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Need to convert Access database to SQL

Posted on 2010-11-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have an Access database that I want converted to SQL.  The reason is it is growing large.  We are the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Non profit) amd can't afford to pay someone to do it.  I'm looking for anyone who might Volunteer to do it for us.  Also I heard rumor that there was a program that could automatically convert Access to SQL
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Question by:J.R. Sitman
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Ephraim Wangoya
ID: 34180878
You can easily do this in SQL Management Studio

First create a database in SMSS

The right click on the newly created database, select Tasks->Import Data

You will get a wizard that will guide you through importing the Access dta into SQL Server

Basically you will need to select the datasource, in this MS Access, then enter the file name

Next you select the destination, which will be the database you just created, then select the tables you want transfered

it finish and you have your sql server tables created for you
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34180930
Sounds way to simple.  However, I'll try it and post later.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34181106
I made a copy of the current backend and when I go through the wizard I got an error so I did it again and chose "test connection" and got the same error.  See attached.
sqlconvert.png
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 34181523
>>Sounds way to simple. <<
You are right the conversion is simple. The fun starts later:
1. Syntax is different.
2. Data types that do not convert or are converted to "lowest common denominator" data types.
3. Lousy performance, because the app is written for MS Access not MS SQL Server.

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news.  But it is best to be prepared, rather than frustrated and disappointed.
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Expert Comment

by:joevi
ID: 34182145
What version of Access are you running? It may be simpler to export all tables to SQL Server from Access. It's wizard driven as well.

However, per acperkins, the fun really begins after you get the data transferred. Some thoughts/opinions:

1) Using linked tables, you may only need to make minor modifications to any existing Access code.
2) Performance need not be 'lousy'. With qualified guidance you should experience performance that 's more than acceptable (but it'll never be optimal with an Access front end).
3) There's no real long term downside to migrating your data out of Access to SQL Server. It'll be time well spent.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 1400 total points
ID: 34182719
You might try the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2005/en/us/migration.aspx). It generally does a better job of moving things to the SQL platform.

That said, as acperkins indicates, you've often got a much larger task ahead of you.

As to your error: Exactly what are you doing when you receive this error?

I'd do this AFTER insuring that your upsizing succeeds, and after making a copy of the current Access database:

1) Build a "FrontEnd" application in Access. To do that, build a new, blank databse, open THAT databse, then click File - Get External Data - Import. Locate the existing database, and import all Tables to the new database.

2) Now open your current Access app and delete all tables.

3) Relink that app to the newly created SQL Server tables.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34183130
Thanks for the updates.  I figured it was too good to be true.  

Anyway the error comes when I'm doing the import from the Access backend.  I rebooted the server last night and this morning when noone is connected, I tried again.  Same error.
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LVL 85
ID: 34183437
Have you tried with the SSMA, linked in my earlier answer? That tends to give better results, at least for me.

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LVL 75

Assisted Solution

by:Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins earned 600 total points
ID: 34183728
It sounds like it cannot find the mdw file or whatever the file is called to "secure" the MS Access database.  Perhaps when you make a copy you should remove the secure part.  This should make the "upgrade" easier.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34183825
How do I remove the mdw from the backend?
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34184513
I removed the security.  Then used the migration wizard.  Lots of errors.  So it seems obvious I won't be able to this on my own.  Any volunteers?  See attached errors.
op3.png
op2.png
op1.png
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:jmoss111
ID: 34191098
What version of Access is this database in?
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Expert Comment

by:jmoss111
ID: 34191118
Also what version is the front end in, because the backend wont be a problem?
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 34191507
2003, but we use it with 2007.  It is still an MDB
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Author Closing Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 35730104
Thanks for all the help.  I used your information to do this with the assistance of a friend
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