Tip: How to install Access Runtime from script

Microsoft Access - LogotypeIf you are going to distribute a Microsoft Access database with Visual Installer (for example an .accdb file), you probably want to install a corresponding Access runtime engine also, in the end-users' computers. This can be done with Visual Installer and in this tip we will explain how to do that.

In general, you need to follow these four steps:

1. Download an Access Runtime installation file from Microsoft's website
2. Add the Access Runtime installation file to Visual Installer's file list 
3. Add a script that runs the Access Runtime installation file during the installation
4. Choose correct bitness for your Visual Installer installation project

Below we will explain the four steps in detail:

1. Download Access Runtime
You can download an Microsoft Access Runtime installation file from Microsoft's website. There are different versions of the Access Runtime available and you should choose an installation that matches your database file version. Below are direct links to some of the available versions:

> Access Runtime 2010
> Access Runtime 2013
> Access Runtime 2016

Note. The bitness of your database must match the bitness of Access runtime engine. If you have created your database with the 32 bit version of Access, you must also download and install the 32 bit version of the runtime engine. You can read more on this page.
2. Add Access Runtime to Visual Installer's file list
After you have downloaded the Access Runtime installation file, you can add it to Visual Installer's file list. The steps below shows how to do this:

1. Start Visual Installer and create a new project or open an existing.

2. Choose the List - Add - Add Files menu item.


3. Browse after the Access Runtime installation file.

4. Select the file and click Open.

Add files

5. Enter a destination directory for the file, for example %DESTDIR.

Destination folder

6. Click OK.

The Access Runtime installation file has now been added to the file list of your installation project. You should see it in the list with files.
3. Add script
The Access Runtime installation file is now included in your project. Next step is to add a script that starts the installation during Visual Installer's installation process. We will use Visual Installer's script editor and script language for this. If you are not familiar with Visual Installer's script language, you can read this tip first before you proceed.

To add script, follow the steps below:

1. Open the script editor by choosing the Special - Execute script command menu item.

2. Open the After installation tab in the script editor.

3. Enter the following in the After installation tab in the script editor:

// Install Microsoft Access Runtime - if not installed
  XRUN %DESTDIR\accessruntime_4288-1001_x86_en-us.exe, 4
  MSGBOX Ready, Installation of Access Runtime completed!, 1

// Delete Access Runtime installer - we don't need it anymore
XDELETE %DESTDIR\accessruntime_4288-1001_x86_en-us.exe

4. Click OK to close the script editor and store the script lines in the project.

If you want a closer explanation of the script code lines above you can open this page.
4. Choose correct bitness for your installation project
32 bit / 64 bitThe bitness of your Visual Installer project file should match the bitness of your database file and the bitness of the Access Runtime installation file (that you added to the file list at section 2 above). As default, the bitness of a Visual Installer installation project is set to 32 bit. So you only need to change bitness for the installation project if you have added a 64 bit database and 64 bit Access Runtime file to the project's file list.

You can read this tip about how to change bitness for a Visual Installer project.
These are all necessary steps you need to do to create an installation that installs Microsoft Access Runtime engine in a computer / Windows system during the Visual Installer installation process. Now you can add the rest of your files to the project (for example your Access database file if you don't have added it yet) and set other properties that is necessary for your installation.
See also
Visual Installer's Scripting Language
How to run an MSI installation from script

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