing everything we can to get you the right product.  Many things happened that were out of our control, and some day I hope we can explain what happened.  But until then, we appreciate your patience.

  8. Groucho says:


    Thanks for the prompt response on DB’s post… I had the same problem and thought it was just one of the bugs everyone is talking about!

  9. Gunny says:

    Q:  How many weenies will look a gift horse in the mouth, complain that the teeth aren’t satisfactory, and rudely say, "These teeth should have been thoroughly checked before I was given this gift"?

    A:  All of them.

  10. David says:

    It would be nice to find out what the problems were that caused it to be pulled. I obtained a copy of it before it was pulled, however I have not actually installed it and tested it yet.  I guess its a good thing, that we had the view of waiting a couple of weeks and watching the blog for something like this.  I guess in the back of my mind, I knew it was gonna happen

  11. CJ says:

    We have waited so long for the developer extensions. For all the time we’ve waited we could have mastered vis studio and SQL express….Time to move on!

  12. Vladimir Cvajniga says:

    IMHO, this is the best time for Microsoft to stop their, as I say, "run for money". The only way to get back Access’ (97) reputation is to stop developing version 14 and fix all known bugs ASAP. "Public hearing" may be the way how to get some knowledge about developers’ troubles with Access issues and bugs. Then fix the bugs, start huge public beta testing and release A2007 SP1 that would include all fixes.

    Also, Microsoft should take care of non-US releases of MS Office (Access) since there’s too much to improve – translations to foreingn languages, cost (!!!) and local tech-support (eg. in Czech Republic the only official tech-support for Access is just "installation issues"!!! And MS Office 2007 Professional is about 3 times as expensive as in the USA!!!). I have been asking for these for several years but there was "no response". News-servers/forums don’t help too much to improve Access performance nor to fix the bugs. 🙁

    In the past several months I’ve been also planning to switch from Access to different product. After all, let’s hope Access will not be stopped like Visual Fox Pro. See


    P.S. I hate censorship.

  13. pw says:


    this clearly is not a matter of a gift horse, this looks like "I’ll give you this one free, because it doesn’t work "…  I would gladly give few hundred bucks for this thing if it worked as it should. Why didn’t they comapre the price to Visual Studio Tools For Office (I think it’s around 800$), I would definitivley buy ADE and runtime distribution license for as much as 500$ per developer.

    If someone is intersting in an alternative to Access but doesn’t have time/money/intrest in learning .Net or Java technologies, you can look at some open source projects like Knoda, they aren’t 10 % of Access has but for simple tasks they can provide just enough to make your project work. Worth a look…

  14. Zen says:

    Aheeem … MS guys?

    The "layout  view" of Reports is one of the little innovations of Access 2007…

    If they don’t work with Runtime version, they are absolutely  USELESS !!

  15. Ted says:

    All I can read here doesn’t sound very hopeful…

    Neither time schedule nor quality of working properly.

    Trouble ahead?

    Now What?

  16. Ben Johnson says:

    Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE Access (and the new 2007 release). For my users, VS.NET, DLLs, Framework updates, etc. are much less desireable than a single file of data storage and programming goodness. I won’t move away from Access unless I absolutely have to.

    But I’m not a big fan of empty promises either. I have been working double-duty to keep an Access 2003 version of my project up to date with my 2007 efforts in hopes that I could roll out the new way of life very soon. Had I not taken the posts of the runtime coming soon literally, I would not have taken this path and not worried too much about the delays. But now I am at the point where the 2007 version is able to do much more than the 2003 version (mainly because of the TempVars, custom Ribbons, and PDF exporting capabilities). So, I have to experiment a little more than I would like to with my user base (by installing full-blown Access) to save my sanity and give them my best work.

    I have downloaded the ADE tools, and they are working very well for me. And I will download the runtime when it comes out too. I am grateful… but a bit disgruntled at this particular juncture. I would have paid a couple hundred dollars for the runtime months ago if it was available.

  17. amireh1 says:


    can you at least make runtime 2003 for free till you solve your problems or at least make it with half price so we can buy it.


  18. John F. Cantrell says:

    This is just indicative.  Good intentions aside (and no one is casting aspersions against individuals here), the fact that the web page mentions Access’s "improved interface" is symptomatic of the quiet disaster of Access 2007.  Maybe (maybe) if you are a Visual Studio developer who has always looked askance at the Access control surface you might accept such a characterization. But the rest of us…? What a mess! Add in the Access 2003 crash issue (which occurs on closing after module editing and has apparently never been fixed in public service releases, but which you may call to get a fix for… what’s up with that?) and one gets the impression that Microsoft has lost its way with or its commitment to this product, or the internal politics and the lack of defensive clout of the Access team have diluted/blurred Microsoft’s focus on the special characteristics of Access that have made the tool so great over the years.

    I have made my entire living for 14 years exclusively with Access and am incredibly grateful to Microsoft for it. A hearty THANK YOU to every one responsible for it at Microsoft.  

    Luckily my living (entirely from Access, mind you) has been so good that I am able to retire soon.  Thank goodness I don’t have to look at a future of trying to work with Access 2007 and its descendants.  Not all of the hours spent on a project are ethically billable.

    I’m building my last project now… using Access XP.  

  19. Thanks for the comments everyone. I expect to be able to explain things in more detail when we re-release the runtime. Hopefully, that will make things more clear.

    In the mean time, DB you said:

    "I tested a download installation of the 2007 runtime and my app as packaged by the extensions, the runtime did not run my app which runs easily under 2002 runtime. There were more errors then I could count."

    Can you please send me and email ASAP. The runtime team is very interested in working with you to understand your issues.

  20. DB says:

    I uninstalled the Runtime and my test installation, packaged with the Dev Extensions of a test PC after I realized that the Runtime was pulled. I didn’t want to waste any more time if the issues were related to the Runtime.

    I recall I was getting strange ?Name errors which never  occured in Access 2007 or in Access XP runtime. In addition I recieved On Lost Focus event errors which ran fine for years in Access XP.

    In my test of the Extensions, I was saddened to see that the Download Access Runtime Option presented the user with an Error Dialogue and a text only message asking the user to download Access Runtime prior to installing the application package. This is not an elegant or user friendly install option. Why not present the user with an actual Runtime installation at that point? Asking a user; especially a PC novice to manually type in a URL an search for the Runtime Download does not engender customer satisfaction and incline them to purchase an Access based solution. This is especially important for those of us who wish to allow potential users to download a demonstration version of our appilcations. If the download process is too cumbersome, potential users will not bother. I have been sending demonstration CDROMs via snail mail for several years, packaged with the old Access XP deveoplers version. Offering a downloadable runtime and application package would have been great to save me postage and to hopefully showcase my application to more potential users.

    I guess I will be sticking with the CDROM/postage demo’s for now. I just don’t have the time to spend trying to make Access 2007 and its Dev Extensions/runtime work. I am not paid by the hour, but by any sales of my app I manage to make. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not been a great friend to my development over the years. I am frustrated and seriously reconsidering whether to continue the struggle. I earn very little money from my application, it is only a tertiary and tiny source of income for me. I began offering my solution because it filled a need in a small nitch. The joy has faded and I was hopeful that A2007 would enhance my efforts. Instead it has wasted my time and money thus far. Sorry if I have offended anyone.

  21. Stuart says:

    The MsaAccess.Exe file of the Runtime (and support DLLs) should be the same of FULL Access … that’s Right?

    It’s strange that a Runtime application doesn’t works like a "standard Access" application!

    It seems that some bugs affects only the Developer version.

    Which is the reason Clint?

    Bye Stuart

  22. Stuart–I haven’t worked on the runtime before so I can’t answer your question. I do know we use the same code to do things–that is why DB’s issues are strange to me, hense the follow up.

    DB–Thanks for your suggestion–I will pass it along to Tim.

    It would be really helpful for us to get our hands on your db and see what is wrong. There is an email link above on this site. I would really appreciate it if you send me mail and we coudl have our support people get your actual database. I promise we will be respective of your time and do appreciate your help. Many times tracking down outlier bugs like this require a partnership.

  23. Anastasia says:

    I downloaded the runtime almost as soon as it was posted. Then was disappointed to see it pulled and read up on all the problems everyone was having. I was so skeptical and considered deleting the download. But, after packaging it with the new developer extensions and running the app. on a test PC I didn’t have any visible problems with the runtime. What problems I DID spot were mostly related to my oversight on stuff for the app. itself.

    However, I’m still looking forward to the re-release in the coming weeks. But for now I think I’m ok with the current runtime and will continue using it until the new version is out.

    Thanks for all the hard work guys. Even though it’s not 100% functional as yet, it’s still good to see all the work that has gone into it. At first I was confused that the Dev. Extensions didn’t show up in my programs listing, but putting it in Access itself was a pretty good and convenient idea. Thanks for all the hard work you guys are putting in and thanks for making it all free!

  24. Peter Russell says:

    Does/will the Access runtime installation include the license for pdf and xps exports on a machine which does not have Office, or will the target machine still need an office license for these components to be distributed?

  25. ajd117a says:

    if anyone downloaded the access runtime before it was pulled, please kindly give me a copy , i want to try that until we get new release… thanx

  26. Rex Withers says:

    Just to add some positive comment, I downloaded and installed the runtime and developer tools. I have packaged 2 applications and have them running successfully on five different PC with only the occasional issue mostly due to lack of programming skill on my part I expect, there are also a couple of bits of code that work OK in Access 2007 but not on the runtime, closer investigation revealed that the code wasn’t actually correct in access 2007 even though it ran fine.  The only thing that doesn’t work for me is export to PDF, does anyone know the answer to Peter Russell’s question above about the licensing for the  save to PDF option?

Skip to main content