My client has Access 2007 .... I have Office365

Posted on 2014-07-12
Last Modified: 2014-07-14

I am upgrading a client of mine who has Access 2007.
The client emailed me their database and I have made changes and now wish to return database.

I have Office365 and am concerned that my client will not be able to open/use my Office365 version of the database.  (I believe that I may have had a similar problem a few months ago).

How should I save the database so that my client (Access 2007) can use it?

Note that it is unlikely that I have any advanced features that did not exist in A2007.
Question by:Patrick O'Dea
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    by:Gustav Brock
    You should use the default format, accdb, which actually is "2007 format". This is used by A2010 and A2013 as well.

    LVL 84

    Accepted Solution

    And I hate to point out the obvious, but ...

    If you're going to be doing contract work with Access, then you need to have the ability to work in the same version of Access as your clients. This generally means having Access 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 installed on your local environment in some fashion. I use HyperV with several different desktops that each have a different version installed, but there are free alternatives as well (VirtualBox, for example, or some versions of vmWare's ESXi).
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution


    I fully agree with Scott, the database file format is not enough to be compatible. You CAN save the database with a newer version in the format of an older but you'll see that the trouble often begins here. For example, A2010 can insert an empty column in the layout, A2007 cannot. If you design in A2010 with that feature, it will not allow you to save the form if the file is saved as A2007 format.
    Next thing is that the layout between different elements sometimes differs in different versions. If you look at your form in a newer version it maybe looks great because of the general outfit of the newer Access and then, if you look at it in an older version, it maybe doesn't look acceptable anymore.

    You CAN install more than one Access on the same machine, at least since A2007. But if you are a developer for clients with different versions, you should really consider using the solution of Scott: Install the clients Access/Office version on a separate virtual machine. If you install more than one on the same machine you get issues like that Access (also other Office products) always uses the newest installed Office library so you develop an A2007 database and the reference points to Office 15 which will be a problem for your client who only has Office 2007. That's also the case with other library versions, i.e. ADO which is for example 2.8 version up to XP and 6.0/6.1 starting with Vista and there was also a change in the 2.8 version beginning with Windows 7 which is not compatible with the 2.8 in XP.

    So you see, it's not only having the same Office/Access version or the right database format. I would go a step further than Scott and not only install different versions in different virtual machines, I would go to the client and let the local IT setup a virtual machine with exactly their environment (Windows version, Office, whatever needed else in your application like i.e. Lotus Notes and so on) so that you can develop your database with their exact environment, best would be a machine on their site which you can reach through VPN because you would not need to buy any licence, this would be the responsibility of your client. You don't need to develop with the remote connection, you could also do that on your local machine with your Office but you have always the remote connection to compile into the desired target version and test anything on the remote machine to be sure that it works in your client's environment. Normally this should be no problem as the client will be happy to be sure to get a product tested with his environment and in most cases a VPN connection is already available for Home Office users. But if you develop with another version, keep in mind that you will have to test often (on the remote machine) and save often, otherwise you design something only to see that this option is not possible with an older version and you must start again.


    LVL 31

    Assisted Solution

    VMs are the way to go in this situation.  By upgrading the database to 2013, you may have inadvertently caused problems.  There were some compatibility problems even between 2007 and 2010 (see my Access Archon article on this topic --  If you had an Access 2007 VM, you could work on that database in that VM, and not worry about format incompatibilities or references upgrading (and then not downgrading when the database is opened in 2007).

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Patrick O'Dea
    Thanks for all excellent contributions.

    I guess I should highlight that I have a very small number of databases on client sites with typically only 2 or 3 users.

    Nonetheless, I need to take note of the points made and plan for the future.

    Many thanks for all suggestions.

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