How to detect User Idle Time or Inactivity in Access 2000

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This article shows you how to create a procedure that will run if your Access application does not detect any user input for a specified period of time. It involves creating a hidden form containing code that keeps count of idle time.

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.

Note Using this code to add records to a table when a database is idle may result in excessive memory consumption.

How to Create the DetectIdleTime Form

  1. Create a blank form that is not based on any table or query and name it DetectIdleTime.
  2. Set the following form properties:
       OnTimer: [Event Procedure]
       TimerInterval: 1000
    NOTE: The TimerInterval setting indicates how often (in milliseconds) the application checks for user inactivity. A setting of 1000 equals 1 second.
  3. Set the OnTimer property to the following event procedure:
    Sub Form_Timer()
       ' IDLEMINUTES determines how much idle time to wait for before
       ' running the IdleTimeDetected subroutine.
       Const IDLEMINUTES = 1
       Static PrevControlName As String
       Static PrevFormName As String
       Static ExpiredTime
       Dim ActiveFormName As String
       Dim ActiveControlName As String
       Dim ExpiredMinutes
       On Error Resume Next
       ' Get the active form and control name.
       ActiveFormName = Screen.ActiveForm.Name
       If Err Then
          ActiveFormName = "No Active Form"
          Err = 0
       End If
       ActiveControlName = Screen.ActiveControl.Name
          If Err Then
          ActiveControlName = "No Active Control"
          Err = 0
       End If
       ' Record the current active names and reset ExpiredTime if:
       '    1. They have not been recorded yet (code is running
       '       for the first time).
       '    2. The previous names are different than the current ones
       '       (the user has done something different during the timer
       '        interval).
       If (PrevControlName = "") Or (PrevFormName = "") _
         Or (ActiveFormName <> PrevFormName) _
         Or (ActiveControlName <> PrevControlName) Then
          PrevControlName = ActiveControlName
          PrevFormName = ActiveFormName
          ExpiredTime = 0
          ' ...otherwise the user was idle during the time interval, so
          ' increment the total expired time.
          ExpiredTime = ExpiredTime + Me.TimerInterval
       End If
       ' Does the total expired time exceed the IDLEMINUTES?
       ExpiredMinutes = (ExpiredTime / 1000) / 60
       If ExpiredMinutes >= IDLEMINUTES Then
          ' ...if so, then reset the expired time to zero...
          ExpiredTime = 0
          ' ...and call the IdleTimeDetected subroutine.
          IdleTimeDetected ExpiredMinutes
       End If
    End Sub
  4. Create the following procedure in the Form module:
    Sub IdleTimeDetected (ExpiredMinutes)
       Dim Msg As String
       Msg = "No user activity detected in the last "
       Msg = Msg & ExpiredMinutes & " minute(s)!"
       MsgBox Msg, 48
    End Sub

How to Use the DetectIdleTime Form

To hide the DetectIdleTime form when the application opens, create the following AutoExec macro:
   Macro Name   Action
   AutoExec     OpenForm

   AutoExec Action Arguments
   Form Name: DetectIdleTime
   View: Form
   Filter Name:
   Where Condition:
   Data Mode: Edit
   Window Mode: Hidden
You can add code to the IdleTimeDetected procedure so that the procedure runs if there is no user activity for the amount of time specified in the IDLEMINUTES constant value. For example, you could have Access quit with the following event procedure:
Sub IdleTimeDetected (ExpiredMinutes)
   Application.Quit acSaveYes
End Sub
This procedure causes Access to quit the application, saving all objects without displaying a dialog box.


For more information about the Timer event, in the Visual Basic Editor, click Microsoft Visual Basic Help on the Help menu, type Timer event in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.


Article ID: 210297 - Last Review: April 28, 2009 - Revision: 4.0
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
kbhowto kbhowtomaster kbprogramming KB210297

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