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Tag: Office Online

Submitting Access Database Templates to Office Online

by on Jan.22, 2011, under Access, Office

I ran across an article recently that talked Microsoft providing the ability for individual user to submit Access database templates to Office online…and it’s TRUE! It looks like the community now has the ability to upload Access database templates (in the ACCDT file format, which is Access 2007 and higher) to the Microsoft Office Online site. The cool thing about this is that these templates will actually show up in the Microsoft Access 2007 and Access 2010 UIs when the user goes to search for templates. I definitely think this is an interesting way for the small/hobbyist developer to get their work out to the community and am impressed that Microsoft is offering such a powerful feature to the general public!

However, it does look like this feature is not without it’s drawbacks. There are a number of stipulations to consider when uploading Access database application templates (ACCDT files) to the Microsoft Office Online site:

  1. The resulting database from the template CANNOT use: VBA Code, Unsafe Macros, or Action Queries! Yes, this is the worst of the requirements.
  2. Only ACCDT files (Access 2007+ version template files) are allowed to be uplaoded. However, this is very easy problem to solve because there is a tool to help you create Access 2007 Template ACCDT files from an existing database available for download on the Access website ~OR~ Access 2010 comes with this tool pre-installed!
  3. You cannot have linked tables in the database.

While these were pretty limiting scenarios (since everyone likes to use code), it really is not the end of the world. You could make a dumbed down version of an application and then have a link in the application to the full version on your website.  Heck, you could even charge money for the full version and use Office online just for the advertising. Whatever you decide, this seems like an extremely powerful tool for advertising your database applications to millions of people.

Step-by-Step

To upload an Access database template (ACCDT) file to the office online site, complete these steps:

  1. Go to: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/
  2. Click the “Submit a Template” link on the right side of the screen
  3. Figure 1: The Submit Template Link

    Figure 1: The Submit Template Link


  4. You will be taken to the Welcome to Windows Live Page to make you sign-in with your Microsoft Passport account (this can just be your hotmail account or whatever passport account you normally use). Note: This account will be linked to your uploaded templates.
  5. Figure 2: Sign-in with your Passport Account

    Figure 2: Sign-in with your Passport Account


  6. If this is the first time you have logged into the Office Online site with your Passport account, you will be prompted to provide your Display Name. Type in a Display Name and then click the Continue button.
  7. Figure 3: 1st Time Only - Provide Display Name

    Figure 3: 1st Time Only - Provide Display Name


  8. On the next page, select the Template File, choose a Title and Description, select the Categories for the template, and then click the Submit button.
  9. Figure 4: Provide the Template and Details

    Figure 4: Provide the Template and Details


Congratulations, you have now successfully uploaded a template to the Microsoft Office Online website. Once you have submitted the template you will receive an e-mail. Be sure to check the mail to ensure that the template submitted was posted, because if it included items that are not allowed, it will not be posted. And good luck with your uploading.

If you want to find out more information about this process, see this article.

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