I’ve spent a couple of days recently trying to get Access 2003 Data Access Pages (DAPs) working within a Windows 7 environment.
Yes, I know DAPs are no longer a supported technology as far as Microsoft are concerned but what The Client wants The Client gets. And they did have a reasonable reason for wanting DAPs to work at least in the short to medium term.
What are the symptoms?
When you open the DAP within Access it all works swimmingly, however when you open the DAP directly by double clicking on the .HTM file any data fields (text boxes etc) within the DAP are populated with the dreaded “#Name?”.
The same DAPs work fine on XP Pro machines but not Win7 Pro. I’d even gone as far as creating fresh virtual machines to ensure there were no corrupt or missing DLLs and OCX files but no joy.
Googling for solutions didn’t help – DAPs have long since been abandoned by Microsoft and most users and Access developers have moved on, so answers were thin on the ground – a few others have been seeking solutions but none of the proposed answers that worked for them worked for me.
I was left with trial and error. I’d assumed the issue lay with IE9 (or IE8) but as “Compatibility Mode” didn’t help I decided I had to minimise the security within IE9 as far as I could and see if I could the DAPs to work. Which they did! I then had to unpick all the settings again until I found out exactly which setting had caused the issue.
So what’s the solution?
Firstly you will have to place the files and database in a folder which is accessible via a UNC path (e.g. \computerfolder), this is so that when you view the files in IE, IE will understand that they are in the “Intranet” security zone.
Connect the DAP and the database using the UNC path.
Within IE, click the Tools menu (or the cog, dependent on version) and select “Internet Options”
Go to the “Security” tab
Click “Local Intranet”
Uncheck the box labelled “Enable Protected Mode”
Click “Custom Level…”
Scroll down the list of settings until you find “Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting”
Click “Enable” (NOTE: selecting “Prompt” will NOT work)
Click OK twice to return to IE
Open the DAP and it should work.
Hopefully it will work for you too!
Obviously it’s up to you to satisfy yourself that you fully understand the security implications of making the above changes – even for your Intranet security zone, but if you really must use Access 2003 DAPs in the modern world, then this could well be your only option.
Service Packs are a roll-up of important critical updates, security updates, feature updates and the occasional new feature.
Historically businesses wouldn’t move to a new Microsoft Operating System or application until the first service pack (SP1) was released as this would mark the point at which all the usability issues and common crashes were resolved.
That’s not really been the case with Windows 7 which, unusually, has been remarkably stable (just goes to show that a disaster like Vista can make even the largest corporations sit up and pay attention…
However, there comes a time when it makes sense to install Service Pack 1 and I went throught he process a few weeks ago. It didn’t go smoothly – I received a number of unhelpful error messages and after much scratching of heads and searching of interwebs, I came across this very useful forum post which lists a number of different things to try:
I’d recommend starting with the post immediately under the “accepted answer” as this has a list of the least “destructive” options and one of those might work for you. Unfortunately for me, I ended up having to resort to the accepted answer: in-place upgrade (from Windows 7 to Windows 7!), which didn’t lose any of my data (but make sure you take a backup just in case!) but did stop some of my programs working until they were re-installed.
Was it worth the hassle? Can’t say I’ve noticed any difference. So possibly not. But at least that shows that the service pack is stable – once you manage to get it installed!