Aug 04

Error: “The operating system is not presently configured to run this application” with Access Database Engine (DAO.DBEngine)

Microsoft Office Update Version 2107 (Build 14228.20204) Breaks Applications using the Access Database Engine (ACE)

Background

Last week on Tuesday July 27th, Microsoft Office released version 2107 (Build 14228.20204) to Current Channel customers. It updates the Access Database Engine (ACE) ACEDAO.dll that supports connections to Access databases.

From Access, Account, next to the About Access button is your Version, Build and Channel

Problem

Unfortunately, this broke applications outside of Office such as Visual Studio and other programming platforms that rely on ACE to open Access databases. Programs include Microsoft programs such as PowerBI, SQL Server Management Assistant (SSMA), in addition to programs from other organizations that support Access databases. Errors like this appear:

The operating system is not presently configured to run this application

The error can be triggered in Visual Studio .NET with a single line of code that initializes the Access database engine: dbe = New DAO.DBEngine

The error occurs before opening any database because the core database engine fails. Even worse, having the code in a Try..Catch block doesn’t trigger the catch. It stays in an infinite loop requiring the need to close the application from the Windows Task Manager. Ugh!

Impacts Total Access Admin and Total Visual Agent

Unfortunately, this bug impacts our Total Access Admin and Total Visual Agent programs.

Total Access Admin lets you monitor who’s connecting and disconnecting from Access databases across your network.

Our database administrator program, Total Visual Agent, automates Microsoft Access database tasks like nightly compacts.

They include EXE and DLL programs that run outside of Access and rely on ACE to support your databases. They may fail if Office/Access 365 is installed on the machine with Current Channel and ACE was updated.

This Happened Before

This is particularly disappointing because the same problem occurred in September 2020 when Office released version 2008 (Build 13127.20296). It was fixed when version 2009 (Build 13231.20262) was released.

See this Microsoft Support page for more information on that experience.

Solutions

Unfortunately, there isn’t a solution once this Office update is installed on a PC other than going back to a prior version. Visit Microsoft’s pages for instructions:

On the update history page, you can see the prior versions. Reverting back to the last Monthly Enterprise Channel version 2105 (Build 14026.20334) from July 13, 2021 works.

Change Your Update Channel

From experience, we can attest that using the Current Channel causes too much disruption. To eliminate the chance of this happening again on your PCs, you can turn off all updates, then manually update when you want:

From Access, Account, click the Update Options button and choose Disable Updates

The downside is this may leave your PC vulnerable to security problems that the updates address. It also prevents bug fixes and new features Microsoft adds to Office 365 over time. You’ll need to remember to come here and click Update Now periodically.

A less drastic change is switching your Current Channel to Monthly Enterprise or Semi Annual Channel. Visit our page How to Change the Update Channels for Microsoft 365 Apps for options and detailed steps.

Microsoft’s Expected Fix

Microsoft informed us a fix is in the Office Update scheduled for next week on Tuesday, August 10, 2021. For more information, visit Microsoft’s support page Error: “The operating system is not presently configured to run this application” when when trying to use the Access Database Engine DAO API from a non-Microsoft Office application.

Note that this is for the Current Channel, so if you changed to a different channel you won’t get this automatically.

Jun 24

Total Access Memo 2021 is Now Available!

We are excited to announce the release of Total Access Memo 2021! Total Access Memo lets you add rich text format (RTF) memos to Microsoft Access with sophisticated editing and spell checking. Our super-easy data binding means you can display rich text on your forms and reports and store it in your tables.

memoGive your users the ability to add text with different fonts, point sizes, fonts styles (bolditalics, underline, etc.), bullet points, tabs, paragraph margins, indentations, alignment, spacing between paragraphs, color, graphics, hyperlinks, etc .

Total Access Memo 2021 is an upgrade from the 2007 version and includes these enhancements:

  • Support for 64-bit Versions of Access/Office including 365
  • Backwards Compatibility
  • Improved Rich Text Editor
  • Enhanced Sample Database
  • Updated Manual and Help File
  • New Setup and Distribution Programs

Download the free trial to experience it for yourself.

Existing Total Access Memo owners are eligible to upgrade at a discounted price.

Dec 11

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Software

Contact Tracing is critical to minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. Coronavirus infections are particularly dangerous to vulnerable populations such as retirement homes, elderly family members, medical providers, and front-line service personnel. By collecting and managing the data of your population, you are prepared if and when an outbreak occurs.

The FMS Advanced Systems Group developed Sentinel Visualizer to visualize complex relationships hidden in traditional rows and columns. For instance, schools can store relatively static data on their students, teachers, staff, classes, clubs, sports, siblings, family members, etc. When positive tests occur, one can find common links to quickly identify those who need to be tested and quarantined while limiting the impact on the wider community.

For more information and to see how Sentinel Visualizer can be used for contact tracing, visit COVID-19 Contact Tracing Software.

Jun 09

Decimal Field Problems in Microsoft Access Build 12827.20010

Ebo Quansah from the Microsoft Access Team announced problems with decimal fields using the current Microsoft Access Build 12827.20010 that was released with the Monthly cycle. Decimal fields are not commonly used in Access database files, but they are used in linked SQL Server tables.

June 24, 2020 Update

The Microsoft Team has announced that the Decimal Field issue has been fixed in all channels.

  • Current Channel – Version 2005, Build 12827.20470
    (User may need to force a manual update to get the version.)
  • Current Channel (Preview) – Version 2006, Build 13001.20198

For more information on the issue, visit Microsoft’s support page Access VBA/DAO code may crash or report incorrect data for Decimal Columns.


June 18, 2020 Update

There’s a new build update (13001.20198) released on June 18, 2020 for Current Channel (Preview) that has been reported to solve the issue related to using SQL/VBA to write to a Number Data type with a Decimal field size.


June 8, 2020, from Ebo Quansah

Very soon, we will ship a new data type, known as Date & Time Extended, which enhances syntax compatibility with SQL while increasing accuracy & level of detail in date & time records.

While the feature is not yet enabled in Current Channel builds, most of the code for the feature is in the product in an inactive state. Nonetheless, we are aware of a problem that currently exists with this new code. As of today, if you are on version 2005, build 12827.20010 or greater, and you manipulate Decimal fields (Access DataType=Number/FieldSize=Decimal, or SQL DataType=Decimal) using DAO (Data Access Objects), you might have identified your app crashing.

If you hover a variable with the type in VBA code, you may see that the field is not being displayed properly; either reading as ‘?????’ or giving a Type Mismatch error, or Access may crash.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this causes in your Access app. The Access team is working on resolving this issue as soon as possible, and we will report back to you once this error has been fixed. In the interim, we’d recommend for you to roll back to a previous version (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2770432/how-to-revert-to-an-earlier-version-of-office-2013-or-office-2016-clic), or switch to a slower channel (e.g Monthly Enterprise Channel, or SemiAnnual Channel), until the issue is fixed in Current Channel. 

The issue only impacts Decimal types so if avoiding DAO code that manipulates Decimal types is possible, we’d advise this as a short term solution.

May 15

Video: Remote access to Microsoft Access from DevCon Austria

FMS President Luke Chung was a presenter at the Virtual Microsoft Access DevCon 2020 in Vienna, Austria on April 23, 2020. He gave a presentation called “Remote access to Access“, which is available for everyone to watch.

If you missed the event, you can visit Virtual Access DevCon 2020 to watch all the presentations giving by all of the speakers.

Luke Chung’s video presentation

Remote Desktop and RemoteApp let your users run Access applications without having to installing anything on their local machine. That includes Access, the database, and any related programs. It lets users run the program across the network or Internet, from their PC or even a Mac. There are different approaches depending on whether the host is internal or in the cloud, and for backend databases in Access and Microsoft SQL Server.

PowerPoint Slides for the Presentation

Special thanks to Microsoft Access MVP Karl Donaubauer, who hosted the fourth annual Access DevCon and made it an online event during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Feb 25

Breaking ACE out of the Bubble!

An important announcement from the Microsoft Access team addresses the problems with connecting to Access ACCDB databases from other programs.

The ACCDB database format was introduced with Access 2007 and offered a new Access Database Engine (ACE) for external programs to connect to it. Connecting to the earlier MDB database format was never an issue because that requires Data Access Object (DAO) which is part of Windows.

Connecting to Microsoft Access Databases Outside of Access

ACE was available when Access 2007 and 2010 were installed. However, later Access versions sandboxed ACE so only Office could use it. It prevented other programs, including Microsoft programs such as PowerBI and the SQL Sever Migration Assistant (SSMA), from using it to support ACCDB databases.

The solution was to separately install the ACE Redistributable which provided ACE OLEDB (Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.16.0, or Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0). That was a hassle and complicated because

  • Not every user had permissions to install it
  • Installations were 32 or 64-bit specific
  • Even if it were installed, it could be out-of-sync with the Access version that is installed.

This was especially frustrating because when Access is installed on the machine, it includes ACE but simply didn’t allow other programs to use it. And because Access/Office 365 was constantly being updated, its version of ACE may support features that the redistributable didn’t, creating conflicts.

ACE is Now Available with Access

With this Microsoft announcement, ACE is now exposed and available for external programs to use it.

If you have Office 365, or click-to-run versions of Access 2016/2019 Consumer installed, you no longer need to install ACE to support external programs.

This change enables previously unsupported scenarios, including Microsoft programs, to connect to Access ACCDB databases without installing ACE. It eliminates incompatibility issues between different versions of ACE. It also helps our programs Total Access Admin, Total Access Startup, and Total Visual Agent connect to Access ACCDB databases directly.

Microsoft’s Official Announcement

Visit the announcement from the Microsoft Access program manager Ebo Quansah: Breaking ACE Out of the Bubble.

Nov 15

Microsoft Access Query is Corrupt (Error 3340)

Critical Alert

A set of Microsoft Office security updates released on November 12, 2019 causes Access databases to fail when it runs Update Queries to modify data. An error like this appears when the query is run:

Error 3340: “Query ‘qryName’ is corrupt”.

It doesn’t matter if the query is against a table in the current database, a linked table, or a linked SQL Server table. If the Access database engine is processing the UPDATE query, the error occurs.

In addition to Microsoft Access, other programs that update Access databases may also be affected. That includes Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc. and programs written in Visual Studio .NET, VB6, and web applications.

Types of Update Queries Affected

When attempting to run an Update query, it may fail with the error: “Query ‘query name’ is corrupt”. This occurs for an UPDATE query that:

  • Updates a single table (i.e. it updates a table, rather than the output of a Select query or join)
  • Specifies a WHERE clause (i.e. has entries in the Criteria row in the query designer)

These queries can be saved Access query objects or SQL strings executed in VBA code (or other languages that use ACE).

Security Updates Causing Query is Corrupt Error 3340

The issue was introduced on November 12, 2019 via the following patch updates for MSI builds:

  • Office 2010: Description of the security update for Office 2010: November 12, 2019 (KB4484127)
  • Office 2013: Description of the security update for Office 2013: November 12, 2019 (KB4484119)
  • Office 2016: Description of the security update for Office 2016: November 12, 2019 (KB4484113)
  • Office 2016: Update for Office 2016 – November 12, 2019 (KB3085368)

Microsoft announced they’ll fix this in the December update, but that’s way too long to wait. We hope Microsoft will respond more quickly. Until then, we found multiple solutions to address this issue.

Current Microsoft Fixes

Here are the current Microsoft fixes for the issue.

There is a December 10, 2019 security update for the MSI builds, that will be available via WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) and will be automatically applied that fixes the issue.

  • Access 2010: KB4484193 – Build 14.0.7243.5000
  • Access 2013: KB4484186 – Build 15.0.5197.1000
  • Access 2016: KB4484180 – Build 16.0.4939.1000

Note: If you try to apply the patch and you receive a message that says “No products affected by this package installed in the system”, this means you have a click-to-run (C2R) installation of Office, rather than an MSI installation.

  • Access 2010 MSI, Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable: Fixed Build 7241.5001 – November 27, 2019
    This update is only available for manual download and installation from the Microsoft Download Center.
    To manually download the update, visit November 27, 2019, update for Office 2010 (KB2986256).
    Organizations that want to distribute the update without requiring each user to install manually, visit Distribute product updates for Office 2010 for more information.
  • Access 2010 C2R: Fixed Build 7243.5000 – December 10, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
  • Access 2013 MSI: Fixed Build 5189.1002 – November 27, 2019
    This update is only available for manual download and installation from the Microsoft Download Center.
    The update can’t be installed on Office Home and Student 2013 RT.
    To manually download the update, visit November 27, 2019, update for Office 2013 (KB2965317).
    Organizations that want to distribute the update without requiring each user to install manually, visit Distribute updates for Office 2013 products for more information.
  • Access 2013 C2R: Fixed Build 5197.1000 – December 10, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
  • Access 2016 MSI, Access Database Engine 2016 Redistributable: Fixed Build 4927.1002 – November 18, 2019
    This update is only available for manual download and installation from the Microsoft Download Center.
    To manually download the update, visit November 18, 2019, update for Office 2016 (KB4484198).
  • Access 2019 Volume License: Fixed Build 10353.20037 – December 10, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
  • Access O365 Monthly Channel/Access 2016 C2R/Access 2019 (Version 1910): Fixed Build 12130.20390 – November 18, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
    For more information on the update, visit Version 1910: November 18.
  • Access for Office 365 (Microsoft Store Version): Fixed Build 12130.20390 – November 22, 2019
    Open Microsoft Store, Click on […] in the upper right corner, Choose [Downloads and Updates]
  • Access for O365 Semi-Annual (Version 1808): Fixed Build 10730.20422 – November 22, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
    For more information on the update, visit Version 1808: November 22.
  • Access for O365 Semi-Annual (Version 1902): Fixed Build 11328.20480 – November 22, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].
    For more information on the update, visit Version 1902: November 22.
  • Access for O365 Semi-Annual (Version 1908): Fixed Build 11929.20494 – November 22, 2019
    Open an Office program, select [File], click [Account], click [Update Options] and select [Update Now].

Solutions

  1. Uninstall the Security Updates
    • The best way to fix the problem is to uninstall the Security update for Office which is the source of the problem. There are different steps depending on whether you are on an Office 365 subscription or not.
  2. Modify All Your Update Queries
    • If your solutions are deployed to users where you cannot uninstall their Security Updates, you can modify your queries so they don’t trigger the problem. This can be done by adjusting the queries or replacing them with recordsets updated in code.
  3. Rename each table and create a query selecting it with the original table name. Need to adjust table references.
  4. Deploy your Access application with Access 2007 or earlier. You can download the free Access 2007 runtime from our site.

For detailed information and step-by-step instructions, visit Microsoft Access Error 3340: Query is Corrupt.

Nov 14

Portland Access User Group Conference 2019

FMS President Luke Chung attended the 2019 Portland Access User Group Conference in Silver Falls, Oregon. While there, Luke explored the beautiful Silver Falls State Park with fellow Microsoft Access Developers. Here are some of the breath taking photos. For more information on the PAUG 2019 conference, visit the Portland Access User Group site.

Nov 14

2019 Netherlands Access Developer Day

Here are some photos from the 2019 Netherlands Access Developer Day Conference. FMS President Luke Chung gave a presentation on the Microsoft Access Database Evolution from the Desktop to the Cloud. For more information on the NADD 2019 conference, visit Netherlands Access Developer Day.

Oct 21

Email Aliases and Forwarding Microsoft Office 365 Messages to Another Mailbox

Email Aliases

Microsoft Office 365 makes it easy to create mailboxes. For no additional cost, email aliases can be created and assigned to a mailbox. For instance, sales@domain.com and support@domain.com could be aliases assigned to specific people’s accounts. That makes it easy to maintain a general address that’s assigned to whomever is currently responsible for it.

How to set up Aliases

Before adding an email alias to a user, you must have admin permission to do so.

  1. In the admin center, choose Users > Active users
  2. Select the user > Manage email aliases
    • You won’t be able to see this option if the user does not have a license assigned.
  3. Select [+ Add an Alias] and enter a new alias for the user.
  4. Click [Save changes].
  5. It may take up to 24 hours for the new alias to populate throughout Office 365.

When the email appears in the user’s Inbox and they reply, the FROM address is their email address. The alias is not the FROM address.

This makes it useful to have dedicated mailboxes rather than aliases. Someone can monitor the mailbox and respond from it. With Office 365, it’s easy to have an internet browser with Outlook opened to that account.

Unfortunately, it’s inconvenient to log in to the mailbox, and if it rarely receives emails, it’s easy to forget. It’d be much better to be notified at your regular email address when an email arrives.

Forwarding Email Messages

Microsoft allows you to easily forward your emails from your Office 365 account to another email account on Office 365 or external accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo. It’s very helpful for monitoring mailbox that are rarely used (e.g. webmaster, info, etc).

  1. Sign in to your Office 365 account.
  2. Open Outlook.
  3. At the top of the page, choose Settings > Mail.
  4. Choose Forwarding and enter in the email you would like your Office 365 emails to be sent to. There is an option that allows you to keep a copy of your forwarded messages so you can still log into that account and respond to them.

Hope this helps!

For more information on how to use Microsoft Outlook better as a user or developer, visit our Microsoft Outlook Tips and Techniques page.