No Source Control in Access 2003

Geek8 Comments

I have been thinking about migrating my Microsoft Access runtime applications to the latest version of Access to be more up to date. Access 97 has been a solid workhorse for many years but things come up now and then it can’t deal with them.

So I installed Office 2003 and the Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) and to my surprise I couldn’t figure out how to use the source control features that used to be there in previous versions. I found the toolbar, but everything was disabled. If you are developing Access solutions, this is a must have feature! I checked all over the Internet but found nothing.

I contacted Microsoft Support and found out the answer I didn’t want to hear — they dropped the support! They informed me that reason is that VSTO is based on Visual Studio IDE, so the SourceSafe integration was largely dropped from Office (since Visual Studio handles it). Of course, this doesn’t work for Access that doesn’t have managed code (just VBA), but without the addin for other Office apps they felt there wasn’t enough dev resources to keep it alive. Suck.

So all of us Access dudes are out of luck? Apparently not. The add-in that came with Microsoft Office Developer XP, which is no longer shipping for 2003, will save the day. If you have this, you can take the add-in from that package and register it on your system (it is a COM addin and only needs to be registered with regsvr32). I found this on my Microsoft CD in the Productivity Tools directory. I copied this whole directory to my machine and then registered the file ACCSCC10.DLL. I fired up a DB and the source control menu is back!

Microsoft plans to document this at

I have been burnt by Microsoft many times. That was too close to the flame again.