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.

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.

Aug 22

Total Access Analyzer Update for 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007

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analyzer

Total Access Analyzer examines all your database objects to provide extensive documentation, code analysis, object cross-reference, and diagrams with over 430 presentation-quality reports.It detects 430+ types of errors, suggestions, and performance tips, so you can learn and apply Best Practices to fix problems, improve your design, and speed up your Access applications.

Enhancements:

  • Ribbon Documentation
  • Data Macro Analysis
  • SQL Cross-Reference and Validation of Subform References
  • New Errors and Suggestions
  • Report Enhancements
  • View Explorer Enhancements
  • Quick Documentation Enhancements
  • About Box has Check for Updates
  • Improved User Interface
  • Revised User Manual and Help File
  • and more

For more information, visit:

Existing Total Access Analyzer owners are able to upgrade at a discounted price.

Dec 30

Government Shutdown’s Impact on Contractors and Employees

Contractors Face Considerable Financial Risk

With Congress and President Trump at a budget impasse, funding for significant portions of the US Federal government ended midnight Friday, December 18, 2018. Historically, government employees are not paid on time but are retroactively paid after the new budget is implemented. The same is not true for government contractors.

Government contractors compete against each other to provide a wide range of services such as computer programming, construction, security guards, cafeterias, janitorial services, technical experts, maintenance workers, and much more. When the government shuts down, contractor staff are not needed or can’t do their work. But they are real companies and people who suffer. Long-term, it’s bad for US taxpayers.

Our Contract with Amtrak is Suspended

We have a government contract with Amtrak which was suspended by this letter:

This contract provides help for Microsoft Access database programming and is relatively small. We do not have dedicated staff for the contract, so we are not really affected as our people will work on other projects.

Unfortunately, we have colleagues who are government contractors or in businesses more dependent on the government who are significantly impacted by the shutdown. This is especially true for companies who provide staff to work at government facilities that are now closed. Most are hesitant to speak publicly about their experiences in fear their government clients would be offended, so we’d like to share our experiences and theirs.

Very Tough Situation and Decisions for Government Contractors and Their Employees

Since government contractors are unlikely to be repaid when the budget is finally resolved, government contractors with dedicated staff for those contracts need to decide whether to pay their employees for time they never expected to not charge to the government. The impact is somewhat offset by the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and maybe they can force employees to take vacation days. But as the shutdown lasts longer, contractors will have to pay their employees from their own funds. Not paying them runs the risk that the employees leave and won’t be available once the budget is resolved. One cannot expect employees to remain loyal if they aren’t paid. Meanwhile, employees are dusting off their resumes and seeking alternative employers.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable since many contracts have small profit margins, so without significant cash and lines of credit, a cash flow problem can quickly bankrupt a company. Even generous owners who try to do the “right thing”, may not be able to if their cash is depleted. That would lead to fewer government contractors in the future and higher costs to taxpayers.

A friend of mind who owns a firm completely focused on servicing the federal government shared:

“As contractors, our employees still get paid and yet we are unable to bill. Cash is king and small companies like mine live and die by cash. This is the worst.”

Media Coverage

On December 26th, we sent a Twitter message with the letter we received from Amtrak and the sympathy we feel for government contractors and their employees.

That led to our inclusion in a Washington DC News article on WUSA Channel 9 (CBS) by John Henry that evening. A video of the coverage with our Amtrak letter and insight are in this article: #ShutdownStories: Government contractors tackle life without pay during partial shutdown

On December 27th, I was interviewed in the Huffington Post article by Sarah Ruiz-Grossman about the challenges facing contractors entitled
Shutdown Leaves Government Contractors Without Work And Likely No Back Pay.

“Business owners who have [dedicated] staff are making the decision: Do we pay people or not, even though we won’t get paid by the government? Either you force people to take vacation, or you pay them, to be a good company ― but depending how long it drags on, one may not have a choice.”

On December 27th, Bridget Johnson included us in her Homeland Security Today article:
Federal Employees, Contractors Tweet Worries with #ShutdownStories

Self-Inflicted Wound that Should be Resolved Promptly

Eventually the budget will be resolved. We hope the parties come to their senses and do it sooner rather than later because innocent people who’ve dedicated their firms and lives to providing a professional service to US taxpayers are at risk and feeling real pain. That’s terrible for them now and our country long-term.

Dec 20

Total Access Analyzer 2019 is Shipping

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We are excited to announce the release of Total Access Analyzer for Microsoft Access 2019! Total Access Analyzer examines all your database objects to provide extensive documentation, code analysis, object cross-reference, and diagrams with over 390 presentation-quality reports.It detects 300+ types of errors, suggestions, and performance tips, so you can learn and apply Best Practices to fix problems, improve your design, and speed up your Access applications.>New Features

Access Analyzer 2019 is an upgrade from the 2016 version and includes these enhancements:

  • analyzerSupports Microsoft Access 2019, 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
  • Document All Database types supported by Microsoft Access 2019.
  • Improved Blueprint Documentation.
  • Additional Cross-Reference and Validation including Subform References.
  • Improved Memory Management.
  • Data Macro Documentation.
  • Document Workgroup Security in ACCDBs.
  • Better Support of Documentation for Multiple Databases.
  • Module Bracket Reports.
  • Improved User Interface Shows more Progress Details.
  • New Manual and Context Sensitive Help.
  • and more

Existing Total Access Analyzer owners are able to upgrade at a discounted price.


New updates for Total Access Analyzer 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007

Enhancements

  • Additional Cross-Reference and validation of tables, queries, fields and controls across your database objects, including references in subforms.
  • Improved form and report blueprint documentation to capture large and complicated designs and layouts.
  • Improved memory management for documenting large Access databases to minimize the chance of running out of memory.
  • Data macro documentation and cross references to related tables.
  • Documentation of workgroup security settings for ACCDBs if they wer converted from MDBs with workgroup security.
  • Improved user interface to show progress of the documentation.
  • Revised user manual and help file.
  • and more…

For more information, visit:

Download the Free Trial to experience it for yourself.

Oct 09

Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state

Recently, Microsoft Access users are confronted with this error when they open their database on Windows 10 machines:

“Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state, and will attempt to recover the database. During this process, a backup copy of the database will be made and all recovered objects will be placed in a new database. Access will then open the new database. The names of objects that were not successfully recovered will be logged in the ‘Recovery Errors’ table.”

‘inconsistent state’, Error 3343 “unrecognized database format

This seems to be related to Microsoft security updates that were released over the past few months.Our investigations lead us to these two links:

Microsoft Explanation

Microsoft discusses this problem here: Microsoft Access reports that databases are in an ‘inconsistent state’

Workaround

A potential workaround suggests to ensure that SMBv2 or SMBv3 is enabled on both client and server, as described in this Knowledge Base article:
How to detect, enable and disable SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 in Windows and Windows Server

We hope you find this helpful. Let us know your experience with this.

Aug 27

Total Access Emailer Update for Microsoft Access 2016

Total Access Emailer is the most popular email automation system for Microsoft Access. A new update was released for the Microsoft Access 2016 version.

Enhancements

  • Partially Restored Original SMTP ValidationTechnique.
  • Validation of FROM Address during Email Blasts.
  • Adjusted the saving of datasheet column settings on databases before Access 2007.
  • Improved Offline activation and uninstall.
  • Cosmetic changes to the program and sample databases.

For more information, visit:

Existing Total Access Emailer 2016 owners were notified to download the update.

Jun 27

Total Access Emailer Update for Microsoft Access 2016

Total Access Emailer is the most popular email automation system for Microsoft Access. Update 16.01.0014 was released for the Microsoft Access 2016 version.

Enhancements

  • SMTP validation uses your email address and eliminates the need to use a TEmail.txt file.
  • Changes you make in the datasheets settings such as column settings, sort order, and/or filters are saved where appropriate for the next time the form is opened.
  • Preview Text allows you to test your email blasts by sending the emails to your own email address.
  • When creating an email blast, the FROM email address is validated for an acceptable email format.
  • When the name of an attachment file includes invalid characters (e.g. :*?”<>|), a message indicates that problem rather than saying the file can’t be found.
  • Procedure TotalAccessEmailer_SendOne has two parameters (strMessageHTML and strHTMLFile) that are optional but were previously required.
  • Sample database updated with TLS option and larger fonts.
  • Cosmetic changes to increase font size, widen combo boxes, font consistency, and support for higher resolution monitors.
  • Manual and help file updated.

The latest update for Total Access Emailer 2016, Version 16.0 is:

Existing Total Access Emailer 2016 owners were notified to download the update.

May 18

Converting Microsoft Azure SQL Server Databases to SQL Elastic Pools to Share Server Resources

Microsoft SQL Server Databases on the Azure Cloud

Microsoft Azure lets you economically and quickly host enterprise quality SQL Server databases in the cloud. The cost of each database is relatively modest.

Managing Resources and Costs for Individual Databases

However, as you add more databases, larger databases, and/or databases that require more resources, costs increase. Providing more resources to a database is helpful when it demands it, but when users aren’t on it or during non-business hours, it may be wasted capacity. Even during business hours, one can have some databases being utilized more than others at unpredictable levels.

Pooled Resources Across Multiple Databases

Fortunately, Azure offers an Elastic Pool option to share resources across multiple databases. If the demand on your databases is inconsistent (spiky), you can provide a high level of capacity that’s available to the most demanding database while allowing other databases to share those abundant resources when needed.

  • You no longer need to set the limits of each database,
  • You are not charged a per database monthly fee which is great for supporting lightly used databases.

Migrating Existing SQL Server Databases to Elastic Pool

Microsoft provides information on SQL Elastic Pools but does not explain how to convert existing databases to an Elastic Pool.

FMS President Luke Chung wrote a new paper with step-by-step instructions on how to convert existing SQL Server databases on Azure to an Elastic Pool without the need to change the database connection strings:

Converting Microsoft Azure SQL Server Databases to SQL Elastic Pools to Share Server Resources

Here’s more information on Designing and Deploying Microsoft Azure Solutions.