Learn Microsoft Access Advanced Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks.

Running Workgroup Admin in Access2007


If you are serious about Microsoft Access User-level Security in earlier versions (.mdb files) of Access Databases and would like to continue using them in Access2007, with the security settings intact, then you should not convert them into Access2007 (.accdb).  Access2007 Security concepts are totally different once the .mdb files are upgraded .accdb (Access2007) format the User-level Security settings are lost and you will no longer be able to implement them in .accdb databases. 

If you have already converted the .mdb database into .accdb format and lost all user-level security settings then you are not totally lost with the database. If you have a backup of the earlier version database, then you are lucky. All you have to do is to restore the database from backup and use it in Access2007 with User-level security intact.  If you lost the backups too, then you can save the Access2007 version database into an earlier Version 2002-2003 or 2000, by using the Save As…  option from the Office Menu (top left corner menu) and selecting an appropriate .mdb database format and save the active Database as a new copy.

This will not restore the User-level security settings.  You have to restore it manually from scratch by assigning access rights to each and every database object at User-Groups or individual User levels.

Running the Workgroup Administrator.

In either case, you must Join the Workgroup Information File (a database with file extension .mdw ) from Access2007, to attach your database Users/Groups to Access 2007 to use with your .mdb databases or to implement new security profiles on them.

When you open a .mdb database in Access2007 the Users and Permissions menu is visible under Database Tools.  But, your database Users or User-groups will not be visible under this option unless you Join the Wrokgroup Information File, you were using in an earlier version of Access.

In Access2003 there is an option under Tools—>Security to run the Workgroup Administrator program to Create/Join a Workgroup Information File.  In Microsoft Access2000 this program is located in the Language Folder (…\1033 for U.S. English) of MS-Office C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\1033\WrkgAdm.exe to run and Join the Workgroup Information File.

But, in Microsoft Access2007 none of these options are available, except running the following command from VBA:

DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdWorkgroupAdministrator 

You can run this command from the Debug Window (Immediate Window, Alt+F11 then Ctrl+G to display) manually or from a Command Button Click Event Procedure and Create a new Workgroup Information File or Join an existing one on the Server.

Once you Join the Workgroup Information File you can start using the .mdb files with their User-level security in Microsoft Access2007 or restore the lost security settings manually.

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Apply Filter to Table directly


Normally we use Filter settings on Forms/Reports to extract records on specific conditions. This can be achieved in several ways like adding a WHERE Condition (without the clause WHERE) in the parameter setting of the OpenForm Macro Action or in the ApplyFilter Action parameter of a Macro or in the Docmd.OpenForm.

DoCmd.OpenForm "myForm", acNormal, , "EmployeeID Between 5 AND 10" command line in VBA) or Filter by Selection Form or use a Query as Record Source, and so on.

But, it is very unlikely that someone thinks of using the Filter Property of a Table directly to filter records when the Table opens in Datasheet View.  If you are working with someone else project and found a table showing only a few records in datasheet view, but you are told that the table is supposed to have hundreds of records in it and want to find out what happened to the rest of the records, then read on.

Setting Filter on Table.

We will explore how this trick works on a Table, for a change.  If you ever tried to set a Filter condition directly on a Form then you don't need any extra help to do this on your own.  To try out this we need some ready-made data from the Northwind sample database.  You may try it out with your own table as well.

  1. Import the Order Details  Table from the Northwind sample database.

  2. Open the Table in the Design view.

  3. Press F4 to display the Property Sheet of the Table.

    Table Property Sheet View.

  4. Find the Filter Property and type [Order ID] Between 35 AND 45 into the property (in Access2007). For earlier Access Versions type [OrderID] Between 10249 AND 10251.

  5. Set the Filter On Load property value to Yes.

  6. Save and close the Table Structure.

  7. Open the Table in Datasheet View to see the Filter in action.

The output records displayed are only of Order IDs between 35 and 45.  If you design a Quick Form or Report from this Table the Record Source property will be set with an SQL SELECT statement with the WHERE condition inserted from the Filter Property settings from the Table.  But, if you modify the Filter condition on the Table later don't expect to reflect that change on the Record Source SQL of Report or Form automatically.

Automating through VBA.

Like anything else in Microsoft Access If you would like to automate this through VBA, to change the filter criteria with the click of a button then here it is for you.  But, there is a small problem which I will tell you later so that you will know how important it is.  After all, it is about setting a simple filter condition on the Filter Property of the Table Structure.

We can address the Filter Property of a Table in VBA either through the front-door approach or through the backdoor method, so to speak.  The front-door approach is addressing the Filter Property through TableDef.Property.Filter path and another way are addressing it as Container.Documents.Properties.Filter path.  As you can see the second method is a little bit lengthy, that is why I call it the backdoor method.  We will try examples of both methods.

The second approach is very useful when working with Forms or Reports, like making a list of all Forms/Reports or wanting to change the name of a Form, etc. You can refer to an earlier blog post that creates a User-defined Property (Custom Property) to save values in it for opening a Form with the last-worked record to continue work from that record onwards, click here to find out more about it.


  1. Copy and Paste the following VBA Code into a Standard Module of your Database.
    Public Function TableFilter1(ByVal OrderStart As Long, ByVal OrderEnd As Long)
    Dim db As Database
    Dim Tbldef As TableDef
    Set db = CurrentDb
    Set Tbldef = db.TableDefs("Order Details")
    Tbldef.Properties("Filter").Value = "[Order ID] >=" & OrderStart & " AND [Order ID] <=" & OrderEnd
    Tbldef.Properties("FilterOnLoad").Value = True
    End Function
  2. Run the above sample Code from the Debug Window or from a Command Button Click Event Procedure like the sample run given below:

TableFilter1 35,45

NB: The above Code and sample run are given in the Order Details Table of Access2007.  If you are using an earlier Access Version then change the [Order ID] name to [OrderID] (i.e. Without the space between Order and ID) and in the sample run type TableFilter1 10249, 10251 instead of 35,45 for the OrderID range values.

If you have not tried out the manual filter method explained above or removed the filter criteria setting of the Filter Property then you will run into problems with the above program reporting an Error message stating that the Filter Property not found.

When you implement the VBA method see that an initial criteria setting is set in the Filter property of the Table.  Without the criteria setting the Filter Property will not be visible in VBA.


Copy and Paste the following VBA Code into the Standard VBA Module and run the Code in the same way as Example-1 with a different set of OrderIDs:

Public Function TableFilter2(ByVal OrderStart As Long, ByVal OrderEnd As Long)
Dim db As Database, ctr As Container, doc As Document

Set db = CurrentDb

Set ctr = db.Containers("Tables")
Set doc = ctr.Documents("Order Details")
doc.Properties("Filter").Value = "[Order ID] >=" & OrderStart & " AND [Order ID] <=" & OrderEnd
doc.Properties("FilterOnLoad").Value = True

End Function
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