Monday, May 2, 2011

Managing Access Add-ins with a SurfaceView

Extending Microsoft Access solutions with managed code has traditionally been a challenge. Visual Studio Shared Add-ins have been available for some time; however, managing the details of releasing Access.exe after closing an Access application has been a challenge. This article presents a SurfaceView object model that manages the release of Access form and report controls. After discussing the SurfaceView, the article suggests effective ways to extend Access applications using SurfaceView, Ribbon controls, custom task panes, a custom Access form and Windows Workflow 4.0. The code snippets used within the article are contained within the source code located at


Using the SurfaceView object model to manage an Access .NET add-in enables extensibility opportunities beyond traditional VBA. This article presents several how to topics to get you started extending Access with managed code.
  • Setup the sample including troubleshooting Add-in setup
  • Use the sample
  • Use a SurfaceView to manage forms and reports
  • Use a ribbon button
  • Create custom task panes
  • Create a custom Access popup form
  • Use Windows Workflow 4.0 to automate Access
Please note that the SurfaceView model is a sample of a potential object model to manage Access objects. As with any sample, the concepts and source code have not been thoroughly designed or tested and are not intended for production use.
The remainder of this blog is in pdf format …

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