Microsoft KB Archive/101311

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ACC1x: Microsoft Access ADK Legal Agreement

Q101311



The information in this article applies to:


  • Microsoft Access Distribution Kit, version 1.1





SUMMARY

This article provides additional information about the legal restrictions on distributing applications developed with the Microsoft Access Distribution Kit (ADK).



MORE INFORMATION

Pages v and vi of the Microsoft Access "Distribution Kit Guide" include a list of provisions that define what developers may distribute:


  1. You may distribute these files only as integrated within and as a part of your software product which operates in conjunction with Microsoft Access.

    Explanation: This clause means that you may distribute only the runtime files with your Microsoft Access application. You cannot purchase the ADK and then distribute individual files. This also applies to the ODBC disk as well.

    Example: An employee at a large company purchases the ADK. Her manager has accidentally removed Graph. Mary gives her manager a copy of the run-time Graph application that comes with the ADK. This action is a violation of the license agreement. Mary may ONLY distribute files as part of a database application.
  2. Your software product does not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of Microsoft, compete with Microsoft Access.

    Explanation: Developers cannot use the ADK to create a database application to compete with Microsoft Access. However, it is alright for developers to create custom applications based on Microsoft Access. If developers believe they might be in competition with Microsoft Access, they should contact the Microsoft Access Product Manager.

    Example 1: John uses the ADK to create a form designer, report designer, and query grid that look almost identical to and have the same functionality as Microsoft Access. He then sells this application to users as "an inexpensive alternative to Microsoft Access." This would be a direct violation of the license agreement.

    Example 2: Jane works at a company that uses SQL Server extensively and has purchased the ADK. She designs several forms that allow the user to connect to various SQL servers and "query by example." She creates a custom Setup that includes both the ODBC Setup disk and the run-time Graph application. She runs an administrative Setup to a network drive so that anyone in the company can set up her application. Because her company has purchased a copy of the ADK and she is only distributing files as part of a database application she has developed, this is legal.
  3. You do not use Microsoft's name, logo, or trademarks to market your software product.

    Explanation: This simply means that you may not use the name and logo of Microsoft as though your application were a Microsoft product. Developers can use Microsoft Access (R) if it is used properly with a registered trademark symbol (subject to normal trademark laws) and if it is used only in a description of the product.

    Developers are encouraged to inform their customers that the product is based on Microsoft Access. However, Microsoft cannot guarantee, recommend, or provide support for products developed with the ADK.

    Example: Dana has developed an application that she intends to sell to other developers. The front of the box in which her application is packaged reads as follows:

                           AX Utilities
                        Secure Screen Savers
           An Application for Use with Microsoft Access (R)
    
          Requires: 4 MB hard disk space (1.5 MB if you have already
          installed another application for Microsoft Access) 


    Because the proper registered trademark appears and "Microsoft Access (R)" is included only in the description of her application, this use is legal under the license agreement.

  4. You include a valid copyright notice on your software product.

    Explanation: A copyright notice is required before you can distribute a database application that you develop with the ADK.

    Example: Roger has developed a game using the ADK. He plans to post it on the bulletin board that he operates so that others can download it for free. He does tell readers that the game was developed using Microsoft Access (R) but does not include a copyright notice. This is not legal because he does not have a valid copyright notice.
  5. You agree to display, if required in the software documentation, the designated patent notices on the packaging and in the READ file of your software product.

    Explanation: This is part of the standard Microsoft license agreement. Any items requiring a patent notice are so indicated in the product documentation or the product READ file.



REFERENCES

Microsoft Access "Distribution Kit Guide," version 1.1, pages v and vi

Keywords : kbusage
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology :


Last Reviewed: November 4, 2000
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