This article describes how to upsize a Microsoft Access
database to the Microsoft SQL Server or to the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) by
using the Access 2002 Upsizing Wizard. This article introduces the Upsizing
Wizard, what to check before you upsize, design considerations, suggested
troubleshooting techniques for common upsizing issues, and additional resources
You can use the Upsizing Wizard to convert an existing Access
database (.mdb) to a client/server solution. The Upsizing Wizard creates a new
SQL Server database structure (including indexes, validation rules, defaults,
and relationships) and then copies your data to the new SQL Server database.
Additionally, the Upsizing Wizard tries to re-create your queries as SQL Server
views and as stored procedures when you create a new client server
You can select to upsize only your database structure
and your data, or, after you create the SQL Server back end database, you can
select to create an Access front end client application. The Upsizing Wizard
can create the front end client application in either of two ways:
- Keep the current Access database file (.mdb) and then add
linked tables that connect to the upsized tables on the SQL Server.
Your existing forms, reports, and data access pages use the newly linked tables
as their data sources.
- Create a new Access project file (.adp) and then copy the
forms, the reports, the data access pages, the macros, and the modules from the
current Access database, and then connect that Access project file to the
upsized tables on the SQL Server.
The copied forms, reports, and data
access pages that refer to the local database are converted to use the newly
upsized SQL Server tables, views, and stored procedures as their data sources
through the connection of the ADP file to the server. Data access pages that
refer to databases other than the current database are unchanged after
Note that when you run the Upsizing Wizard, the process is not
perfect. There are differences and potential incompatibilities between Access
databases and SQL Server databases. Included are differences in SQL dialects
and data types. Although the Wizard can handle many of these differences and
still convert objects correctly, the Wizard cannot handle all differences.
Therefore, you may experience problems while you create your new database and
your new client application. If the Upsizing Wizard experiences a problem
during the upsizing process, the Wizard does not stop the process. The Wizard
records the error and then continues to work with the next object. After the
upsizing process is complete, the Wizard displays a report. The report shows
you the details of the process that include the name and the size of the new
database, the selections that you made while you ran the Wizard, and any errors
the Wizard experienced.
For more information about how to run the
Upsizing Wizard, follow these steps:
- Click Microsoft Access Help on the
- Type Upsizing Wizard in the Office
Assistant or in the Answer Wizard.
- Click Search to view the topics that are
For more information about differences between Access syntax
and SQL Server syntax and how the Upsizing Wizard handles these differences,
follow these steps:
- Click Microsoft Access Help on the
- Type Comparison of Microsoft Access and SQL
Server syntax in the Office Assistant or in the Answer
- Click Search to view the
Comparison of functions between Visual Basic for Applications and SQL
Server Transact-SQL subtopic.
What to Check Before You Upsize
- Make sure that you have a backup copy of your Access
database file (.mdb). The method that you select to upsize may change your
existing application design.
- Make sure that you know the name of the SQL Server or the
computer that runs MSDE that you will connect to. Make sure that you know the
logon information. For additional information about how to install MSDE, visit
the "Installing , Starting, and Stopping MSDE 2000" section of the MSDN Web
- To make upsizing go as smoothly as possible, make sure that
you have the appropriate access permissions on the SQL Server you want to
upsize on. At minimum, you must have CREATE TABLE permission.
If you want to build a new database from scratch, you must have CREATE
- To make sure that you have enough free space, calculate how
much disk space upsizing will require by multiplying the size of your Microsoft
Access database by two.
Database Design Considerations
- You must follow server-based naming restrictions from the
beginning. The Upsizing Wizard can correct many common mistakes, but not all
mistakes. To make sure there is an easy migration to the back end, follow the
SQL Server restrictions:
- For SQL Server 6.5, names must be 30 characters or
less. For SQL Server 7.0, this limit is expanded to a maximum of 128
characters. For SQL Server 2000, the limit is expanded to 249
- The first character must be a letter or the "at" sign
(@). The remaining characters may be numbers, letters, the dollar sign ($), the
number sign (#), or the underscore (_).
- For SQL Server 6.5, no spaces are permitted. For SQL
Server 7.0, spaces are permitted, but the name must be enclosed by quotation
marks ("") or by square brackets ().
- The name must not be a Transact-SQL keyword. SQL Server
reserves both the uppercase and the lowercase versions of keywords. For
information about Transact-SQL keywords, see the SQL Server Books Online.
- The Upsizing Wizard does not convert certain items. Other
items are converted, but require verification after the Wizard has completed.
When you use the Upsizing Wizard, you must review all changes made to tables,
to views, to forms, and to reports.
Specifically, the Upsizing Wizard
uses the following rules when databases are converted:
The following Access SQL syntax elements are not supported
by MSDE and are not converted. The Upsizing Wizard removes these items from SQL
- Duplicate column names are given an alias.
- Date delimiters are converted.
- Boolean constants are converted to integers.
- String concatenation is converted from an ampersand
(&) to a plus sign (+).
- Wildcard characters are converted to their appropriate
- WITH TIES is added to all TOP queries that contain an
ORDER BY clause.
- DROP INDEX
- Table in UNION
- ORDER BY in Unions
- The Upsizing Wizard does not convert your code of the
Access solution. Code that works directly with Access objects may continue to
work, but you must convert any Data Access Objects (DAO) code that works with
tables and with queries to ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) code.
overview of using ADO, visit the following MSDN Web site:
For additional references about how you can use ADO, visit the
following MSDN Web site:
Troubleshooting Upsize Issues
- Tables do not upsize.
- Make sure that the default data file size for the Model
database on the SQL Server is not larger than 1 MB.
- Try to upsize just the table structure.
- Tables Unexpectedly Upsized to SQL Master Database.
For additional information,
click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft
ACC2002: Database Unexpectedly Upsized to SQL Server Master Database
For additional information about upsizing, visit the
following MSDN Web sites:
For additional information about issues that
you may experience when you upsize to SQL Server, click the following article
number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ACC2002: Issues with the Access 2002 Upsizing Wizard
information about the "Access 2002 Upsizing Tools" White Paper, click the
following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ACC2002: "Access 2002 Upsizing Tools" White Paper Available in Download
Article ID: 330468 - Last Review: May 8, 2007 - Revision: 3.4
- Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
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