Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It is a member of the Microsoft Office suite of applications.
Lots of our clients organize their business or even sell solutions around this great tool. But in times of cloud computing, web and mobile devices, the reach and usage of these Windows Desktop-based tools declines. Users require web-based applications, don’t they?
Turn your MS Access application to a Web App
Ready to start? First check that you’re running the latest version of Thinfinity VirtualUI. Then download an example for web-enabling Microsoft Access and in the download link below:
Let’s review the example given on the ZIP file:
There are two things that you should take a look at from this demo:
- the “modVirtualUI” module
- Adding the VirtualUIStart method to your Main Form.
Both are needed if you want to successfully compile your application with VirtualUI.
The “modVirtualUI” module contains the call to VirtualUI, and is expressed in the following way:
As you can see, there are three commented lines, which make reference to “vui.DevMode” and “vui.DevServer”.
If you uncomment them, you’ll be able to run the database in Development Mode. Let’s do that :
Now, we need to add the “StartVirtualUI” method to the Main Form of our Database.
Note: “StartVirtualUI” should be one of the first things Microsoft Access loads when it starts up, so it should be inside the main module of the database.
In this case, the Main Form is Form_Contact List . Right below the “Form_Load()” method, we are adding the call to “StartVirtualUI”
Click on the Run Sub button (F5), and the following message will pop up:
Click on “Start Web Browser” and you should see both desktop and web applications running at the same time.
Now that we verified that the Development Server is working, let’s take this Access database and take it to the web.
Open the Thinfinity VirtualUI Server Manager, navigate to the “Application” tab and press “Add”:
In this new window, we’ll configure the Access Database to be published. Below you’ll see an example of how it’s done:
Let me explain the following fields:
“Name”: The name you want the Web Application to display.
“Program path and file name”: In this case, we are using Office 16, so you’ll have to look for the MSACCESS.exe in the Program Files folder.
“Arguments”: Two things to take into consideration.
“C:\Apps VirtualUI\VirtualUI_Access.accdb”: This is the path of the database you want to load when Access starts.
“/x StartVirtualUI”: This is the name of the macro that calls the “vui.Start”.
Under the “Credentials” tab, configure a user that has read and write permission on both the Program Files folder (where Access is ) and where the database is located:
And under the Permissions tab, for testing purposes, click on “Allow anonymous access”:
Click “OK”, and then click “Apply”.
Open a new browser window and navigate to: http://127.0.0.1:6580
You will see the Thinfinity VirtualUI landing page, and your application published on it. Congrats!