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Professor needs help - Using Access Table Guid to ascertain if student cheated

P: n/a
Hi:

I am a EE prof currently teaching an IT course.

One the assignments students recently completed was designing a small
MS Access Database.

I have two submissions that are remarkably similiar..<sigh> the
structure (number of tables, field names, table names) is virtually
identical. Some of the data in each table is different.

I used the documenter to dump for each database; i noticed each access
object (specifically tables) get a Guid. Comparing the two, I noticed
the table guid's are the same for both.

I have done a lot of reading, searched the knowledgebase, etc.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time.

Any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

- does each Access object automatically get a GUID upon creation? I
know they are assigned if you are doing replication, but it looks like
they are always created when the object (table, record, etc) is. If
so, is there a document (book, article etc) you could point me to.

- under what circumstances could the table GUID's be the same in two
different database files?

- are there any other items I could check to ascertain if they are
the same underlying database?

txs

-- ben koehler
db****@usma.edu
Nov 12 '05 #1
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6 Replies


P: n/a
DFS
Bernd,

Look at the object creation dates and times. If they're identical between
the same objects in both files, you have a cheater. If all the table
creation dates are identical (or very close), you may have a cheater - they
could have created a blank .mdb and imported all the tables from the
original.

"Bernd Koehler" <db****@usma.edu> wrote in message
news:4a*************************@posting.google.co m...
Hi:

I am a EE prof currently teaching an IT course.

One the assignments students recently completed was designing a small
MS Access Database.

I have two submissions that are remarkably similiar..<sigh> the
structure (number of tables, field names, table names) is virtually
identical. Some of the data in each table is different.

I used the documenter to dump for each database; i noticed each access
object (specifically tables) get a Guid. Comparing the two, I noticed
the table guid's are the same for both.

I have done a lot of reading, searched the knowledgebase, etc.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time.

Any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

- does each Access object automatically get a GUID upon creation? I
know they are assigned if you are doing replication, but it looks like
they are always created when the object (table, record, etc) is. If
so, is there a document (book, article etc) you could point me to.

- under what circumstances could the table GUID's be the same in two
different database files?

- are there any other items I could check to ascertain if they are
the same underlying database?

txs

-- ben koehler
db****@usma.edu

Nov 12 '05 #2

P: n/a
db****@usma.edu (Bernd Koehler) wrote in
<4a*************************@posting.google.com> :
Hi:

I am a EE prof currently teaching an IT course.

One the assignments students recently completed was designing a
small MS Access Database.

I have two submissions that are remarkably similiar..<sigh> the
structure (number of tables, field names, table names) is
virtually identical. Some of the data in each table is different.
The best method for tracking cheating is the pattern of mistakes.
Are there any misspellings of table or field names? Are there
misspellings in the data? If the same errors are present in both,
one must be derived from the other.
I used the documenter to dump for each database; i noticed each
access object (specifically tables) get a Guid. Comparing the two,
I noticed the table guid's are the same for both.
What version of Access is this? I'm checking my A97 and A2K apps,
and in A97, there's not GUID at all, even in replicated apps. In
A2K, I'm seeing some GUIDs and some not. At first I thought it was
tables created in A2K had GUIDs, tables imported from (or converted
from) A97 did not, but that doesn't seem to be the case, either.

I would say that if the GUIDs match and the DateCreated properties
of the TableDefs match, you've got a lock on it.
I have done a lot of reading, searched the knowledgebase, etc.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time.

Any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

- does each Access object automatically get a GUID upon creation?
I know they are assigned if you are doing replication, but it
looks like they are always created when the object (table, record,
etc) is. If so, is there a document (book, article etc) you could
point me to.
Just testing, I don't see any evidence that creating a table in A2K
gives it a GUID. Certainly, tables imported from A97 seem to have
none. I had thought that perhaps it might be associated with Name
AutoCorrect, but can't see that there's any way I'm able to get A2K
to create tables with GUIDs.
- under what circumstances could the table GUID's be the same in
two different database files?
Given the way they are calculated, I don't think there is a way for
it to happen. Combined with the date created property of the
tabledef, I think you'd have a lock on it.
- are there any other items I could check to ascertain if they
are the same underlying database?


It's impossible for all tables in two independent MDBs to have
exactly the same DateCreated and also have identical GUIDs.

But I don't have any documentation for that. But if you think about
what a GUID is supposed to be (globally unique identifier) and the
ways it is populated in various contexts (usually using
machine-specific data like MAC address and the time), it's pretty
much impossible for two GUIDs to be identical.

A pattern of identical GUIDs and creation times pretty much proves
that there was no independent work going on.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 12 '05 #3

P: n/a
Ha! Fenton Busted!

In article <94***************************@24.168.128.78>
dX********@bway.net.invalid (David W. Fenton) wrote:

db****@usma.edu (Bernd Koehler) wrote in
<4a*************************@posting.google.com> :
Hi:

I am a EE prof currently teaching an IT course.

One the assignments students recently completed was designing a
small MS Access Database.

I have two submissions that are remarkably similiar..<sigh> the
structure (number of tables, field names, table names) is
virtually identical. Some of the data in each table is different.


The best method for tracking cheating is the pattern of mistakes.
Are there any misspellings of table or field names? Are there
misspellings in the data? If the same errors are present in both,
one must be derived from the other.
I used the documenter to dump for each database; i noticed each
access object (specifically tables) get a Guid. Comparing the two,
I noticed the table guid's are the same for both.


What version of Access is this? I'm checking my A97 and A2K apps,
and in A97, there's not GUID at all, even in replicated apps. In
A2K, I'm seeing some GUIDs and some not. At first I thought it was
tables created in A2K had GUIDs, tables imported from (or converted
from) A97 did not, but that doesn't seem to be the case, either.

I would say that if the GUIDs match and the DateCreated properties
of the TableDefs match, you've got a lock on it.
I have done a lot of reading, searched the knowledgebase, etc.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time.

Any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

- does each Access object automatically get a GUID upon creation?
I know they are assigned if you are doing replication, but it
looks like they are always created when the object (table, record,
etc) is. If so, is there a document (book, article etc) you could
point me to.


Just testing, I don't see any evidence that creating a table in A2K
gives it a GUID. Certainly, tables imported from A97 seem to have
none. I had thought that perhaps it might be associated with Name
AutoCorrect, but can't see that there's any way I'm able to get A2K
to create tables with GUIDs.
- under what circumstances could the table GUID's be the same in
two different database files?


Given the way they are calculated, I don't think there is a way for
it to happen. Combined with the date created property of the
tabledef, I think you'd have a lock on it.
- are there any other items I could check to ascertain if they
are the same underlying database?


It's impossible for all tables in two independent MDBs to have
exactly the same DateCreated and also have identical GUIDs.

But I don't have any documentation for that. But if you think about
what a GUID is supposed to be (globally unique identifier) and the
ways it is populated in various contexts (usually using
machine-specific data like MAC address and the time), it's pretty
much impossible for two GUIDs to be identical.

A pattern of identical GUIDs and creation times pretty much proves
that there was no independent work going on.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
























Nov 12 '05 #4

P: n/a
On 4 Dec 2003 08:39:03 -0800, db****@usma.edu (Bernd Koehler) wrote:

Interesting assignment. Here is my solution. Run this code in both
databases. Tested in Access2000. Same guids = cheaters.

Sub DumpGuids()
Dim td As DAO.TableDef
On Error Resume Next ' Property may not always exist
For Each td In CurrentDb.TableDefs
Debug.Print td.Name, StringFromGUID(td.Properties("GUID"))
Next td
End Sub

-Tom.

Hi:

I am a EE prof currently teaching an IT course.

One the assignments students recently completed was designing a small
MS Access Database.

I have two submissions that are remarkably similiar..<sigh> the
structure (number of tables, field names, table names) is virtually
identical. Some of the data in each table is different.

I used the documenter to dump for each database; i noticed each access
object (specifically tables) get a Guid. Comparing the two, I noticed
the table guid's are the same for both.

I have done a lot of reading, searched the knowledgebase, etc.
Unfortunately, I am running out of time.

Any help with the following questions would be appreciated:

- does each Access object automatically get a GUID upon creation? I
know they are assigned if you are doing replication, but it looks like
they are always created when the object (table, record, etc) is. If
so, is there a document (book, article etc) you could point me to.

- under what circumstances could the table GUID's be the same in two
different database files?

- are there any other items I could check to ascertain if they are
the same underlying database?

txs

-- ben koehler
db****@usma.edu


Nov 12 '05 #5

P: n/a
Can the same thing be accomplished if you look at the MSysObjects table and
compare the creation dates?

figueroa at ync dot com
Nov 12 '05 #6

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <to*****@no.spam.cox.net> wrote:
Interesting assignment. Here is my solution. Run this code in both
databases. Tested in Access2000. Same guids = cheaters.

Sub DumpGuids()
Dim td As DAO.TableDef
On Error Resume Next ' Property may not always exist
For Each td In CurrentDb.TableDefs
Debug.Print td.Name, StringFromGUID(td.Properties("GUID"))
Next td
End Sub


Ah, nice. Now what is interesting is one of my testing A2000 MDBs has a table with
a GUID. I just created another table and it doesn't have a GUID. No idea why.

FWIW I'd prefer the following error trapping just in case there's another error
besides the 3270.

Sub DumpGuids()
Dim td As DAO.TableDef
On Error GoTo tagError
For Each td In CurrentDb.TableDefs
Debug.Print td.Name, StringFromGUID(td.Properties("GUID"))
Next td
Exit Sub

tagError:
If Err.Number = 3270 Then '' Property doesn't exist
Debug.Print td.Name, "GUID not found"
Else
Debug.Print td.Name, Err.Description
End If
Resume Next

End Sub

I should also check to see if the name of the table starts with MSys but couldn't be
bothered for this test.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Nov 12 '05 #7

This discussion thread is closed

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