Professional Microsoft Access Database Conversion | Access Database Migration
Upgrade Your Access Database
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We hope you find the following free information helpful. WSI can perform any of the following conversion services described below for you, for a fee, if you do not want to do them yourself. Please contact WSI today to start the process of getting a cost estimate.
Have you been running an Access database for many years using an older version of Microsoft Access like Access 95, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Access 365 etc.? Do you need to get your database working properly in the newest version of Access? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, WSI's service is for you! We've moved hundreds of Access databases, simple to complex, from older versions of Access to the new ones. We know what it takes. We have the experience to do it quickly. Contact WSI today to find out how the process works and what it costs to get started!
An Access database can start out as a single file that contains both the Access Front End (FE) and Access Back End (BE). The FE includes the screen forms, reports and queries. The BE includes the tables that hold your data and their relationships. To enable your single file Access database to better support multiple users (up to 10 in most cases) it should be “split” into a separate Front End and Back End. Another benefit of splitting the database is that it allows for most changes to be made to the FE while users are working in the database. Front End changes that affect the Back End such as adding new fields need to be done when the database is not in use. Front end changes such as creating new reports from existing data fields can be done while the database is in use.
Runtime is an amazing, powerful and money saving feature that many people do not know about. People assume that you must have a purchased license of Microsoft Access installed on every computer you want to use your database on. This is not necessary. By converting your Access database to Microsoft Access Runtime and installing Microsoft's free runtime program on each PC you want to use the database on, you can run your database on that PC without the purchase of a Microsoft Access license. Another feature of Access Runtime is that it prevents users from modifying the way the database works. If you have installed one purchased license of Access and a pre-Runtime conversion copy of your database, you or anyone with sufficient knowledge of Microsoft Access can modify the way the database functions.
Remote Desktop Services can enable you to squeeze even more years of life out of your existing Access database. By running your Access database remotely on a Windows Server (either on premises or in Microsoft's Azure cloud) via any device with an RDP client you can open up the power of Access on devices that don't natively support it. Devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, Android tablets, Chrome devices, Macintosh's and Linux. Any device that has an RDS client! WSI offers the Microsoft licenses you need to enable this. We can set it up on your on premises server or the Azure cloud. We can help you set it up for yourself if you get stuck during the process. You can deploy uncompiled or compiled (runtime) Access applications this way. Your Access application's forms may need to be adjusted for smaller screen sizes of phone and tablets. WSI can perform this re-sizing for you or with you.
First, WSI does not recommend nor does Microsoft require you to run the 64bit version of Access. You can run the 32bit version of Access on the 64bit version of Windows. This is the configuration that WSI recommends. The 32bit version is recommended because many Access databases are 32bit since Access has been in widespread use for over 20 years. Depending on the amount and quality of programming in your Access database there may be anywhere from zero programming changes to hundreds in order to get it to work properly in the 64bit version of Access.
Access is a super database platform, but people disparage it for not being able to handle large amounts of data. It is true that Access is limited to storing 2GB of data. BUT…WSI can show you how to squeeze the most out of that 2GB. WSI can also convert your Access database back end (BE) (the part where the tables that store all your data reside…) to Microsoft SQL server which is an enterprise class relational database. For many Access users who are at or approaching the 2GB Access data size limit, there is no licensing cost for Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition. This version stores up to 10GB of data and there is no licensing fee! WSI has upsized dozens of Access databases to Microsoft SQL server. We build many new Access databases using Microsoft SQL server from the very beginning.
Azure is Microsoft's powerful cloud-based service which is like Amazon's ECS offering. Surprisingly it is just as open to non-Microsoft technologies as Amazon. If you're going to run Microsoft technology in the cloud we think it makes the most sense to run it on Microsoft's Azure cloud. WSI can help you fully or partially migrate to the cloud if you wish. (If you prefer to keep running your database on premises WSI can fully support you.) WSI can set you up with your own Azure cloud subscription. That means you are doing business directly with Microsoft, not WSI, not some CSP and distributor. We help you with the set-up and maintenance as needed, but it is YOUR cloud. Azure SQL is the cloud version of the Microsoft SQL Server we know and love. For a small database the cost can be as little as $5 a month. But you should probably budget $15 to $25 per month to get better performance for several users. Azure SQL resources and costs can be adjusted up or down any time you like.
Wouldn't it be great if people could view or enter data into your Access database from a web browser? Over the years, Microsoft has touted several technologies that they claimed would do this. But all have had serious limitations or been discontinued. Don't despair. It will take some time and money but WSI can make it happen for you! First, we will need to convert your Access database to have a Microsoft SQL Server back end (BE) if it does not already have one. Then we need to work with your staff or contracted IT person to make the database accessible over the Internet if you are hosting on your premises. If you prefer, we can put the Microsoft SQL Server BE on a server at a hosting company of your choice, on our hosting service or on Microsoft's Azure SQL cloud platform. Then we will need to create versions of your Access screen forms that work in a web browser. We do this using Microsoft .NET technology programmed using Microsoft Visual Studio. It is not as simple as Access but it the best way to give users the ability to work with your Access database data from a web browser.
The process is the same as a Web Application. WSI builds Web Applications using a “responsive” design. Responsive designs make their best effort to scale from a large HD or 4k desktop monitor to a smart phone sized screen. However, applications that have lots of fields per screen form may need to be redesigned to display properly on a smaller screen. You may also want the web application to do things that typically aren't done on a desktop web application. For example, on-screen signature capture, digital photo capture, GPS location coordinate capture and more. In this scenario you need a mobile web application.
PowerApps is an amazing tool from Microsoft. WSI sees the best fit for PowerApps with our Access clients in its ability to provide Front Ends that run like a native smart phone application on your iOS or Android phones and tablets. Access does not run natively on iOS, Android or Mac OS. (There are work arounds.) PowerApps also run in a web browser, so they work on Mac OS too! Native iOS applications can be challenging to distribute if you want to limit availability to your workforce by not publishing your business application to the public Apple app store where all the games and other iOS applications are made available. WSI can help you work through the process, for a fee, but Apple does not approve all applications. In order to use PowerApps you need an Office 365 subscription that includes PowerApps. At this time all users of the application must be part of your Office 365 subscription. If you want a person who is a customer or who works with a business partner to utilize your PowerApp, they cannot, even if they or their business has their own Office 365 subscription with PowerApps. A great use for PowerApps is to create a form that your employee needs to use in the field to do their job. Such as a work order form.
Since Access, web applications, mobile web applications and even PowerApps have their respective limitations, you may need to convert parts or all of your Access database to a native iOS or Android application. This gives you the most power and flexibility to fully utilize features on the smart phone such as finger print or facial ID, control over the user interface and other phone hardware specific capabilities. Native iOS and Android applications can be costly to develop. WSI recommends trying to get by or start off with a mobile web or PowerApps application first. WSI can consult with you, on your specific situation, to help you make the right decision.
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