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  Saturday, January 05, 2008 – Permalink –

Sandbox Warning

Avoid the dark spots



Access 2003 added another security feature - slash - PIA. Jet 4.0 has had a protective mode in the past, but Access 2003 takes it seriously.


A "sandbox" allows the kids to play in a confined area. They can't get into as much trouble as when they are allowed to run around the park.


Frequently asked questions about Access security warnings

"To help enhance the security of your data, you have the option of running Access 2003 in sandbox mode. In sandbox mode, Access evaluates only those expressions in field properties and controls that are safe. An expression is considered safe if it does not use functions or properties that could be exploited by malicious users to access drives, files, or other resources for which they do not have authorization. For example, functions such as Kill and Shell could be used to damage data and files on a computer, so they are not considered safe.

Sandbox mode is implemented by using the Microsoft Jet Expression Service to evaluate expressions. Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later allows Access to be fully functional, yet still have Jet block unsafe expressions by enabling sandbox mode. However, the Jet expression service is not part of Access. You need to download and install Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later before you can enable sandbox mode. "




You will see this box if your computer does not have Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later installed, and/or sandbox mode has not yet been enabled on your computer.

Installing the latest Jet service pack does not automatically turn on sandbox mode and block unsafe expressions. You need to click Yes in the message box to complete the process of enabling sandbox mode.


If you enable sandbox mode without installing Jet 4.0 SP 8 or later, certain features will not work. For example, wizards will not start, and instead, you will see the message "This feature isn't installed, or has been disabled".

About Microsoft Jet Expression Service sandbox mode

You may also see this warning.




Access cannot verify that the file is from a trusted source and that it has not been tampered with since you received it or last worked on it.


You can avoid this bother by digitally signing your file or reducing security to the Low level. This effectively puts Access back on the playground.



Microsoft warns:

"Unless yours is a stand-alone computer (not part of a network), and you don't ever connect to the Internet, and no one ever has physical access to your computer, or your databases and other files are protected with strong passwords, you should not even consider setting the macro security level to Low."


There is another way to do this. Via registery key.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines]
"SandBoxMode"=dword:00000003



Access 2007 sandbox

2007 has fewer warning messages. Earlier versions of Access forced you to deal with a variety of alert messages - macro security and sandbox mode, just to name two. By default, if you open an Office Access 2007 database outside of a trusted location, you see a single tool called the Message Bar.


New in 2007

VB123.com:

How To Avoid An Access 2003 Sandbox Storm
By Garry Robinson

AccessAdvisor.com:
Microsoft:

How to configure Jet 4.0 to prevent unsafe functions from running in Access 2003





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<Doug Klippert@ 4:23 AM

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