Jan 28

Total Access Emailer and Office 365 SMTP with TLS

Total Access Emailer is the most popular email automation system for Microsoft Access. Total Access Emailer uses your SMTP server to send emails. A popular choice is the SMTP server provided by Microsoft Office 365’s Exchange Server.

Total Access Emailer and the Office 365 SMTP Server

Total Access EmailerAssuming the account is properly configured to relay email messages (Mailbox Delegation), Total Access Emailer has supported Office 365 since it was introduced.

Over the years, Microsoft has increased security on their site and adjusted configurations for their SMTP server. You can connect via SMTP protocol using an approved IP address or Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for a specific email address.

Instructions for configuring Office 365’s SMTP server are provided here:
Office 365 SMTP Relay Configuration to Send Emails via the Office365 Exchange Server

Problem with TLS Connections

In the last week, we confirmed that Office 365 and Windows made changes that cause Total Access Emailer to be unable to send emails with its TLS connection protocol with an error like this:

SMTP protocol error: TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are not supported

The message implies the need for TLS 1.2, but recent versions of Total Access Emailer already support TLS 1.2.

What is not supported is TLS 1.3 that recent changes with the Office 365’s SMTP server and Windows seem to require. Here’s a Microsoft article about TLS 1.3: Taking Transport Layer Security (TLS) to the next level with TLS 1.3.

NOTE: TLS still works with many other SMTP servers including Gmail’s smtp.gmail.com (details for Using Total Access Emailer and Gmail).

Workaround: Use SMTP Protocol

If you are having trouble using TLS protocol, the SMTP protocol still works for Office 365. You need to authenticate your IP Address where you’re sending the emails. Remember to use the Temail.txt to store the FROM email address to use for validation as instructed in the referenced page above.

We realize that is not possible for all the environments of Total Access Emailer users.

New Versions of Total Access Emailer

This has accelerated our ongoing development for a new version of Total Access Emailer to address the new protocols. Our development team has already created a solution that is working with the new protocols and hope to release it, as soon as it completes thorough testing. We expect to release these Access 32 and 64-bit versions:

  • New Product:
    • Total Access Emailer 2021 for Access 2021, 2019 and the current Office 365 version
  • Updates:
    • Total Access Emailer 2016
    • Total Access Emailer 2013
    • Total Access Emailer 2010

New versions are now available! Visit the Total Access Emailer page for more information on the new features or ordering information.

Receiving the New Version

Customers on Premium Support Contracts will receive a free update for their version when it is available. Existing customers will be able to purchase an upgrade at a discounted price.

Dec 15

Microsoft Access Could Not Lock File (Error 3050): Cannot Open Database Error

Microsoft confirmed the Microsoft Office security update released on Tuesday (December 14, 2021) causes Microsoft Access databases on shared drives to be locked after users exit the database. This prevents other users from opening the database and multiuser database sharing. Customers reported errors like:

Could not lock file (Error 3050)
Could not use 'Admin' (related to workgroup security)
This file is in use. Enter a new name or close the file that's open in another program.

Several issues appear to be happening:

  1. The first person opening the database is successful but an exclusive lock is placed on the database preventing others from opening it.
  2. The Access lock file (*.laccdb or *.ldb for ACCDB and MDB databases respectively) is not being deleted after the last person exits the database. This makes the database seem like it’s still being used.
  3. This can also impact workgroup security files (*.mdw) that also have their *.ldb lock file.

From Microsoft:

This is due to the December 14, 2021 (Patch Tuesday) update to Office. The problem was introduced by a security fix, so it impacts all active versions of Access.

We are working on a fix, and will deliver it as quickly as possible.

The update has only updated a small percentage of users, and we are pausing automatic updates.

There will be a page added to the Fixes or workarounds for recent issues in Access (microsoft.com), which will be the place to go for updates.

These perpetual license updates introduced the problem :

  • KB 5002104 for Office 2013
  • KB 5002099 for Office 2016
  • Office 2019 Version 1808, build 10381.20020
  • Office LTSC 2021 Version 2108, build 14332.20204

For Microsoft 365 subscribers:

  • Current Channel Version 2111, build 14701.20248
  • Monthly Enterprise Channel Version 2110, build 14527.20340
  • Monthly Enterprise Channel Version 2109, build 14430.20380
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Preview) Version 2108, build 14326.20692
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel Version 2102, build 13801.21086
  • Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel Version 2008, build 13127.21842

If you have one of these builds, the only solution is to move back to an earlier build in the channel.

Microsoft published this new page with the latest information on this issue Error in Access when opening a database on a network file share

Rolling Back to an Earlier Version

These are Microsoft support pages for reverting to a prior update depending on your Office license:

FMS Suggestion

This problem is even in the Semi-Annual Channel which is never supposed to include such poorly tested changes.

To avoid such problems, disable automatic updates. While this is a drastic step, Microsoft repeated failed to release stable updates thereby causing more problems than they fix.

Disable Microsoft Office Updates
Disable Updates for Microsoft Office

Additional Resources

We discuss this change in our previous blog: Error: “The operating system is not presently configured to run this application” with Access Database Engine (DAO.DBEngine)

Here’s our page on Changing the Office Channel for Microsoft 365 Apps