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Best practice: moving from Access 2003 to Access 2010

Posted on 2010-08-31
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All our users have been using Office 2003 up to now. We plan to deploy Office 2010 to the uses who will be getting Win 7 PC (we skiopped Vista and Office 2007). Our main concern is that we have a number of databases in Office 2003 that users need to access but not everyone will be getting Office 2010 at the same time, so some users with Office 2003 and some with Office 2010 will be accessing the same databases. That means I cannot just install Office 2010 everywhere and upgrade at the same time.

Most of the users work thru a frontend but some get in the db directly. While setting up GPO deployment of Office 2010 I saw there is an option to force Access 2010 to run in Access 2003 mode.

My question is this:

Are we better off to install Office 2010 without Access and remove all Office 2003 components except for Access 2003

OR

Are we better off to install Access 2010 in the forced 2003 mode instead.

One downside I see right off is that I would have to keep patching an Office 2003 product along with the Office 2010 product if I leave Access 2003 installed.

On one hand when we do get all the users running Access 2003 who access a particular database to Office 2010 we could in theory convert the database at that point to Access 2010 and remove Access 2003 and install Access 2010

On the other hand if I install Access 2010 in forced Access 2003 mode then get all those users to Office 2010 eventually, I could upgrade their database to Access 2010 but  then what is the process to change their Access version from the forced Access 2003 to the real Access 2010?

Any recommendations?
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Question by:LarryDAH
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by:Kevin Aleshire
ID: 33568457
If all of your users are just "using" the access db's then i don't believe it will matter too much.
whomever is doing the development will want to make sure and maintain the mdb format or they will instantly cutoff your 2003 users from being able to work.
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by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 33568530
hope the information from the link helps

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb203849.aspx
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by:LarryDAH
ID: 33568637
That is what  concerns me; some of our users skip the frontend. We don't really have 'developers' per se for these dbs. IT did not set them up, they just kind of grew over the years. I would prefer to move them into SQL and deny users access to the backend totally but I am not sure that would fly.
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by:Kevin Aleshire
ID: 33568695
The key thing is to maintain the mdb format.
Moving your backend to SQL would definitely be ideal, but that will also push you down the road of having to actually have some development time to maintain the frontends (which sounds like isn't happening)
You probably know this, but it's a really bad idea having "users/developers per se" directly accessing your backend data.  I'd start a dialogue with someone higher up on why this is a bad idea and get some approval to start forcing them to use the frontend only so you can move to SQL or atleast SQLexpress.
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by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 33570301
Along the lines of what kaleshire posted.

You must also try your best to let users know that they should not make any modifications to the design of the database while they run the Access 2003 format DB under Access 2007.
Editing the data is fine, I'm referring to "design changes" specifically.

You must also make sure that you , the developer, only make Design changes to the db in Access 2003, if possible.

In both of these cases, remember that many design changes are "Access 2007 Specific" and may cause issues with the DB when run under Access 2003.
(Report View, Formatted Memo Fields, Tabbed View, ...etc)
While some of these changes will trigger an alert, many will not.
That is why I most developers try to make design changes in the native Access version.

;-)

JeffCoachman
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by:LarryDAH
ID: 33587250
kaleshre: you are correct, I would prefer that users not start up their own db but since I do not have to support them I can hardly tell them not to do it. The users that have created db for their own use do not worry me. I can give them Office 2010 with Access 2010 and upgrade their db w/o a problem.

It is the share db that worry me. I do not want to move them to SQL and leave them the front end cause I do not want to have to take that over. I am looking for a temporary solution to keeping the dbs working and accessible to all while we move to Office 2010 with Access 2010.

Is it better to leave Access 2003 on the PCs or to replace it with the Access 2010 in the 'forced' 2003 format?
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by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 33588691
The issue with having Access 2003 and 2007 installed is that after you open one version, opening the other version will result in an "Installing...." sequence.

For Acc 2003 you can just cancel to open the DB.
For Acc2007 you must let this continue...

I don't know what you mean by "forced' 2003 format?
If you open a acc2003 db in Acc2007 you can't "force" the DB to stay in the 2003 version?
Or am I missing something...

JeffCoachman
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Author Comment

by:LarryDAH
ID: 33618408
boaq2000, this issue involves Access 2010, not Acces 2007. Office 2010 offers the option to install Access in 2010 mode or Acess 2003 mode so all dbs get treated like Access 2003 is opening them, not Access 2010, so there is no upgrade or change to the db. I have not deployed Office 2010 with Access 2003 in this mode yet. Just gathering info so far.
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Jeffrey Coachman earned 500 total points
ID: 33618935
oK,

Thanks for the clarification.

In any event you can now see why they made this change in 2010...
;-)
Users/developers were inadvertently changing things in a 2003 DB that were 2007 specific.

Then yes, I would install Access 2010 with the "Force 2003" option.

Then you would have all the time in the world to wait for everyone to be upgraded, and decide whether or not to change the format.
It would also set your mind at ease about users making changes that might cause issues.

Finally, it would familiarize your users with the 2010 "Interface" while they transition.

;-)

JeffCoachman
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by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 33728499
;-)
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