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Access 2003 VBA Programmer's Reference by Armen Stein, Graham Seach, Teresa Hennig, Patricia Cardoza

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20.1. Macro Security

Macro Security may not be the first thing you want to deal with now that you're working with Access 2003. In fact, most references regarding the new security features in Access 2003 start talking about the Jet Expression Service before macros. The truth is you'll probably want to download Jet SP8 so you can use wizards and the like before you move onto this macro security stuff. But this Macro Security Warning will probably be the first thing you encounter. So we'll describe the ins and outs of it and get to SP8 later.

Let's start with what the new macro security is and then move onto why it is there.

20.1.1. What Is Macro Security?

The first big change you'll find in Access 2003 can be quite annoying: If you attempt open a database that isn't digitally signed using Access 2003 and you have not adjusted Access's macro security settings, you will not be able to open that database, even if it contains no objects—no tables, no queries, no forms or reports, no macros, no modules, no anything.

This is referred to as macro security—even though the fact that this security check occurs in an empty database makes the term macro security seem a bit misleading.

So macro security is a check that is performed by Access before the database is opened. The check performs different operations depending on the security level setting for Access and whether or not the database has a digital signature. The concepts of security level and digital signatures are discussed later. ...

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