Why migrate

Microsoft Access was simply not designed for more than a handful of concurrent users.

Driven by the need to support more complex database applications and a growing population of users, IT departments are looking for simplified ways to consolidate and migrate their current Microsoft Office Access applications. Using Microsoft SQL Server, DB Best can help your IT department take advantage of new business opportunities, providing increased performance, scalability, availability, security, reliability, and recoverability.

Typical challenges that we see

Depending on the version of Access, several considerations will need to be reviewed before we can start to migrate Microsoft Access to SQL Server.

Assessing the migration scope

First, we will need to identify the Access features used by MS Access and whether or not the Access databases are split into “Front-End”/“Back-End” pairs. If the Access database is using Access Forms, VBA Modules, and Access Reports, the functionality will need to be recreated elsewhere. For Access reports, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), SharePoint Access Web Apps and Power BI offer excellent visualizations and reporting functionality. Additional 3rd Party reporting tools should be considered.

Addressing the back-end

Second, before upsizing the “Back-End” code, and depending on the destination version of SQL Server, the code in the VBA modules and Access forms will need to be reviewed. Ideally, the module code will either be converted to SQL Stored Procedures, User Defined Functions or other SQL Server Database objects. The review will need to identify Access data types that may not be supported in SQL Server and their equivalent.

Checking dependencies

Third, the Access application will need to be reviewed for dependencies on other databases or data sources. Access allows integrating data from other Databases via Linked tables via OLE DB and ODBC connectors. Depending on the business requirements, in SQL Server, the same data sources may need to be re-integrated using ETL tools or Linked Servers.

Also, the Access application will need to be reviewed for other dependencies. For example, custom DLLs or 3rd Party tools. In the case of 3rd Party tools, licensing considerations may also need evaluation.

Post-Migration Database Capacity Validation

Prior to the migration, you should have a good understanding of your database workload including any performance data and frequency of heavy load. Key to a proper comparison is a way to replay a load such as through Distribute Replay Controller or your own load harness.

Once under load, you can evaluate your new technology by monitoring pressure on CPU, Memory, IO Operations, and network traffic.

By monitoring the times the system is under pressure you can determine if your technology is properly sized.

DB Best can help you profile your existing environment and then grade your migration against that profile.

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A leader in Microsoft Access to SQL Server migrations

The DB Best team has developed a unique methodology for migrating Access applications to SQL Server which has been tested and proven many times over with hundreds of customers. Being an architect and the original creator of SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for Access, the DB Best team is THE database migration expert you can trust with your project.

Based on our vast migration experience, the DB Best team developed our in-house products Database Compare Suite and DB Best Migration Platform, which greatly complements SSMA for Access.

Here are the DB Best tools that we’ve developed to optimize the Oracle to SQL Server migration process.


Sometimes you need a helping hand to get you started. Here are some of our offers to help with assessments, using SSMA, or developing a future-state roadmap.

How to upgrade Microsoft Access 97 Jet database engine applications

One of our customers has a popular application deployed at thousands of customer locations. They plan to rearchitect the solution in a couple of years to use a modern application architecture with a SQL Server back-end. They faced a problem deploying the application on newer versions of the operating system because it uses the Microsoft Access 97 Jet database engine.

So, they were blocked from being able to install the software because of the inherent security risks of using the old database technology. We found a way to remove the dependency on the legacy data access technologies and upgrade Access databases to the latest version. In this video, we demonstrate our first approach on how to upgrade Microsoft Access 97 Jet database engine applications to the latest version of the Jet engine that runs on the latest versions of Windows.

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Supporting your SQL Server solutions after the migration

As part of our migration project, we offer training, support, consulting, and managed services for your SQL Server solutions. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining the day-to-day operations of your databases and applications, be sure to check out our Operational Data Management service.

Contact us today to help you Migrate Microsoft Access to SQL Server
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Learn more

We have a set of blog posts and data sheets to help you better understand our capabilities as the leader in database migration services and prove our possibilities and expertise in moving Access workloads to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SQL Azure.

Blog posts

How to Upgrade Microsoft Access 97 Jet Database Engine Applications - Part 1
1 November 2017 Stanislav Andrenko

A leading provider of engineering software has a popular application deployed at thousands of customer locations. They have a plan in place to rearchitect the solution in a couple of y...

Expand capacity with an IBM DB2 SQL Azure SQL Database migration
9 October 2017 Andrey Ivanov

One of the world’s largest distributors of non-food consumable products wanted to rationalize their data platform and business intelligence strategy. Their current IBM DB2 database s...

Reference data sheet

Modernizations to Microsoft's Data Platform
21 September 2016 Bill Ramos

Cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, coupled with database technologies like SQL Server, enable organizations to quickly create and scale solutions that solve challenges and fuel ne...

Reference white paper

eBook: Database Migration
9 August 2018 Bill Ramos

DB Best goes well beyond other migration service providers. We take a vested interest in your migration strategy, combining innovation with an accelerated ROI that meets your business ...

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