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Thinking of upgrading runtime from Access 97, but which version to get?

P: n/a
ARC
Hello All,

I have a major application for quoting and invoicing that is written in
Access 97 (both front and back ends). I have a user base of over 300
customers, and currently I don't require that they have Access 97, as I use
the access 97 runtime scripts from Sagekey software. The main problems I've
seen with Access 97 are the built in e-mail support for sending reports.
Unless a user uses the MS Outlook 2000/XP method, they have to go with
either an .RTF (which doesn't include graphics), or a Snapshot (which they
don't like to do).

After catching up with some of the posts here, it sounds like the .RTF issue
still exists in Access 2003. This is ok, as long as 2003 will finally
support the use of Outlook Express, using your own defined attachments, and
not requiring a full copy of Outlook 2000/XP or later, for attachments. I
guess I really have 3 options:

1) Stick with Access 97, and buy the updated Access 97 runtime scripts from
Sagekey that now supports Windows Vista installs. Buy an e-mail add-in
program that supports build in e-mails, .pdf attachments, etc.

2) Buy Office Developer 2003 (not sure thist can still be purchased
anywhere), and new Access 2003 runtime scripts.

3) Buy the latest Office Developer 2007.

I do believe the e-mail handling, with lack of attachments such as .pdf or
..xls, in the default ms mapi functions, is the big drawback of access 97.
The positives of staying with 97 would be the reduced size of the download,
and possibly faster running speed of 97 (as Microsoft software evolves, it
generally requires faster hardware, etc.)

I'm sure I'm missing many key features that have been added to the 2003 and
2007 versions of office, but it's really hard to find a link comparing the
feature sets of all versions of office. Can anyone offer suggestions?

Many, many thanks!

Andy
May 8 '07 #1
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14 Replies


P: n/a
ARC wrote:
Hello All,

I have a major application for quoting and invoicing that is written
in Access 97 (both front and back ends). I have a user base of over
300 customers, and currently I don't require that they have Access
97, as I use the access 97 runtime scripts from Sagekey software. The
main problems I've seen with Access 97 are the built in e-mail
support for sending reports. Unless a user uses the MS Outlook
2000/XP method, they have to go with either an .RTF (which doesn't
include graphics), or a Snapshot (which they don't like to do).

After catching up with some of the posts here, it sounds like the
.RTF issue still exists in Access 2003. This is ok, as long as 2003
will finally support the use of Outlook Express, using your own
defined attachments, and not requiring a full copy of Outlook 2000/XP
or later, for attachments. I guess I really have 3 options:

1) Stick with Access 97, and buy the updated Access 97 runtime
scripts from Sagekey that now supports Windows Vista installs. Buy an
e-mail add-in program that supports build in e-mails, .pdf
attachments, etc.
2) Buy Office Developer 2003 (not sure thist can still be purchased
anywhere), and new Access 2003 runtime scripts.

3) Buy the latest Office Developer 2007.

I do believe the e-mail handling, with lack of attachments such as
.pdf or .xls, in the default ms mapi functions, is the big drawback
of access 97. The positives of staying with 97 would be the reduced
size of the download, and possibly faster running speed of 97 (as
Microsoft software evolves, it generally requires faster hardware,
etc.)
I'm sure I'm missing many key features that have been added to the
2003 and 2007 versions of office, but it's really hard to find a link
comparing the feature sets of all versions of office. Can anyone
offer suggestions?
Many, many thanks!
There might be many reasons to upgrade (as well as some not to), but the
Email issues you describe have not changed much at all and will be no better
unless you go all the way to Access 2007.

There is a download you can add to Office 2007 that is supposed to provide
native PDF creation. I don't have any first hand knowledge of how that
works particularly as it pertains to generating them as Email attachments
though.

You can use ANY messaging library that can be automated from VBA code.
Unfortunately that rules out Outlook Express as it never has supported that
well (if at all). The problems with Outlook Express have always been an
issue with Outlook Express itself, not the version of Access you are using.
--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
May 8 '07 #2

P: n/a
On May 8, 3:47 pm, "Rick Brandt" <rickbran...@hotmail.comwrote:
ARC wrote:
Hello All,
I have a major application for quoting and invoicing that is written
in Access 97 (both front and back ends). I have a user base of over
300 customers, and currently I don't require that they have Access
97, as I use the access 97 runtime scripts from Sagekey software. The
main problems I've seen with Access 97 are the built in e-mail
support for sending reports. Unless a user uses the MS Outlook
2000/XP method, they have to go with either an .RTF (which doesn't
include graphics), or a Snapshot (which they don't like to do).
After catching up with some of the posts here, it sounds like the
.RTF issue still exists in Access 2003. This is ok, as long as 2003
will finally support the use of Outlook Express, using your own
defined attachments, and not requiring a full copy of Outlook 2000/XP
or later, for attachments. I guess I really have 3 options:
1) Stick with Access 97, and buy the updated Access 97 runtime
scripts from Sagekey that now supports Windows Vista installs. Buy an
e-mail add-in program that supports build in e-mails, .pdf
attachments, etc.
2) Buy Office Developer 2003 (not sure thist can still be purchased
anywhere), and new Access 2003 runtime scripts.
3) Buy the latest Office Developer 2007.
I do believe the e-mail handling, with lack of attachments such as
.pdf or .xls, in the default ms mapi functions, is the big drawback
of access 97. The positives of staying with 97 would be the reduced
size of the download, and possibly faster running speed of 97 (as
Microsoft software evolves, it generally requires faster hardware,
etc.)
I'm sure I'm missing many key features that have been added to the
2003 and 2007 versions of office, but it's really hard to find a link
comparing the feature sets of all versions of office. Can anyone
offer suggestions?
Many, many thanks!

There might be many reasons to upgrade (as well as some not to), but the
Email issues you describe have not changed much at all and will be no better
unless you go all the way to Access 2007.

There is a download you can add to Office 2007 that is supposed to provide
native PDF creation. I don't have any first hand knowledge of how that
works particularly as it pertains to generating them as Email attachments
though.

You can use ANY messaging library that can be automated from VBA code.
Unfortunately that rules out Outlook Express as it never has supported that
well (if at all). The problems with Outlook Express have always been an
issue with Outlook Express itself, not the version of Access you are using.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
I have a client that uses OutLook Express and Netscape for email ...
and I've had no trouble using Outlook Express although I have had
problems sending email from Access via Netscape (Netscape "hangs").
The only real problem is that the IT people keep changing the default
email handler to Netscape whenever they do an upgrade on a client's
machine. :(

I've had no problems using Thunderbird as the default Email handler.

May 8 '07 #3

P: n/a
ARC
Many thanks for both replies, and sorry for the double-post. For whatever
reason, over 1/2 hour passed and my orginal post had not appeared yet.

Hmmm...not sure where to go from here. As for me, I can get access 97 to
e-mail using outlook express. This is because this computer has been
upgraded many times and it did have the full Outlook 97/98 mapi. For some
reason if you had full outlook loaded, then set your mail handler to
express, access would then support e-mailing in express. However the problem
still exists of not allowing you to define additional attachments.

What to do...Does anyone know of a good link that compares the features of
the various versions of access? I need more to base my decision on then just
the e-mail issue.

Also, does anyone know of a good self-contined e-mail client that allws for
..pdf create, and is distributable? I know if one from the Total Access
folks, but at around $500, it is too pricey for me.

Thanks again,
Andy
May 8 '07 #4

P: n/a
JustListenen wrote:
I have a client that uses OutLook Express and Netscape for email ...
and I've had no trouble using Outlook Express although I have had
problems sending email from Access via Netscape (Netscape "hangs").
The only real problem is that the IT people keep changing the default
email handler to Netscape whenever they do an upgrade on a client's
machine. :(

I've had no problems using Thunderbird as the default Email handler.
Sure, as the default MAPI client for SendObect. For attaching multiple and/or
external files though you cannot use SendObject. I was operating from the
impression that the OP is not using SendObject, but rather automation code.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com

May 8 '07 #5

P: n/a
ARC wrote:
Many thanks for both replies, and sorry for the double-post. For
whatever reason, over 1/2 hour passed and my orginal post had not
appeared yet.
Hmmm...not sure where to go from here. As for me, I can get access 97
to e-mail using outlook express. This is because this computer has
been upgraded many times and it did have the full Outlook 97/98 mapi.
For some reason if you had full outlook loaded, then set your mail
handler to express, access would then support e-mailing in express.
However the problem still exists of not allowing you to define
additional attachments.
I don't understand. You can use Outlook Express as the client for SendObject()
and that would NEVER require that any version of Outlook to be installed. They
have nothing to do with each other. However; you can also never have multiple
attachments when using SendObject(). That has been and continues to be a
limitation of SendObject() (in all versions);
What to do...Does anyone know of a good link that compares the
features of the various versions of access? I need more to base my
decision on then just the e-mail issue.
Also, does anyone know of a good self-contined e-mail client that
allws for .pdf create, and is distributable? I know if one from the
Total Access folks, but at around $500, it is too pricey for me.
I have heard of tools that create PDF files, but not any Email clients that do.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
May 8 '07 #6

P: n/a
If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.

May 9 '07 #7

P: n/a
Mark1234567 wrote:
If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.
I'll make the opening bet in the pool.

Three years before a user notices :-)

I consider the time I spent on the one comprehensive help file that I created
for one of my earlier apps to have been a complete total waste of effort. I
have zero evidence that anyone has ever opened it and that is after 5 years in
use by 300 people.

I'm ecstatic when a user actually reads an error message.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
May 9 '07 #8

P: n/a
ARC
I've heard a user mentioning that the help wasn't working... And, like you,
I spent countless hours on a good help file, with lots of keywords!! In
fact, for support e-mails, I frequently direct them to type in keywords into
the help file system...heyhey

So the WinHelp32.exe doesn't work on Vista? I used the WinHelpDesignerPro
software, is there a replacement that does work on vista?

Good old Vista, I'm starting to get more of a kick out of the Mac / PC
commercials that dog vista... I believe they have merit, but do know that my
bread and butter is mr. pc.
"Mark1234567" <Au************@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.

May 9 '07 #9

P: n/a
Rick Brandt wrote:
I'm ecstatic when a user actually reads an error message.
8) 8) 8) 8)

I'm sooooooo glad I'm not the only one out there with such
sentiments.... 8)

--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Be Careful, Big Bird!" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
May 9 '07 #10

P: n/a
Tim Marshall wrote:
Rick Brandt wrote:
>I'm ecstatic when a user actually reads an error message.

8) 8) 8) 8)

I'm sooooooo glad I'm not the only one out there with such
sentiments.... 8)
True story...

I long ago came to the conclusion that part of this problem was due to error
messages (or any program messages for that matter) being displayed in
standard Windows dialogs. Users are just too much on Auto-pilot with those.
So I used Stepen Lebans code that allows a control on a form to auto-expand
to the text within and made my own message box.

My primary goal was to make it NOT look like a standard Windows dialog.
It's light blue with a shadowed TextBox and a separate bold textbox above
that for the "header" and a large "PLEASE READ" with a blinking border at
the top.

One of the things I use it for is when I run a test on my main app's
start-up that checks to see if you have an ODBC driver for our AS400
installed. When you do not I display a message in that custom form that
clearly states. "You have no driver for the AS400 installed on your PC.
You will not be able to use any areas of the application that pull data from
that server."

I get a call from one of our *Engineers* who could not understand why he was
getting numerous errors in the application. I went down there and had him
launch the app aso I could see what was going on.

Well, guess what message comes up at startup that he just automatically
closes without reading. And guess what the errors he was seeing were
related to.

I was like "Whoah there. What did that message box just say?" "Huh?"

You just can't win.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com



May 9 '07 #11

P: n/a
Well, there is a story that goes along with WinHelp32.exe:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607
Also, from http://www.mshelpwiki.com/wiki/tiki-...p?page=WinHelp

The Future of WinHelp
--------------------------------

15-Mar-2006 - MS Announce WinHelp to be Deprecated

During discussions with MVPs, Microsoft Help team announced today that
WinHelp would be deprecated (phased out).

Ted Dworkin (Director of Windows Support Experience) told MVPs -
WinHelp does not meet the code standards established for Vista. These
standards include security, reliability, and performance. WinHelp is
architected in such a way that we would have to rewrite it from the
ground up to meet the Vista code standards. And that approach doesn't
make sense given that we have two other Help systems in Vista.

What does this mean? What should we do?

WinHelp will not ship with Vista, however a crippled version (no
macros etc) will be available for download sometime late Feb 2007.

WinHelp may not be available at all for Windows versions that follow
Vista.

ISVs (Independant Software Vendors) should stop promoting WinHelp as a
viable help system.

Authors should start moving over to HTML Help 1.x if they haven't done
so already. See Converting WinHelp (HLP) to HTMLHelp (CHM) for one
explanation of the process.

Further Information

MS KB Article KB917607 talks about WinHelp download for Vista.
Report by Help MVP Dana Worley.


On May 10, 5:14 am, "ARC" <a...@andyc.comwrote:
I've heard a user mentioning that the help wasn't working... And, like you,
I spent countless hours on a good help file, with lots of keywords!! In
fact, for support e-mails, I frequently direct them to type in keywords into
the help file system...heyhey

So the WinHelp32.exe doesn't work on Vista? I used the WinHelpDesignerPro
software, is there a replacement that does work on vista?

Good old Vista, I'm starting to get more of a kick out of the Mac / PC
commercials that dog vista... I believe they have merit, but do know that my
bread and butter is mr. pc.

"Mark1234567" <Audit.Orbis...@gmail.comwrote in message

news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googlegr oups.com...
If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

May 10 '07 #12

P: n/a
ARC
That's just plain silly, from my point of view. I've never liked HTML help,
as I think finding your answer is so much harder than typing in a keyword in
the winhelp "keywords" tab...

Thanks for the reply, however!!

"Mark1234567" <Au************@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@e51g2000hsg.googlegr oups.com...
Well, there is a story that goes along with WinHelp32.exe:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607
Also, from http://www.mshelpwiki.com/wiki/tiki-...p?page=WinHelp

The Future of WinHelp
--------------------------------

15-Mar-2006 - MS Announce WinHelp to be Deprecated

During discussions with MVPs, Microsoft Help team announced today that
WinHelp would be deprecated (phased out).

Ted Dworkin (Director of Windows Support Experience) told MVPs -
WinHelp does not meet the code standards established for Vista. These
standards include security, reliability, and performance. WinHelp is
architected in such a way that we would have to rewrite it from the
ground up to meet the Vista code standards. And that approach doesn't
make sense given that we have two other Help systems in Vista.

What does this mean? What should we do?

WinHelp will not ship with Vista, however a crippled version (no
macros etc) will be available for download sometime late Feb 2007.

WinHelp may not be available at all for Windows versions that follow
Vista.

ISVs (Independant Software Vendors) should stop promoting WinHelp as a
viable help system.

Authors should start moving over to HTML Help 1.x if they haven't done
so already. See Converting WinHelp (HLP) to HTMLHelp (CHM) for one
explanation of the process.

Further Information

MS KB Article KB917607 talks about WinHelp download for Vista.
Report by Help MVP Dana Worley.


On May 10, 5:14 am, "ARC" <a...@andyc.comwrote:
>I've heard a user mentioning that the help wasn't working... And, like
you,
I spent countless hours on a good help file, with lots of keywords!! In
fact, for support e-mails, I frequently direct them to type in keywords
into
the help file system...heyhey

So the WinHelp32.exe doesn't work on Vista? I used the WinHelpDesignerPro
software, is there a replacement that does work on vista?

Good old Vista, I'm starting to get more of a kick out of the Mac / PC
commercials that dog vista... I believe they have merit, but do know that
my
bread and butter is mr. pc.

"Mark1234567" <Audit.Orbis...@gmail.comwrote in message

news:11**********************@n59g2000hsh.googleg roups.com...
If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.- Hide
quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


May 10 '07 #13

P: n/a
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.comwrote:
>If your 97 Runtime app uses Help files, they won't work on Vista.

I'll make the opening bet in the pool.

Three years before a user notices :-)
<giggle>
>I'm ecstatic when a user actually reads an error message.
<guffaw>

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
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
May 14 '07 #14

P: n/a
"ARC" <an**@pcesoft.comwrote:
>The main problems I've
seen with Access 97 are the built in e-mail support for sending reports.
Unless a user uses the MS Outlook 2000/XP method, they have to go with
either an .RTF (which doesn't include graphics), or a Snapshot (which they
don't like to do).
Why not use free Lebans PDF utility. A2000ReportToPDF is an Access 2000 database
containing a function to convert Reports and Snapshot files to PDF documents. No PDF
Printer driver is required. http://www.lebans.com/reporttopdf.htm
>After catching up with some of the posts here, it sounds like the .RTF issue
still exists in Access 2003. This is ok, as long as 2003 will finally
support the use of Outlook Express, using your own defined attachments,
Not really. A2003 still only supports Sendobject for OE.
>1) Stick with Access 97, and buy the updated Access 97 runtime scripts from
Sagekey that now supports Windows Vista installs. Buy an e-mail add-in
program that supports build in e-mails, .pdf attachments, etc.
There is VB Winsock code out there which should work.
>3) Buy the latest Office Developer 2007.
That's free from MS but I'm sure will cost from Sagekey.
>I do believe the e-mail handling, with lack of attachments such as .pdf or
.xls, in the default ms mapi functions, is the big drawback of access 97.
The positives of staying with 97 would be the reduced size of the download,
and possibly faster running speed of 97 (as Microsoft software evolves, it
generally requires faster hardware, etc.)
This hasn't changed much or even at all in newer versions of Access.

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
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
May 14 '07 #15

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