Add-ins are tools that provide additional functionality but are not part of the standard Microsoft Access product. Add-ins are either provided with Access, obtained from third parties, or are custom designed. Several add-ins come with Access, such as the Performance Analyzer, Linked Table Manager, control wizards, and various others.

Three types of add-ins are menu add-ins, wizards, and builders. Menu add-ins can be accessed by selecting the Tools C> Add-ins option and generally operate on Access itself or multiple objects. You can use the existing menu add-ins, such as the Database Splitter, or create your own custom add-ins.

Wizard add-ins consist of a series of modal dialog boxes that walk you step by step through a particular process. You have, no doubt, used wizards in Access before to perform various tasks. In Chapter 9, you used the Upsizing Wizard to upsize the Northwind database to SQL Server. You can also create your own custom Wizards.

Builder add-ins can help users construct a data element such as a SQL expression. Again, you can create your own custom builder add-ins or use the existing ones.

After you create one of these types of add-ins, you then register the add-in so that your applications can use it. One way to register an add-in is using the Add-in Manager in Access. Another way is to have the setup program register the add-in automatically. Yet another way to register an add-in is directly, using the Windows Registry.

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