Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Backstage View

A while back, I posted a demo showing how to hide the Backstage View in Access 2010 (click here to see the original article). This particular technique allows developers to somewhat restrict users from making unwanted modifications to their database application.

Unbeknownst to me, Microsoft made some changes to the Ribbon schema in Access 2013 and 2016. Although the reference to the schema is the same for all versions since Access 2010, which is

<customUI xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/2009/07/customui">

it seems there were some changes made to the schema document for newer versions of Access. Fellow MVPs Daniel Pineault and Tom Wickerath brought this issue to my attention and provided a simple technique for identifying errors in the Ribbon XML at runtime. If you go to the Options settings, you can select Client Settings and put a check mark in the box for "Show add-in user interface errors" under the General heading (see image below).



When I did this, I started seeing the problems in my Ribbon XML (see image below for an example).


Just as a reminder, here's the Ribbon XML I used in Access 2010.

<backstage>
  <tab idMso ="TabInfo" visible="false"/>  
  <tab idMso ="TabRecent" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabNew" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabPrint" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabShare" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabHelp" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileSave" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="SaveObjectAs" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileSaveAsCurrentFileFormat" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileOpen" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileCloseDatabase" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="ApplicationOptionsDialog" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileExit" visible="true"/>
 </backstage>

As a result of this revelation, I have decided to update my demo and also include a separate version of the demo for use with Access 2013 and 2016. The new Ribbon XML I ended up using for Access 2013 and 2016 looks like this:

<backstage>
  <tab idMso ="TabInfo" visible="false"/> 
  <tab idMso="TabOfficeStart" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabRecent" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabSave" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabPrint" visible="false"/>
  <tab idMso ="TabHelp" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileSave" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="ApplicationOptionsDialog" visible="false"/>
  <button idMso="FileCloseDatabase" visible="false"/>
  <button id="exit" label="Exit" onAction="=RibbonAction('exit')"/>
 </backstage>

As you can see from the above updated XML, I had to remove some of the old controls because they caused errors in 2013 and 2016. Hopefully, this article can help you update your Backstage Ribbon XML for use with Access 2013 and 2016. You can download the updated demos from my website.

Please note failing to update the Backstage Ribbon XML will not render your customized Access 2010 database application useless when opened using Access 2013 or 2016. All the incompatible controls will just be ignored by Access when rendering the Backstage View. Furthermore, if the user does not even have the Client Settings set to show user interface errors, then no warnings will show up at all to indicate there's any problem.

1 comment:

  1. Great information, DBGuy. Thanks for posting. Yet another reason for MS to create a builtin utility for manipulating the Ribbon instead of having to write the XML and then worry about compatibility.

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