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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Unanswered: A Security Problem

    Hello again, Colleagues All,
    I have recently taken over the care of an MS Access database for a new client who as asked me to make some minor changes to reports. I have been given Owner access and in the security system, the Owner has Admin and various other privileges. I have reviewed the various permissions and the Owner has full modification control (the checkboxes in the User Permissions tab have all been set for all objects). Despite this, I am unable to modify any object as, when one right-clicks on it, the Design View and Export options are greyed out.
    The history of the system is that it was prepared for the client some years ago by an IT company who then maintained the system for some years, including an upgrade from Access 97 to Access 2000. I suspect that the security regime was put in place to maintain a client dependency on the company (a not uncommon situation). Unfortunately, the company no longer exists.
    I have examined a number of alternatives, including the creation of a new .mdw file. In this latter regard, I have come across another little problem which may be relevant to the main one. I go through all the motions and create the new file. However, when I try to open the database, it does not recognise the original Owner password, yet there is no point in the sequence where a password in the new file can be set.
    Any assistance in this matter will be gratefully received.
    Jim Wright.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    UK
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    Provided Answers: 10
    Are we talking about an mdb or mde file?
    Sounds liek an MDE to me - in which case you cannot make design modifications!

    Is the database split (FE and BE)?
    I imagine that the company that maintained the database for you have a copy of the FE as an mdb, which they update and convert to an mde ready to send to you.
    George
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    The database is nominally a .mdb file (the users access the .mde equivalent). I was sufficiently paranoid to wonder whether the so-called .mdb was in fact a ,mde renamed. I tried to create a new .mde file from it but that option too was greyed out. However the sizes were different, so I assume that my file is in fact a secured .mdb file in some way. I seem to remember that there were some security features one could invoke with the dire warning "take a copy first as this is not reversible" so I am hoping that a total rebuild will not be necessary.
    Nevertheless, Georgev, your remark about the split database does suggest some further possibilities for investigation, as our database does indeed have separate front and back ends. Many thanks for reminding me of that. I will keep the forum posted of any developments.
    Jim Wright.

  4. #4
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    You can only make form design changes in an mdb file...

    If you have a copy of the mdb then all is not lost - even if it's not FE and BE split... It just requires you to be extra clever
    George
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
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    id check the file version
    I seem to rememebr that there can be some very odd problems if you are trying to make an MDE from a mdb that is not the same version as the native version of access you are using. (ie if you want to make and MDE for an Access 2000/XP then you need to be using Access2000/XP, AND the file needs to be in Access2000/XP format.)

    you could try copying the file in DOS (or explorer if you are one of these johnnycomelately's who have to use a WIMP system.........) then opening atd trying to save in your native format.

    you may have to also save the back end as well so that both versions are in synch.

    no idea if that is the problem.. but it may be worth a try.....
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    201
    Well, Colleagues All, I have now concluded that what I have is indeed a .mde file masquerading as a .mdb file. I carried out a little test by taking another database I was looking after and created a .mde file from it. As expected, it ran perfectly. I then renamed it by changing the .mde extension back to .mdb and, lo and behold, it behaved exactly like the database that was the subject of my post. All of the objects are visible, but all of the manipulative options have been greyed out. Somebody in the past sems to have been a very naughty boy, as this software was not for general distribution but was commissioned by the client.
    The really surprising thing is that MS Access accepted the name change without comment. One would have expected that it would adjust its behaviour to accord with the file extension and would at least report that it was having to adopt an unexpected mode of operation. One must conclude that the .mde extension is not the trigger, but that there is some magic number internally which causes MS Access to simply shrug and switch mode.
    Fortunately, the backend database is still readily accessible, so the structural changes (a substantial amount of normalisation, etc.) can still go ahead and a new BOH system will be unaffected. However, it had been intended to retain the old (FOH) system because the user community liked it. The client is now faced with the choice of creating a brand-new FOH system or spending a lot of money replicating the old one from scratch.
    Thanks for your interest and comments.
    Jim Wright.

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