Microsoft Access to SQL Server Upsizing Resource Center
FMS has extensive resources and experience to help you migrate Microsoft
Access applications to SQL Server. In fact, we were selected by the
Microsoft SQL Server team to lead a national campaign to promote
Microsoft Access to SQL Server upsizing and write technical papers
they've posted on MSDN.
Database Evolution Leads to SQL Server Upsizing
Access is a wonderful platform that empowers information workers and
professional developers to create powerful solutions on the Windows
desktop. Over time, good applications evolve and become more mission
critical. At some point, you begin to consider migrating your Access
application to a more powerful database platform. It could be based on
scalability, security, the need for a web solution, legal requirements,
performance, or a variety of other reasons. When that time comes, a
natural option is Microsoft SQL Server.
and Ways to Migrate to SQL Server
Before you attempt to convert an Access database to SQL Server, make
sure you understand:
Which applications belong in Microsoft Access vs. SQL Server?
Not every database should be modified.
The reasons for upsizing your database.
Make sure SQL Server gives you what you seek.
The tradeoffs for doing so.
There are pluses and minuses depending on what you're trying to
- Make sure you are not migrating to SQL Server solely for
- In many cases, performance decreases when an
application is upsized, especially for relatively small databases
(under 200 MB).
- Some performance issues are unrelated to the backend
database. Poorly designed queries and table design won't be
fixed by upsizing.
- Microsoft Access tables offer some features that SQL Server
tables such as an automatic refresh when the data changes. SQL
Server requires an explicit requery.
Options for Migrating Microsoft Access to SQL Server
There are several options for hosting SQL Server
- A local instance of SQL Express, which is a free
version of SQL Express that can be installed on each
- A shared SQL Server database on your network
- A cloud host such as SQL Azure. Cloud hosts have
security that limit which IP addresses can retrieve
data, so fixed IP addresses and/or VPN is necessary.
There are many ways to upsize your Microsoft Access
databases to SQL Server:
- Move the data to SQL Server and link to it from
your Access database while
preserving the existing Access application.
- Adjustments may be needed to support SQL
Server queries and differences from Access
- Convert an Access MDB database to an Access Data
Project (ADP) that connects directly to a SQL Server
- Since ADPs were deprecated in Access 2013,
we do not recommend this option.
- Use Microsoft Access Web Apps in Access 2013.
- With Office365, your data is uploaded into a
SQL Server database hosted by SQL Azure with an
Access Web front end
- Appropriate for basic viewing and editing of
data across the web
- Unfortunately, Access Web Apps do not have
the customization features comparable to VBA in
Access desktop solutions
- Migrate the entire application to the .NET Framework, ASP.NET,
and SQL Server platform, or recreate it on SharePoint.
- A hybrid solution that puts the data in SQL
Server with another front-end plus an Access
- SQL Server can be the traditional version hosted
on an enterprise quality server or a free SQL Server
Express edition installed on your PC
Technical Papers and Resources for Access to SQL Server Help
Here are some of the whitepapers we've written to help you make the right decision about
converting and migrating Access databases to SQL Server.
Microsoft Access and SQL Server Migration Videos
Tech*Ed Conference 2009
This panel explores the different reasons, approaches, and
challenges of migrating applications to Microsoft SQL Server. Taped
May 2009 in Los Angeles, CA (43 minutes)
on MSDN Channel 9/ARCast.TV
Microsoft’s Dr. Zhiming Xue interviews Luke Chung, founder and president of
FMS, on dealing with Microsoft Access database solutions and the challenges
project teams face when migrating them to more scalable platforms. (22
Tech*Ed Conference 2008
With Luke Chung, FMS President, on a Microsoft Tech*Ed Panel Discussion,
taped June 2008 in Orlando, FL (49 minutes)
Resources to Maintain Existing Access Applications
Not all Access databases should or will migrate to SQL Server. FMS offers a
wide range of Access products to help you enhance and maintain your Access
databases. Here are a few to help system administrators and database
administrators better manage Access databases across a network or enterprise:
Make sure your Access databases are compacted, backed up, etc. on a
Monitor who's going in and out of a database in real time
Centrally manage the deployment and launching of the right version of
your Access database with the right version of Access for all your users
All our Microsoft Access related products
Microsoft Access to SQL Server Upsizing Service
Our Professional Solutions Group offers consulting services to migrate your
existing Microsoft Access databases to SQL Server. Our experienced staff has
upsized Access databases to maximize your existing investment, take advantage of
SQL Server's features, and minimize costs. Whether it's a simple data upsizing
to a complete rewrite of the application to Microsoft .NET or SharePoint, we can
help with our world class Microsoft Access and Visual Studio experts on ASP.NET,
C#, and VB.NET.
Learn more about our:
Headquartered in Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia, FMS has completed
Access to SQL Upsizing projects and general programming services for
commercial and government organization across the country from Alaska to
California to Florida to New England. Of course, many of our customers are
located locally in the Washington DC metropolitan region including Virginia
Contact us today to discuss your