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Is there a way to secure macro files from users?


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Hello again.

I have a handful of folks using my macros and would like to prevent them from opening macro files and altering code. I've found the password function, but that requires a password just to run a macro. Is there a way to just prevent users from altering macro files? Sorry if it's a dumb question--I'm not an IT guy and our IT dept isn't interested in supporting macros so they're not very helpful.

 

Thanks,

Mike

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You can set a password for either Running or Editing a macro. To "prevent them from opening macro files and altering code" just set a password to prevent editing.

 

To set a password on the entire macro file, with the Macro Express Pro - Explorer window open, highlight the name of the macro file, right click and choose 'Set/Clear Password(s)'.

 

To set a password on an individual macro, with the macro open in the Macro Express Pro - Script Editor, click on the Security tab, choose 'Use separate passwords for editing and running this macro' and then click on 'Edit Password'.

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Kevin's advice is sound however the password protection can be maddening when editing because it will ask you every time you click another category or macro. I often have macro subroutines and other macros that work together so I'm popping in and out of them frequently and I end up typing the password over and over for the same MEP Explorer session. Something I do not agree with. But let me pass out a couple of other ideas.

 

1- If your users are not sophisticated you can use the /b command line parameter which puts MEP in "Browse Mode". The effect is they cannot open the Macro Explorer.

2- You can also install MEP as a player only mode.

3- You can set NTFS permissions on the file so that by default users can read but not write. Then give your editors write access.

 

Don't forget that MEP can have multiple files open so they could have a local MEX file for their won macros and then a network distributed macro.

 

That reminds me though. Some don't realize that MEP is network friendly and IMHO the best way to 'distribute' a macro is to keep it in one network shared folder. If you are not aware you might want to look into it.

 

I go even further by using the HLKM Files section to force users to have the company macro open which they can never close. Works slick! Also I have a startup macro that sets up the environment for the use thru the registry and other methods so they all have a uniform environment.

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...password protection can be maddening when editing because it will ask you every time you click another category or macro.

One way around this is to add the password once your editing is complete.

 

3- You can set NTFS permissions on the file so that by default users can read but not write. Then give your editors write access.

This is not recommended. Macro Express Pro needs full Read/Write/Create/Modify privileges/rights to the macro file.

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... MEP is network friendly and IMHO the best way to 'distribute' a macro is to keep it in one network shared folder ...

With, say, 150 concurrent users hitting 100 macros, does this become a performance bottleneck? Or is MEP good enough at caching macros to avoid the performance hit? There is a cache setting in ME3, but I don't recall seeing one in MEP.

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One way around this is to add the password once your editing is complete.
My editing is never complete in most cases.
This is not recommended. Macro Express Pro needs full Read/Write/Create/Modify privileges/rights to the macro file.
Meh... Yeah I guess it does need to update last run time and such. And macros can disable other macros. Guess you're right. I retract.
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With, say, 150 concurrent users hitting 100 macros, does this become a performance bottleneck? Or is MEP good enough at caching macros to avoid the performance hit? There is a cache setting in ME3, but I don't recall seeing one in MEP.
I've only had about 50 users but had no problem. Not sure what the limit is. It does cache but I don't know of any settings to control this. But look under the file system section network tab of the preferences and once can set the sync settings here. Default is 10 minutes.
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  • 5 months later...

When we were developing the PGM Library for ME3, I developed some ME3 macros to allocate randomly-generated passwords to all of our library macros prior to distribution. For each target macro, a new password would be generated, assigned to its macro and recorded in an external .txt file kept only by myself and Joe. There was a complementary macro to unscramble the passwords if we needed to modify any macros. It worked well and seamlessly.

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When we were developing the PGM Library for ME3, I developed some ME3 macros to allocate randomly-generated passwords to all of our library macros prior to distribution. For each target macro, a new password would be generated, assigned to its macro and recorded in an external .txt file kept only by myself and Joe. There was a complementary macro to unscramble the passwords if we needed to modify any macros. It worked well and seamlessly.

 

Thanks. Just checking PGM library means Probabilistic Graphical Model library. How about ME3?

Is it hard to manage external .txt file for password?

It seems ME3 macros generate PW for individual target macros, how about ME3 macro which generating PW program, how is that protected?

Could you provide/attached a detailed sample?

 

Apologizes for all the questions.

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Thanks. Just checking PGM library means Probabilistic Graphical Model library. How about ME3?

Is it hard to manage external .txt file for password?

It seems ME3 macros generate PW for individual target macros, how about ME3 macro which generating PW program, how is that protected?

Could you provide/attached a detailed sample?

PGM Library is a product we developed for ME3, and which you may still be able to discover on Insight's web pages.

The development of this facility was complex, and certainly can't be described in detail in a couple of paragraphs. Several hundred lines of macro code are involved!

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