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Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

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? Download an example for Microsoft Access and Thinfinity VirtualUI in the download link below:

https://www.cybelesoft.com/support/files/DemosVUI/VirtualUI_Access.zip

Let’s review the example given above:

There are two things that you should take a look at from this demo:

  1. the “modVirtualUI” module
  2. the “StartVirtualUI” macro

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

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:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

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 :

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

Click on the Run Sub button (F5), and the following message will pop up:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application
Click on “Start Web Browser” and you should see both desktop and web applications running at the same time.

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.

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

The “StartVirtualUI” macro is responsible for loading the “vui.Start” in the “modVirtualUI” module, so when Access starts, it also loads VirtualUI with it.

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”:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

In this new window, we’ll configure the Access Database to be published. Below you’ll see an example of how it’s done:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

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:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

And under the Permissions tab, for testing purposes, click on “Allow anonymous access”:

Convert your Microsoft Access application to a Web Application

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!

Have any questions? Contact us at support@cybelesoft.com or leave a message on this same post.

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