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Licencing the 'Reporting Donkey'

P: n/a
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out'
reports as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of
'reporting donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be
feeding output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or
might Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.
Nov 13 '05 #1
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13 Replies


P: n/a
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out' reports
as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of 'reporting
donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be feeding
output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or might
Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.

I take it this means the bulk of the users don't have a licence for Access -
so what format are you going to use? You can use the snapshot format if
they download the free snapshot viewer, and that's the best way to view
Access reports as the reports are read-only and preserve all the pretty
formatting. If the reports are fairly standard with not much formatting,
you could save them as text or rtf files or if users have Excel, then
perhaps use a xls worksheet.
One thing I don't see is whther these reports are 'pumped out' or whether
the user requests them - if so how? If, for example, they needed to run a
report on a particular type of transaction between two dates where do they
enter these parameters? Or perhaps the reports are fixed.
Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
Justin Hoffman wrote:
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out' reports
as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of 'reporting
donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be feeding
output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or might
Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.
I take it this means the bulk of the users don't have a licence for Access -


Yes.
so what format are you going to use? You can use the snapshot format if
they download the free snapshot viewer, and that's the best way to view
Access reports as the reports are read-only and preserve all the pretty
formatting. If the reports are fairly standard with not much formatting,
you could save them as text or rtf files or if users have Excel, then
perhaps use a xls worksheet.
One thing I don't see is whther these reports are 'pumped out' or whether
the user requests them - if so how? If, for example, they needed to run a
report on a particular type of transaction between two dates where do they
enter these parameters? Or perhaps the reports are fixed.


Yes, I want to have parameterised reports that will be produced in a
number of formats (including the ones you suggest and maybe also PDF).
And, yes, there are many details that I need to tackle/solve first but
the big question that I need to have answered (before I invest the work)
is whether there are licencing issues that might make what I am planning
to do 'illegal'?

Any tips would be a great help.

Regards,
Alan.
Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Justin Hoffman wrote:
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out' reports
as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of 'reporting
donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be feeding
output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or might
Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.


I take it this means the bulk of the users don't have a licence for
Access -


Yes.
so what format are you going to use? You can use the snapshot format if
they download the free snapshot viewer, and that's the best way to view
Access reports as the reports are read-only and preserve all the pretty
formatting. If the reports are fairly standard with not much formatting,
you could save them as text or rtf files or if users have Excel, then
perhaps use a xls worksheet.
One thing I don't see is whther these reports are 'pumped out' or whether
the user requests them - if so how? If, for example, they needed to run
a report on a particular type of transaction between two dates where do
they enter these parameters? Or perhaps the reports are fixed.


Yes, I want to have parameterised reports that will be produced in a
number of formats (including the ones you suggest and maybe also PDF).
And, yes, there are many details that I need to tackle/solve first but the
big question that I need to have answered (before I invest the work) is
whether there are licencing issues that might make what I am planning to
do 'illegal'?

Any tips would be a great help.

Regards,
Alan.

I can see nothing wrong with it. After all you can create a document with
Word and send it wherever you like - the end user doesn't need a Word
licence to receive it. In many situations, it is a company server that
produces the reports although this isn't usually done with a licensed
version of Access at all - just the data access components which Access also
uses. In other words, you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the
creation of reports from an mdb file without anyone having or needing any
version of Access.

HTH
Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
Justin Hoffman wrote:
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Justin Hoffman wrote:
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de.. .
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out' reports
as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of 'reporting
donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be feeding
output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or might
Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.

I take it this means the bulk of the users don't have a licence for
Access -


Yes.

so what format are you going to use? You can use the snapshot format if
they download the free snapshot viewer, and that's the best way to view
Access reports as the reports are read-only and preserve all the pretty
formatting. If the reports are fairly standard with not much formatting,
you could save them as text or rtf files or if users have Excel, then
perhaps use a xls worksheet.
One thing I don't see is whther these reports are 'pumped out' or whether
the user requests them - if so how? If, for example, they needed to run
a report on a particular type of transaction between two dates where do
they enter these parameters? Or perhaps the reports are fixed.


Yes, I want to have parameterised reports that will be produced in a
number of formats (including the ones you suggest and maybe also PDF).
And, yes, there are many details that I need to tackle/solve first but the
big question that I need to have answered (before I invest the work) is
whether there are licencing issues that might make what I am planning to
do 'illegal'?

Any tips would be a great help.

Regards,
Alan.


I can see nothing wrong with it. After all you can create a document with
Word and send it wherever you like - the end user doesn't need a Word
licence to receive it. In many situations, it is a company server that
produces the reports although this isn't usually done with a licensed
version of Access at all - just the data access components which Access also
uses. In other words, you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the
creation of reports from an mdb file without anyone having or needing any
version of Access.

HTH


Yes, good points! Thanks very much :-)
Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 10:51:52 -0400, Alan Searle
<aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote:

I see no legal problem (but then I'm not a lawyer).

I do know that if this were SQL Server it would not be allowed.
Smarties have tried to buy 1 client access license (CAL) for SQL
Server, and write a front-end app (perhaps a middle-tier component)
that exclusively accesses the db on behalf of all requestors. They
thought you could get away with 1 CAL. The SQL Server license has
specific language to make this illegal. I have never seen such
language in the Office EULA.

-Tom.

Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out'
reports as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of
'reporting donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be
feeding output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or
might Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.


Nov 13 '05 #6

P: n/a

Alan Searle wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out'
reports as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of
'reporting donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be
feeding output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or
might Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.


Bill Gates himself is trying to alleviate this problem. The "Metro"
format in Longhorn is supposed to output in XML so that you don't need
to have the original app installed to be able to view the report. Some
people feel that MS is trying to make inroads into the domain
controlled by Adobe with the pdf format. If this is so, it will be an
interesting battle given that Adobe has used so many pages out of MS'
playbook. I really love the pdf format and PostScript programming but
I also like XML so I'll be looking for ways to use "Metro" to give more
options to my customers. Personally, I hope the battle, if there is
one, takes a long time to decide. In the near term I advise that you
read the licensing agreement carefully and find a way not to violate
it.

James A. Fortune

Nov 13 '05 #7

P: n/a


With Access 97 there was a "runtime" version, that you could release
freely. You could create a database app with code, forms, reports etc
and the users could run it, but couldn't get in to muck about with it.
I /think/ there is something similar for Access 2000 ... but I am not
certain how it works.
Alan Searle wrote:
Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out'
reports as and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of
'reporting donkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to ask
if anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be
feeding output to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or
might Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.


Nov 13 '05 #8

P: n/a
Tom
<<you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the creation of reports
from an mdb file>>

Justin,

What do you mean by this? How do you do it?

Thanks!

Tom
"Justin Hoffman" <j@b.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...
Justin Hoffman wrote:
"Alan Searle" <aj*******@xxxxyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@newsreader3.netcologne.de...

Hi Everyone,

I have a number of users who need to regularly create reports and so,
instead of having them run the reports themelves, I want to install
MS-Access on a dedicated PC and have that installation 'pump out' reportsas and when the users need them. Access will act as a kind of 'reportingdonkey' for our system :-)

I am sure this will work well but, before I get started, I wanted to askif anyone has experience with licence issues? The installation on the
dedicated PC will be licenced (with a single licence) but will be feedingoutput to other users so I was wondering if this is allowed? Or might
Bill Gates 'get on our case'?

Any tips would be gratefully received.

Regards,
Alan.

I take it this means the bulk of the users don't have a licence for
Access -
Yes.
so what format are you going to use? You can use the snapshot format if they download the free snapshot viewer, and that's the best way to view
Access reports as the reports are read-only and preserve all the pretty
formatting. If the reports are fairly standard with not much formatting, you could save them as text or rtf files or if users have Excel, then
perhaps use a xls worksheet.
One thing I don't see is whther these reports are 'pumped out' or whether the user requests them - if so how? If, for example, they needed to run a report on a particular type of transaction between two dates where do
they enter these parameters? Or perhaps the reports are fixed.


Yes, I want to have parameterised reports that will be produced in a
number of formats (including the ones you suggest and maybe also PDF).
And, yes, there are many details that I need to tackle/solve first but the big question that I need to have answered (before I invest the work) is
whether there are licencing issues that might make what I am planning to
do 'illegal'?

Any tips would be a great help.

Regards,
Alan.

I can see nothing wrong with it. After all you can create a document with
Word and send it wherever you like - the end user doesn't need a Word
licence to receive it. In many situations, it is a company server that
produces the reports although this isn't usually done with a licensed
version of Access at all - just the data access components which Access

also uses. In other words, you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the
creation of reports from an mdb file without anyone having or needing any
version of Access.

HTH

Nov 13 '05 #9

P: n/a

Alan Searle wrote:
Yes, I want to have parameterised reports that will be produced in a
number of formats (including the ones you suggest and maybe also PDF).
And, yes, there are many details that I need to tackle/solve first but
the big question that I need to have answered (before I invest the work)
is whether there are licencing issues that might make what I am planning
to do 'illegal'?

Any tips would be a great help.

Regards,
Alan. From what I understand from reading Adobe's license agreement, creating

brand new pdf's using standard fonts, public domain fonts or partially
embedded commercial fonts is totally legal. I think when you allow a
user to edit a pdf document you have to be careful about embedding
complete proprietary fonts to support that editing thus providing
knowledgeable individuals a means to get the complete font for free. I
don't remember if the agreement explicitly stated it this way but doing
so would be unfair to Adobe. I recommend that you consult the
agreement (especially section 1.5 Intellectual Property of Adobe PDF
Spec version 1.6) if you are considering allowing users to edit
existing pdf documents. A key point in the Spec is that Adobe allows
anyone to "Write software that accepts input in the form of the
Portable Document Format and displays, prints, or otherwise interprets
the contents" subject to certain conditions. It's interesting that in
one of those conditions it states, "It is the responsibility of the
Portable Document Format consumer software to respect the author's
intent." From a practical standpoint it means that you can only depend
on pdf's security if you are dealing with a developer who included
respect for your security settings within the viewer. Your "secure"
pdf file will open without a hitch in a bootleg viewer. If you don't
use the free pdf software tools, the Distiller program that comes with
Adobe Acrobat does a nice job of converting documents and reports to
pdf format, but the license is "per seat" and could get expensive if
everyone is creating pdf's.

James A. Fortune

Nov 13 '05 #10

P: n/a
In section 5.8 Embedded Font Programs:

Font programs are subject to copyright, and the copyright owner may
inpose conditions under which a font program can be used. These
permissions are recorded either in the font program or as part of a
separate license. One of the conditions may be that the font program
cannot be imbedded, in which case it should not be incorporated into a
PDF file. A font program may allow embedding for the sole purpose of
viewing and printing the document but not for creating new or modified
text that uses the font (in either the same document or other
documents). The latter operation would require the user performing the
operation to have a licensed copy of the font program, not a copy
extracted from the PDF file. In the absence of explicit information to
the contrary, a PDF consumer should assume that any embedded font
programs are to be used only to view and print the document and not for
any other purposes.

James A. Fortune

Nov 13 '05 #11

P: n/a
"Tom" <no***@email.com> wrote in message
news:Lt******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
<<you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the creation of reports
from an mdb file>>

Justin,

What do you mean by this? How do you do it?

Thanks!

Tom


Imagine you have a database 'C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb' which has a table
'tblContact' with fields ConID, ConFirstName and ConLastName. Open up
notepad and paste in the code below, then close and save the file as
'C:\MyData\Reporter.vbs'. By simply double-clicking the file you should get
your report created (although it is dependent on having certain standard
Windows components installed and enabled)

Option Explicit

Dim fso
Dim stm
Dim rst

Set rst = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

rst.Open "SELECT * FROM tblContact WHERE ConID<10", _
"Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;" & _
"Data Source=C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb"

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Set stm = fso.OpenTextFile("C:\MyData\Report.txt", 2)

While Not rst.EOF
stm.WriteLine rst("ConFirstName") & " " & rst("ConLastName")
rst.MoveNext
Wend

stm.Close

Set stm = Nothing

Set fso = Nothing

rst.Close

Set rst = Nothing

Msgbox "Done", 64, "Reporting"
Nov 13 '05 #12

P: n/a
Tom
Justin,

Thanks! I'm anxious to try this. Is there a way to execute the code in the
notebook file rather than having to double click on the file?

Tom
"Justin Hoffman" <j@b.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@nwrdmz03.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
"Tom" <no***@email.com> wrote in message
news:Lt******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
<<you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the creation of reports
from an mdb file>>

Justin,

What do you mean by this? How do you do it?

Thanks!

Tom
Imagine you have a database 'C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb' which has a table
'tblContact' with fields ConID, ConFirstName and ConLastName. Open up
notepad and paste in the code below, then close and save the file as
'C:\MyData\Reporter.vbs'. By simply double-clicking the file you should

get your report created (although it is dependent on having certain standard
Windows components installed and enabled)

Option Explicit

Dim fso
Dim stm
Dim rst

Set rst = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

rst.Open "SELECT * FROM tblContact WHERE ConID<10", _
"Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;" & _
"Data Source=C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb"

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Set stm = fso.OpenTextFile("C:\MyData\Report.txt", 2)

While Not rst.EOF
stm.WriteLine rst("ConFirstName") & " " & rst("ConLastName")
rst.MoveNext
Wend

stm.Close

Set stm = Nothing

Set fso = Nothing

rst.Close

Set rst = Nothing

Msgbox "Done", 64, "Reporting"

Nov 13 '05 #13

P: n/a
"Tom" <no***@email.com> wrote in message
news:_f*******************@newsread2.news.atl.eart hlink.net...
Justin,

Thanks! I'm anxious to try this. Is there a way to execute the code in the
notebook file rather than having to double click on the file?

Tom
"Justin Hoffman" <j@b.com> wrote in message
news:d7**********@nwrdmz03.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
"Tom" <no***@email.com> wrote in message
news:Lt******************@newsread3.news.atl.earth link.net...
> <<you could use notepad and vbscript to automate the creation of
> reports
> from an mdb file>>
>
> Justin,
>
> What do you mean by this? How do you do it?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Tom


Imagine you have a database 'C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb' which has a table
'tblContact' with fields ConID, ConFirstName and ConLastName. Open up
notepad and paste in the code below, then close and save the file as
'C:\MyData\Reporter.vbs'. By simply double-clicking the file you should

get
your report created (although it is dependent on having certain standard
Windows components installed and enabled)

Option Explicit

Dim fso
Dim stm
Dim rst

Set rst = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

rst.Open "SELECT * FROM tblContact WHERE ConID<10", _
"Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;" & _
"Data Source=C:\MyData\Contacts.mdb"

Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Set stm = fso.OpenTextFile("C:\MyData\Report.txt", 2)

While Not rst.EOF
stm.WriteLine rst("ConFirstName") & " " & rst("ConLastName")
rst.MoveNext
Wend

stm.Close

Set stm = Nothing

Set fso = Nothing

rst.Close

Set rst = Nothing

Msgbox "Done", 64, "Reporting"


Double-clicking is the way to execute it but do not be anxious:
Even if you don't write much code, it's easy to see what the code does and
the only files affected are in C:\MyData\. Of course, you understand you
have to create the folder and the mdb file with the table as described, but
all the code does is open up a recordset and loops through putting first and
last name into a text file called Report.txt - a file which gets
over-written each time you run the code.
It is probably better to be safe than sorry taking advice from strangers but
I can assure you (as might any other independent source) that there is no
danger in running the code. The worst that might happen is that it does not
run properly because you have either not followed the instructions properly
or you are working at a machine where scripting has been disabled or where
the Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) have not been installed. Even
then, you will simply get an error message.

Nov 13 '05 #14

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.