Surgical Strike loads as an add-in (.MDA) to Access 97
or Access 2000/2002. You start with an empty database or a previously created
Surgical Strike patch file. You run the add-in and a wizard-like interface
will prompt you for information about the patch. The wizard will first ask
you for the source .MDB file that contains any new objects you want to
include in the patch. You select the new objects from a list of objects in
the source .MDB. If you specify an object that already exists in the
target .MDB to be patched, the object will be replaced. Otherwise, the new
object will just be added. If the object is a table, you can also specify
if the table should be put in the front end or the back end file. You can
also create a list of objects that you wanted deleted in the target .MDB.
If you do not want to replace an entire
form, report or module but instead just want to replace VBA code in an
application, Surgical Strike can do this too! You can add or delete a
specific procedure as well as add, delete or replace lines of code. You
enter the type of object, name of the object, and the code to be deleted,
added or replaced. Updating procedures or lines of code is useful if your
user has customized the look of a form and you only need to change some
code behind it. This allows you to incorporate your changes without
overwriting their copy of the form
You can make detailed table or query changes, including
adding or deleting fields or changing field properties. Imagine adding a
new field to a table without affecting the data in the table.
For even more specific and detailed type changes, you
can define property changes for the database, tables, table fields,
queries, query fields, forms, form controls, reports and report controls.
Without replacing the objects, you can make changes that will affect how
the application looks and runs. By specifying to the wizard a reference
.MDB, a list of objects is made available making defining changes easy.
In addition to changing objects, object properties and
VBA code, you can change the data in tables by specifying one or queries
to be run. These action queries give developers the ability to fix or
correct data errors that may exist in tables.
Finally, you specify a version for the patch. This is
stored in the target .MDB files as a custom database property. When
Surgical Strike is executed on the target .MDB, the version number is
checked first. The patch will run only if the version number matches. The
version number is stored in both front end and back end databases so
configuration control problems are eliminated.
At any time while the wizard is running, you can choose
to print a report of the patch as it is defined. This provides the
developer and user the information needed to make sure the patch
definition is correct. It also provides documentation for the version
change. After defining the patch, you then finish the process by creating
the .SSP file. All the objects needed as well as the support objects to
make the changes are put in to the .SSP database with a user interface to
run Surgical Strike. The .SSP can then be distributed to users. When the
users run Surgical Strike, they are prompted for the file and file
location for the front end application. Surgical Strike will automatically
find any back end databases based on the links established in the front
end database. The user does not need to do anything else, Surgical Strike
will take care of the rest.
Important Note: Surgical
Strike is not intended for handling all possibilities for changes to an
MDB file. In particular, it cannot handle table relationships,
indexes, VBA references, security, or adding new controls to forms or
reports. Surgical Strike only works with MDB files and not
MDE, ADP, or ADE files. The product will also not work with
secured databases (those using the Access security features).
You cannot use Surgical
Strike to update applications that are installed on a client system that
rely on the Access Runtime environment. Access Runtime will not
allow you to make any types of design changes to database objects. Since the Surgical Strike Patch Installer relies heavily on using OLE
Automation to programmatically edit changes to the target application,
this would be impossible to do in the Runtime environment. Your
users should have at least one full version copy of Access available to
them to run the installer.