Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4

    Question Unanswered: Copyrighting/preventing my database from being copied - help!

    Hi everyone

    I'm looking for some advice. Tried searching the topics on here but couldn't find any info.

    Hopefully this is a simple, but not daft question - basically I've designed an Access database that will be rolled out to all and sundry for use within the next month or so. What I am worried about is someone going through all the different screens, figuring out the code and structure, and then recreating a similar version of it. Is there an effective way to prevent anyone who knows what they're doing from copying the whole thing - lock, stock and barrel?

    Thanks in advance


    Pat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    Deploy the application as encrypted, as a MDE or ACCDE.
    read up on security for Access applications for the version of Access you are using. Bear in mind major changes we introduced with A2007 in this area.
    if uts multi yser the the app should also be split into a front end containg the user interface and a back end containing the data. Each user should have their own frontend copy
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4

    Question Re: Copyrighting/preventing my database from being copied - help!

    Thanks for your comment healdem. Good advice. I've split it at the moment, just to ensure the data is somewhere else. Haven't MDE'd it yet, but will before it goes 'live'.

    My concern is more to do with the intellectual property aspect of the database. I'm worried that the design will be quite favourably received, and someone with the technical know-how would be able to copy the wholesale design of it, based on them just looking through the different forms and reports, and figuring out the general structure of it.

    Is there anything I can do to ensure that if a 'very' similar system pops up unannounced in six months time I have some rights to the design of the system?

    Many thanks


    Pat
    Last edited by cadillac; 09-11-15 at 07:08.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Provided Answers: 59
    by definition your forms, reports and such are in public view. there is nothing that you can do to stop a third party from copying them. There have been various attempts over the years to protect 'look and feel' of software, but unless you are a multi billion corporation then going down a legal route will in my opinion, be futile.

    what you can do is hide the queries inside an encrypted db. BTW if you do deploy the app in encrypted form then make certain you retain the unencrypted app for development / maintenance purposes. although an encrypted app can be reverse engineered, its expensive in time and money and n ot very meaningfull code (essentailly all your carefully crafted comments (you do have those in your app), variable names and so on are all mangled in the decryption process.. so alwasy retain our unencrypted development versions

    one of the problems of traditional Access db's (MDB) is that its very tricky seriosuly tie down the db schema (the table design). often object can be imported into a blank new db and then reverse engineered even from an encrytped db. but you can go along way to deter the more kiddie end of the rip off merchants

    if your app is as good as you believe it is then the only way to protect it is to keep refining it, keep developing it, and stay ahead of the competition. be realistic on pricing, make it so that its not worth a 3rd party copying the system or even duplicating it. by developing your app, getting it recognised as the / an industry leader then users are more likely to buy your app than take a risk with others.

    can you secure an Access DB so that no malicious person can see what you are doing. no more than you can tie down other db systems, although full blown client server systems tend to have better tools and deter more. effectively if its designed by mankind then it can almost certainly be broken by mankind if they have sufficient time, resources and desire.

    sometimes it may be more appropriate to spend development time on extending the features than trying to tie dowen the last bit of 'security' that possibly 95% of the population don't care about. sometimes it comes down to waht is a best use of your time and resources. yes taken prudent steps to amke it hard for 3rd parties to intervene, but dont' get so hung up on security that it takes you away from what the customer wants a working functional application.

    BTW adding 'security' after the event is nearly always a bad idea. if security is that important then it shoudl be designed in from the outset not plugged in retrospectively. too often 'security' plugs obvious gaps leaving other gateways that you arent' aware of.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for your knowledge healdem. I appreciate you taking the time.

    Just as an aside - I'm trying to made an ACCDE of my front end, and it goes through the motions and then gives me an error message 'Microsoft Access was unable to create the .accde, .mde, or .ade file'. (back end is still .mdb in a different location but passworded)

    Got any ideas?


    Thanks


    Pat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by cadillac View Post
    Thanks for your knowledge healdem. I appreciate you taking the time.

    Just as an aside - I'm trying to made an ACCDE of my front end, and it goes through the motions and then gives me an error message 'Microsoft Access was unable to create the .accde, .mde, or .ade file'. (back end is still .mdb in a different location but passworded)

    Got any ideas?


    Thanks


    Pat

    Do you use Option Explicit in the code modules? Were you able to compile?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •