Forcing an Access database to open with virtualised deployment of Access

By | February 20, 2012

One thing I have been looking at recently has been the ability to open Access database files with an older version of Access on a computer running Access 2010. The obvious solution here is to virtualise the older version of Access so that the two versions can run simultaneously which is a pretty straight forward excercise and works quite well. The next step is to then have the required database file open with the correct version of access.

The simplest way to do this is to create a copy of the sequenced Access versions OSD file, add the database files name and path to the parameters section. Once this OSD file is imported, the database will then be published as a shortcut for the user to launch. The steps to do this are as follows. My instructions assume that you have already sequenced an older version of Access for App-V

1. Create a copy of the original Access OSD file and rename it to something that distinguishes what it is for i.e. the name of the database file.

2. Edit the duplicated OSD file in Notepad and change the GUID in <;SOFTPKG GUID=. At the bottom of this post is the code for a VBScript that can be used to generate a GUID. 3. On the same line as the <;SOFTPKG GUID= change the NAME= and VERSION= to something that represents the database file, these need to be unique, I tend to use the name of the database file. 4. In the PARAMETERS= section you need to specifiy the path to the database file i.e. PARAMETERS="\\servername\share\filename.FileExtension“.

5. In the MGMT_SHORTCUTLIST change the FILENAME= to something that represents the database file, I tend to use whatever I have specified in the Name section of Step 3

6. Change DISPLAY= to something that represents the database file, this sets the name of the shortcut that the user sees, again I tend to use whatever I have specified in the Name section of Step 3

7. The file step is to edit the SPRJ file so that the new OSD file is refrenced and can be imported into the App-V Management Console. Open the SPRJ file and copy the SHORTCUT Path= line and paste it below. On the copied line, change the value of the shortcut path to the name of the copied OSD file.

Once you have made the necessary changes, import the file into App-V and deploy as normal.

Whilst I have used Access for the basis of these notes, these steps can be used for other applications also. In particular I have used this method where I wanted to publish a couple of legacy web applications via Firefox.

Script to generate GUID

'##################################
'#
'#   Script to generate GUID's
'#   Usage: cscript scriptname.vbs
'#
'##################################

Set TypeLib = CreateObject("Scriptlet.TypeLib")
NewGUID = TypeLib.Guid
WScript.Echo(left(NewGUID, len(NewGUID)-2))
Set TypeLib = Nothing

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