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Microsoft no longer provides support for Microsoft Access 97. So for how much longer tools for converting your Access 97 databases will appear in the latest version of Microsoft Office remains to be seen.
A few DMW clients are still using MS Access 97 databases that were developed for them. DMW intends to offer Access 97 support and help for a little bit longer until those clients have finally upgraded.
Some clients have been disappointed with the speed of their databases following conversion to Access 2003, 2007 and 2010.
DMW have built up a list of things we think you should take into account if you suffer this problem.
There is a 'convert database' feature in Access 2003. In DMW's experience, this rarely makes the conversion without some errors.
Not all errors get logged for attention as part of the conversion process. DMW have examples of where they came to light only when supposedly converted databases crashed during use.
DMW has built up a list of things you should take into account if you suffer this problem.
You may experience database problems if you install both Access 97 and parts of Office 2003 on the same PC.
The same observations apply here as to those for converting Access 97 to 2003 databases. DMW hear of major problems in converting modules.
You may experience database problems if you install both Access 97 and Office 2007 or Office 2010 on the same PC. There can be interference not only between the versions of Access but also between Access 97 and other programs in Microsoft Office.
DMW no longer attempts to mix Access 97 with programs from later versions of Office. Instead an old PC is kept solely for the purpose of running Access 97.
If now you are upgrading to Access 2007 or Access 2010, then your database must have been in use for many years. You will have had time to identify improvements you would like to make, to list additional reports needed to make the most of the data, and to assess the relevance of some bits that no one uses any longer.
Also users will have views on what would make their database more relevant to their work than it is at present.
Perhaps, therefore, this is the best time to mount a review with a mind to redeveloping sections on the database as part of the upgrade.
There are changes in the Access VBA as you move up through the versions. Some of these changes are quite major ones. Some offer increased functionality that you may wish to exploit as part of a conversion upgrade.
The convert-database feature takes a stab at converting your VBA code. In our experience, conversion are very far from perfect. You might want to talk to us before you press the button or if you want Access VBA help in general.
If your database is in the form of an MDE file, there are utilities advertised that claim to unlock MDEs. Once unlocked, so the claim goes, you can make changes to your MDE.
DMW have tried one unlocker program that gets mentioned a lot on the Web. In those of Access 97 MDEs that DMW have 'unlocked' using it, the majority of forms and reports will not go into design view. Furthermore, none of the VBA modules are accessible.
So now may be the best time to review the functionality of your database prior to offering to tender for the rewrite.