DB TO EXE CONVERTER - DBtoEXE
This utility converts Microsoft® Access® files from original DB formats (ADP, MDB, ADE, MDE, ACCDB, ACCDE, ACCDT, ACCDR) to EXE format (convert MDB to EXE, convert ADP to EXE, convert ACCDB to EXE, convert ACCDE to EXE, convert Access to EXE). Like original DB files, the EXE files created are not independent of Access, but they allow you to define Access properties before opening and improve the portability and functionality of your databases with or without macros and without macro alert, transferring EXE file properties to DB files.
The conversion, moreover to maintain the original format features, inclusive for editing thru the Access, adds others functionalities where the autocompression and the control over the Access highlight. So, by be specialized in Access and VBA, can be more advantageous than ZIP files, ZIP autoextracts and program installation utilities. See below the EXE format features and then some pictures and applying examples.
Following items in this page:
- Any Access DB file format (*.adp; *.mdb; *.ade; *.mde; *.mdw; *.accdb; *.accde; *.accdt; *.accdr) can be converted to EXE;
Related to 'Access Version Options' frame in the UI:
- You can set the Access version to be used as the default installed version, a specific installed version, or a version of an Access EXE file indicated directly on the disk. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- When specifying the default Access installed version to be used, you can limit the allowed versions, for example, if you limit the usable versions to 10 through 14, and the default installed version is version 9, then the EXE will not be opened on this version. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- If you choose to use a version directly from an Access EXE file, you can specify the name and the path of the file on the disk or active drive. If you specify only the file name or the name with a partial path, in each execution the DBtoEXE will automatically look for a satisfactory EXE completing the path, and immediately use the first and the closest possible option. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- You can still allow the user to select an allowed version on the flight, if there is more than one installed, by holding down the Shift key while launching the EXE. The defined configuration is saved in an INI file next to the EXE to be used automatically in future executions, without holding down the Shift key. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
Related to 'Access Startup Options' frame in the UI:
- Can be opened in the Access without macro alert or with a custom alert (Good to work with known files containing macros using the Access in medium or high security level).
- Can be forced the closure of running Access instances at start up. This is helpful to use the EXE as an installer for a COM add-in.
- When opened in a separate instance, it can start Access in Automation mode, or very Automation mode; Access will thus run totally clean without add-Ins or COM add-ins. However, the disconnection is optional and, if you disconnect, you can list exceptions by ProgIds or by GUIDs. All the different versions of the same COM add-in have a single ProgId, and the GUID are different for each version, or more precisely for each DLL build. (Improved in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- When opened in a separate instance, it can control the Access window style (maximize, minimize, normal, or hidden). These four last features are good to be used when your project is a dictator application. For example, an application developed entirely in VBA, inclusive forms to show, can run from start to finish with the Access window always hidden, without flashes, and without macro alerts.
Related to 'EXE File Open Options' frame in the UI:
- Can show, without text size limit, an alert before opening in the Access (Good to installation alerts, copyright, guidance etc.).
- Can require password-to-open so safe that only can be cracked by attempts (brute force) same knowing the converter source code. Then, if you put a password and forget it, no-one, neither this utility author, can help you.
- Can avoid access to Visual Basic Editor (VBE). (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- The handle of a window in Windows is passed to the VBA, so it can watch the EXE and take action when a program fails to run for some reason, for example, misuse of Ctrl+Alt+Del (See Ex. 2). (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
Related to 'EXE File Save Options' frame in the UI:
- Can be read and write (Changes done in an EXE file opening in the Access to write are saved in the proper EXE file).
- Can be read-only, very read-only, no setting or data inserted or changed will be saved in the database without functionality loss (Ideal for demonstration, teaching, or training).
- When saving changes, a series of backups can be created and specially indexed to form levels of backups, and therefore levels of restoration, at an amount that you choose and set. You can choose from the least 0 (no backup) to a maximum of 100 or even 101 for indefinable levels, making possible more restoration levels than when using the DB format that does not support any. When you set levels of backups, at each new backup the existing ones are overwritten so that the most recent backup version is one of lower indexes or levels, while, if not set levels (101 option), existing backups are never overwritten and the most recent backups are the larger indexes. (Improved in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- There are four levels of autocompression: none, normal (faster), medium (slower), and high (slower). Normal is equivalent to a normal zip file. This makes large files more portable, mainly when they need protection, because protected files in DB format are of low compression. In a test with a simple workbook of 5 Mb, the ZIP compressed only 14% and this got 74% because the cryptography is done after the compression.
- An EXE file open for editing can update (save) itself automatically when closing and also before closing in two other ways. The first happens looking periodically for changes saved in the DB and in any type of attached file; the size of the period in minutes to look for is set when converting, if it set to 0, the program will never look for changes. The second, by a command activated via the VBA project using the lDBtoEXE_SaveNow variable (See Ex. 2). (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- An alert that says “Please wait ..." is shown while EXE files are opened, closed, or saved. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- You can avoid the original converted EXE file from being renamed. If it is renamed, it will not accept to open in Access while its original name is not restored.
Related to 'Limit Execution' popup frame in the UI:
- You can limit the EXE execution by date range based on the local system clock or Internet atomic clock (GMT) and/or conditioning to the registry of the installation with a serial and key specific to each system or computer. You must provide a password so that you (and only you) can possibly execute beyond the defined limits and also generate serials and get keys to register installations by commands available in the DBtoEXE interface itself. Serials and keys are generated based on your password, then different passwords generate different serials and keys. Thus, only you or whoever has your password can generate valid serials and keys to your EXEs. It is a password so safe that it only can be cracked by attempts (brute force) same knowing the converter source code. Thus, if you put a password and forget it, no one, not even this utility author, can help you. No special access setting is required to limit with based on Internet atomic clock (GMT), the default setting set when you install the Internet browser is sufficient and usually necessary. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
Related to 'Setting...' popup frame in the UI:
- All the above features can be configured when you convert.
- The conversion can be done thru the utility interface or by command line.
- The command line can contain all of the options, alert text, and file names and paths to attach. You can generate long and complex command lines from the user interface and send them to the clipboard to be pasted anywhere, such as in an argument of VB or VBA Shell function or in the Windows Run dialog box.
- The converted EXE file also accepts command line and passes entirely to your VBA project.
- You can save in own file on disk all the settings set in a conversion to be used quickly in future conversions. If there is some kind of password in the setting, you will be asked to create a password to be required to open the file. Thus, only you or whoever has this password can open the setting file. It is a password so safe that it can only be cracked by attempts (brute force) same knowing the converter source code. Thus, if you put a password and forget it, no one, not even this utility author, can help you. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
Related to non-specific frame in the UI:
- The alert at the end of a successful conversion can be silenced with the option of maintaining (or not maintaining) a backup of the original converted DB. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- One or more text or binary files can be attached, as well as entire folders with all files and the tree of subfolders (Good to be used as installer file). (Improved in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- Some options defined in the conversion can still be changed at runtime via VBA project using predefined variables that swap information with the VBA project. These variables also make possible DBtoEXE extra features and commands available only through the VBA project. In relation to the VBA project, their values or conditions can be read and/or write or read-only. See Ex. 2 how to use each of them in your VBA project. In all, DBtoEXE provides 11 predefined variables described below:
1 - sDBtoEXE_ThisDbPathExe (String, Read-only) - Name of the EXE file on the disk.
2 - sDBtoEXE_ThisDbNameExe (String, Read-only) - Path where the EXE file is found on the disk.
3 - lDBtoEXE_hWnd (Long, Somente leitura) - Handle of a window that DBtoEXE created in Windows specially for the VBA project watches it and take action when it fails to run for some reason, for example, misuse of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
4 - lDBtoEXE_AutoReopen (Long 1 or 2, Read and Write) - To DBtoEXE auto reopen after all closed, set 1 for normal reopen or 2 for reopen asking privilege elevation. And, especially, 3 to quit the same way, but not reopen.
5 - lDBtoEXE_WaitReopen (Long, Write) - Wait in seconds to auto reopen.
6 - sDBtoEXE_CmdLineReopen (String, Read and Write) - Command line argument to be passed to the VBA project when opening or auto reopening.
7 - lDBtoEXE_AvoidAccessVBE (Long 0, 1, or 2, Write) - Set as 1 to avoid access to VBE, 2 to allow, and 0 to follow the option set when converting. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
8 - lDBtoEXE_SaveNow (Long 0 or 1, Write) - Set as 1 to save this project now. All current changes by still to save, existing only in memory, will be saved to disk. This is especially useful when all data is saved in attached files and not in the DB file. If the project is read-only or there is not to save, it will be ignored. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
9 - sDBtoEXE_SaveAsExe (String, Write) - Set a full name for a new EXE file that will be created from the open EXE with all current changes by still to save, existing only in memory. The current EXE will be closed without the changes in memory and the new one will be open in its place already due saved. If the project is read-only, it will be ignored. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
10 - sDBtoEXE_SaveCopyAsExe (String, Write) - Set a full name for a new EXE file that will be created from the open EXE without the current changes by still to save, existing only in memory. The current EXE will continue open as it is and the new one will be closed duly saved without the changes that were only in memory. If the project is read-only, it will be ignored. (New in version 2.0 of 07/24/11)
- A converted EXE file that has in your name the text "Instl-", "-instl", "Runas-", or "-runas" in any position and form is always going to start asking for privilege elevation for Windows user account to administrator level. The EXE file can also be restarted automatically via VBA project to ask for elevation, making possible your VBA project start and work normally without administrator privileges, but with power to require elevation if necessary to execute some action or special feature (See Ex. 2).
- The EXE file can be closed and scheduled via VBA project to be reopened automatically after some time. In addition, a command line argument can be set to execute an action immediately and automatically after reopening (See Ex. 2).
- It provides for the VBA project the exe file properties as name, path, size and dates (See Ex. 2).
- When convert, it creates a backup of the original DB format file without overwriting previous one.
- Files in this format can function as EXE in CD Autorun.
- The conversion only adds about 215 kb which, depending on the file size, can be regained during autocompression.
- The converter and any converted files are standalone in the presence of the Office library, no extra library is necessary and neither changes in your Access or Windows setting.
Tested in Access for Windows, versions 97 (See Note), 2000, 2002(XP), 2003, 2007, 2010 (32 and 64-bit), 2013 (32 and 64-bit), 2016 (32 and 64-bit), and 2019 (32 and 64-bit) in MSI-based and Click-To-Run installations of Office 365™ cloud-based services.
You can see below three applying examples. The first is related with VBA developers, the second, with Access interface users and, the last, with Autorun CD:
1 – Some VBA developers have your proper utilities in DB to install and uninstall their add-Ins and COM add-ins totally developed in VBA like all in my site. These DBSs can be converted to EXEs to open directly on the Access. They open without macro alert regardless security level and still carry attached MDB, DLL and any other necessary file. All in a single and compressed file.
All add-ins and COM add-ins for Access available on the site have their installers and uninstallers fully programmed in VBA in MDB files that are converted to EXE by DBtoEXE, packaging still other necessary files:
2 – In the link below, the DBtoEXE was used to convert to EXE a standard Access file, DB1.mdb, where an Access user interface made a confidential report with links to some pictures files (bmp, gif, jpg etc.) and referring others Office documents that he/she would like to distribute jointly with DB1.mdb without embedding in it but that is in a single, compressed, and protected file and with an opening alert.
Downloading this EXE format file and clicking in it, it’ll be open directly on the Access and you can change anything on it and save in the same way you’d do in a DBS format file:
Some advantages of the conversion in this example: opening alert, only links don’t become the Access database heavy, very well compressed although password protected, editable with all possible restoration levels, attached files are editable too, and exclusive Access instance in maximized window.
Specially for VBA developers, the mdb also contains ModDBtoEXE standard module with minimal, necessary, and sufficient code for the VBA project to exchange information with the EXE at runtime. Complete examples with code in other modules and command buttons and descriptions in a form illustrate how is done the exchange of each one of possible information. See then, via VBA project:
- How get EXE file properties: name, path, size, date-hour, if has administrator privilege, command-line argument, original xl file name, working temp folder, and Windows handle.
- How close an EXE setting to reopen automatically in some seconds after.
- How close an EXE setting to reopen automatically asking privilege elevation to administrator level on Windows.
- How close an EXE setting to reopen automatically with command line argument to execute an action immediately and automatically after reopening.
- How allow access to Visual Basic Editor (VBE) and design mode in an EXE that was converted using the "Avoid access VBE and design mode” option.
- How watch the EXE to take some action when it is no longer running due to some weird reason as, for example, the misuse of Ctrl+Alt+Del.
- How to Save Now an EXE directly without without waiting to close or by the autosave interval if defined when converting.
- How Save As another EXE.
- How Save Copy As another EXE.
3 - Suppose that you want to mount a CD that opens automatically your Access file of name MyApp.adp (The extension could be too MDB, MDE, ACCDB...). Follow these three steps:
3.1 – Use DBtoEXE to converter MyApp.adp to MyApp.EXE defining how you want the Access starting and attaching any necessary file;
3.2 - On Windows Notepad, create and save a text file of name AUTORUN.INF with these two lines:
3.3 – Burn the CD with these files on the root:
Note: Optionally, to display on the Windows Explorer an own icon of your application, when the CD is inserted, add the following line at the AUTORUN.INF: ICON=MyApp.ico . The file MyApp.ico that can be created by an icon application like Microangelo (www.impactsoft.com) must be present too on the CD root.