Picture by Pexels at Pixabay Access DevTools – Installation Instructions Initially we thought we would not need this text. You download the setup file. You run the setup. Done. – In most cases this is how it works, and you are welcome to just execute these steps and are done with it. However, sometimes things do not go to plan or people want to more detailed information and instructions. So, with this text we try to answer all the questions sent to our customer support about installing the Access DevTools add-ins, primarily Find and Replace. Trial vs. Full Edition Please note: There is no difference regarding download and installation between the trial edition and the full edition of our tools. Whether the tool is operating in trial mode or in unrestricted mode depends only on the type of license key that is used. (More on this later.) Please also note: The trial edition has no functional limitations of any kind. It is completely identical to the full edition, but it will only work for 30 days after you got your trial key. Download The first step is to download the MSI setup file for the tool from its product page. Bitness (32bit vs. 64bit) Pay attention to the bitness of the setup you are going to download. The bitness of the setup must match the bitness of your Microsoft Access installation, not the bitness of the operating system. If you are unsure about the bitness of your Access installation, go to “File” -> “Account” -> “About Access”. At the end of the version info in the top line of the dialog there is info about the bitness of you installation. If you accidentally downloaded and installed the setup in the wrong bitness, simply uninstall the tool and then download and install it in the correct bitness. Security / Warnings Our downloadable setup files are digitally signed to certify their authenticity. The publisher information will include the name of the publisher (“Philipp Stiefel”), and our business address. A valid digital signature guarantees that the file was not tempered with by a third party. Despite the digital signature you still might see a warning by Windows Smart Screen that a file “is not commonly downloaded“. This may happen for newly published files that Smart Screen hasn’t collected enough data on yet. You can still download the file by choosing the “Keep Anyway” option from the warning dialog. Depending on the web browser you use, you also may see a generic warning about executable files being potentially harmful. – This is true in general and there is no way around this basic risk. For this reason, you should only download and run digitally signed files from identifiable, trustworthy publisher. If you should see a warning for a different cause, please inform our customer support to investigate the issue. Installation Once you successfully downloaded the file, you can install the tool add-in. MSI Setup File The .msi file you downloaded is a setup file (MSI = Microsoft Software Installer). You run this setup file by simply double clicking it in Windows Explorer. The file is named following the pattern ToolName_ADT_0000_x00.msi. ToolName is the name of the tool, and will either be “FindAndReplace”, “CommandBarEditor”, or another tool we might create in the future. ADT is simply an abbreviation of Access DevTools. 0000 indicates the version number and will consist of the major (1 digit), minor (1 digit), and revision (2 digits) version number parts. x00 indicates bitness/processor architecture and is either x86 for a 32bit setup file or x64 for a 64bit setup file. An example for the full file name is: “FindAndReplace_ADT_1200_x86.msi” Standard Installation – Permissions / User Account The MSI setup does not require administrator permission. In fact, it must be run by the Windows user account that you use for your work in Microsoft Access, as it will create some user dependent registry settings to register the tool as an add-in for Access in the Windows user profile. Installation for an Administrator Account with UAC turned off If the Windows user account you use for Access development work is also a Windows administrator account and you’ve turned off User Account Control (UAC), there are additional considerations. Microsoft prevents most add-ins from loading into any Microsoft Office application for Windows accounts with unrestricted (UAC=off) administrator permission. Microsoft discourages using unrestricted system administrator accounts for non-administrative day-to-day work, which includes your development work in Microsoft Access, as this would remove an important layer of defense against malicious software causing harm to your IT infrastructure and thus your business. We fully support this position and strongly encourage you to review your use of an unrestricted administrative account for your work in Access. Nonetheless, if you have a compelling reason to use an administrator account with UAC=Off, you still can use our tools for your work in Access. First install the tool by running the MSI setup. After the setup completed, open a command shell (cmd.exe). Then navigate to the folder containing the program files of the add-in. This is either %LOCALAPPDATA%\AccDevTools\FAR for Find and Replace or %LOCALAPPDATA%\AccDevTools\CBE for CommandBar Editor. In that folder execute either the script “AccDevTools_Registry_HKLM_install.cmd” for 32bit Access installations or the script “AccDevTools_Registry_Office64Bit_HKLM_install.cmd” for 64bit Access installations. These scripts will register the add-in in the HKey Local Machine (HKLM) branch of the Windows registry for all users on this computer. This registry branch requires admin privileges for writing to it and add-ins registered in that branch will also be loaded into Microsoft Office applications for administrators. Other Potential Problems with Installation There are a few other potential problems with the installation, we are not covering in detail here. These are extremely rare, and our support was only contacted about each of those only once if at all. We listed all of those issues we are aware of in the text Microsoft Office – Solutions for COM-Add-In not loading. After Installation After the installation completed, you started (or restarted) Microsoft Access, you should see a new Tab in the Access ribbon named “AccDevTools”. – If you see this ribbon tab, the installation was successful, and our tool is now available in your Access development environment. Trial Key If you click on any of the buttons in the AccDevTools ribbon, a dialog will show asking you for your license key. In this dialog click on “License file…”. Another dialog will appear with a “Get your trial key” button. Just click this button and the tool will automatically retrieve a new trial key for you from our website. Once you see the dialog being populated with a license key number, you can Close both dialogs. Now the tool is ready to use. Full License Key You decided to buy a license for one of our tools. – Great; thank you! To buy a license go to the product page of the tool you want to buy a license for and complete the checkout and payment process. Once the transaction is complete, you will receive an email with your invoice. It should take only a few minutes for this email to arrive. If you didn’t get it in a timely manner, please check your spam email folder. This invoice email also includes a download link to your license file. Clicking the download link will download a “KeyData.adt” file. This is your license file containing the license key. To apply the license key to your installation of the add-in, open Access, select the AccDevTools ribbon tab, click on the “Settings” button in the “AccessDevTools” group in the ribbon tab. In the now open Settings dialog select the “FAR” (Find and Replace) or “CBE” (CommandBar Editor) tab, depending on the tool you want to apply the license to. Click “License File” In the next dialog “Select License File”. This will bring up a file dialog to select the just downloaded “KeyData.adt” file. Once you opened the file and close the open dialogs, your installation of the tool is fully activated. It is recommended that you store the KeyData.adt file in a safe location for future reference just in case you need to reinstall our tool on this or another computer. If you installed at an earlier date and did not archive the KeyData license file, you can find the currently used license file in the directory %LOCALAPPDATA%\AccDevTools\FAR and make a copy of it. Recovering your License Key If you happen to lose your working installation of our tool and the backup copy of the KeyData.adt file, do not despair. If you still got the invoice email from buying the license, you can use the download link to redownload your KeyData.adt license file. Redownloading is limited to an undisclosed number of times. Once you exceed the number of allowed downloads you, will be redirected to a web page, where you can request a new download link being sent to your email address you used during the purchase of the license. If you also lost the email with the download link or there is another problem preventing you from recovering your license, please contact Access DevTools Support. We’ll assist in sorting this out. Upgrading to a new Version If you’ve got an existing installation of one of our tools and you want to upgrade to a newer version, the process is very simple. Download the MSI setup file for the newer version from the product page or the Find and Replace version history. Once downloaded, just run the setup and it will update the existing installation to the newer version. – Done. Currently any license file will work for any version of each tool. – This may change in the future. Downgrading to an older version If you’ve got an existing installation of one of our tools and you want to downgrade to an older version, you must first uninstall the current version of the tool. Then download and install the version you want to install. Background Information Our Access DevTools are COM add-ins developed with Microsoft .Net. Therefor they are not listed in the location for conventional Access add-ins in “Database Tools” – “Add-Ins” and the files of the tool are not in the Access add-in directory. In Access our tools are listed at “File” – “Options” – “Add-ins” under the name of “AccDevTools.AddIn”. The AccDevTools.AddIn is basically a shell/loader component for all our tools. Even if you’ve got multiple of our tools installed, you’ll only see the AccDevTools.AddIn entry in the add-in list once. The individual tools are loaded into this generic add-in shell and are transparent to Microsoft Access. The files for our add-ins are by default in the directory %LOCALAPPDATA%\AccDevTools. There will be a sub directory for the files of each tool that is installed. Uninstallation Should you want to remove any of our Access DevTools from your computer, go to use the “Add or remove programs” to either go to the “Apps &features” setting (Windows 10 and 11) or go to “Programs” \ “Programs and Features” in the Windows Control Panel (all Windows versions). In the list of installed programs our tools are listed as AccDevTools – ToolName e.g., “AccDevTools – Find and Replace”. Select the tool in the list and click “Uninstall”, either from the context menu or from the buttons displayed below the selected item. Further Questions? If you have any questions not addressed in this text, please contact our support team via the contact form or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.