Convert MS Access database into a stand-alone program



Hi there!

I just want to ask if its possible to make my MS Access Database into a
stand-alone program? I mean, no need for MS Access software to run it. If its
possible, I would to know how. Thank you.




Douglas J Steele

It's not possible to convert an Access application into an executable.
Assuming that you want to allow peopel who do not have Access installed to
use your application, you have 3 main options:

1) Rewrite your application in a language that can be compiled into an
executable, such as VB or VC++ (note that your data will still have to be
kept in an external MDB file)

2) Rewrite your application as a web app

3) Get the Access Developer edition that's appropriate for whatever version
of Access you're using (see for details of
what you need to look for) What this allows you to do is package your
application together with a royalty-free run-time version of Access. Users
who don't have Access installed will be able to install the run-time and use
your application. They will not be able to use the runtime to make design
changes to your application (nor to any other MDB)

You need to purchase the following in order to create an Access 2003 runtime

- Microsoft Access 2003
- Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 (which includes the Access 2003
Developer Extensions)

The ADE is the product that gives you the license to deploy the 2003 runtime
components and you have to have Access 2003 installed in order to install
the ADE.

See for
more details, or

'69 Camaro

Hi, Marixxe.
I just want to ask if its possible to make my MS Access Database into a
stand-alone program?

No. The MDB file is just a container to hold data. It's not an executable,
"stand-alone" file.
I mean, no need for MS Access software to run it.

Of course you don't need Microsoft Access to run it. If you have a modern
version of Windows, then you have service packs that contain Microsoft Data
Access Components (MDAC) 2.5 (which contains the Jet DLL's) and MDAC 2.8 to
access the data in the MDB file from another software application. All you
need to do is write an application that can interact with MDAC and the
Microsoft-proprietary Jet libraries. If you have a lot of experience with
these types of projects, then it might take about 20,000 or 30,000
man-hours, but if you don't, then even 100,000 man-hours might be on the
conservative side.

So what programming language were you planning on using for your
application? Is your application going to be command-line driven or a GUI?
Will it port to Linux and Unix (or maybe even a Mac)? If you port it to
other popular operating systems, I'll bet you could get some help with other
programmers involved in Open Source.

Most of the rest of us are too lazy to take on such a massive project and
would rather just spend a few hundred dollars for the Microsoft Access
application, but I commend you for your fortitude.

And while your organization is waiting for you to finish building your
application, tell them that they can look into installing the Microsoft
Access Runtime on any of their computers that don't have the retail version
of Microsoft Access already installed. The Access Runtime won't allow the
user to alter the design of the Access database application, but it will
allow the user to do data entry in an environment that otherwise acts just
like the Access GUI (for the most part). Purchasing the Visual Studio Tools
for Office 2005 and either Microsoft Access 2003 or Microsoft Office 2003
Pro will give the owner a license to distribute the Access Runtime on an
unlimited number of computers. For more information, please see the
following Web pages:


See for all your database needs.
See for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials. for contact


Feb 14, 2014
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YES, it is absolutely possible to create a MS Access application that stands alone.

The users will have to download the access runtime (free) or you can include it in your installation.

Search for MSACCESS RUNTIME for your version of access.

You will need to make a copy of your DB because when you save as ... you can no longer edit the source

Once you have a copy saved of your source you will save as ...
What you save as will depend on the version of Access you are running... some versions even allow you to save and publish which will package the runtime file with it.

save as an MDE or ACCDE or other tags for versions between...

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