Custom Startup Wizard

The ADE package includes the Custom Startup Wizard to help you set the startup properties of the database just before you create a compiled version of the database. The startup properties determine how the database will display when the user opens it. For example, it controls whether the database window display or not. So, the Custom Startup Wizard helps adjust the startup properties so that when a user opens your database, the display is presented exactly the way you want the user to see it.

So when do you use the Custom Startup Wizard? You use the wizard when you're ready to compile your database. Since your application has a really cool user interface with all the features your users will ever need, you only want the users to have access to what you developed for them.

Why do you need the Custom Startup Wizard? There are really several reasons:

First of all, you've spent a lot of time developing your application. (You are calling your database an application by this point, aren't you? Microsoft Access Team may finally have acknowledged that Access developers do this—create applications rather than databases, that is. And, having heard our pain (needs), they created these tools for us.)

Your application has a really cool user interface that contains all of the tools you want your users to have and only the tools that you want them to have. You don't want users to be able to mass delete a bunch of data without your code having the opportunity to verify what they're doing. Nor do you want users to be able to redesign your forms. Most of us have heard, "All I did was change this and now it doesn't work anymore."

So you need to adjust all the startup properties to protect your application and preserve your sanity. The wizard will help you do that. Plus it has options to include your cool splash screen and make sure that users can't bypass all of the great stuff you wrote by holding down the Shift key when they start your application.

The second reason to use the Custom Startup Wizard is to simplify your development. You could keep writing code to handle this stuff yourself. And typically that task has always been put off until you had proven that the database, make that application, would perform the desired tasks. By the time you're ready to wrap up the package you could have an entire page of things that you'd need to remember to do to setup the proper startup properties ... consistently ... every time! If this process can be automated, more of your time can be spent on development.

The last and perhaps most important reason to use the Custom Startup Wizard is to simplify creating the compiled database (the MDE). Since the wizard doesn't adjust the startup properties of the original MDB, you don't have to be sure that you saved a copy of the database without all the startup control so you could get back in to edit it later. Plus the wizard allows you to save the settings that you define for your application; so you can use the same settings the next time you're ready to create the MDE. We can't tell you how much time has been wasted tweaking and retweaking start-up settings, just to get them consistent from one roll-out to the next.

The Custom Startup Wizard is a four-step process that starts at the Windows Start menu. Start the wizard from the menu option you created when you installed the ADE. This will be something like Start | Microsoft Office | Microsoft Office Access 2003 Developer Extensions | Custom Startup Wizard.

The wizard starts with a welcome screen explaining all the wonderful things you can do with it. Figure 19-3 shows the welcome screen. Of course you can skip this screen in the future.

Access 2003 Developer Extensions
Figure 19-3
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