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  1. #1
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    Linked tables between two versions on Access (Windows 98/XP)

    I would much appreciate a little advice in case I am playing with fire.

    I designed a database in Access 2000 - quite simple with two linked tables. I installed it on the clients system only to find that they wanted to network it. No problems so far I've done this many times. The only problem was that some users are on Access 97 and others on Access 2000!!

    What I did was to split the 2000 database and used Tools>Database Utilities>Convert Database>to prior database version, to save the backend tables in an Access 97 format. I then converted the front-end database in the same way. So I now had a 2000 version of the front-end, a 97 version of the front-end and one set of tables in a 97 version.

    The tables (97 version) went on the server and a copy of the front-end on each machine, the version depending on the version of Access on the machine. I was surprised to find that 2000 front-end would link to the 97 tables, as would of course the 97 front-end.

    Everything seems to be working fine and everyone is looking at the same data, but it does seem a little worrying to have two versions working together as closely as this. What does anyone think?

    Michael Peak
    Morecambe England

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (Windows 98/XP)

    What me worry, sorry about that I'm referring to somebody else.

    All jokes aside, Access has been designed that way, that the latest Access can link to prior versions of Access tables.

    From what I have read you may have performance problems, but I may be wrong on this.

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (Windows 98/XP)

    The only problem you may run into is that this arrangement can be quite slow over the network, at least in the XP interface, because 2002 has to keep translating back and forth due to the unicode features of 2000 and later, which don't exist in the 97 version. We found that we couldn't tolerate the mixture and completely upgraded our applications to XP using a 2000 data file format.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (Windows 98/XP)

    We had some experience with this arrangement that was not positive, though it was some time ago. We were migrating people from Office 97 to Office 2000, and we had some people using a 2000 front-end and some using a 97 front-end. It was indeed quite slow for the 2000 users, and we ultimately had some nasty corruption in the back-end. This was post SR-1A of Office 2000, but prior to SP-2, so if your 2000 users are on the latest version, it might be safe for a while, but in the long run you want to move everyone to 2000 or install Access 97 on those systems with Office 2000.
    Wendell

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (Windows 98/XP)

    Thanks for all the useful comments. Reading between the lines I get the impression you are all saying be very careful and that is good enough for me!!

    I will recommend that they don't do it.

    With many thanks

    Michael Peak
    Morecambe England

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    <hr>we ultimately had some nasty corruption in the back-end. This was post SR-1A of Office 2000, but prior to SP-2, so if your 2000 users are on the latest version, it might be safe for a while<hr>

    Wendell (or...)
    I'm wondering...
    - do you remember similar experiences with XP front ends and a 97 back-end?
    - this <!post="tendency to corrupt more frequently",371877>"tendency to corrupt more frequently"<!/post>: is there any reason/indication that these problems only occur when the higher version users are editing data as well?
    Reason for my question: I want to use this strategy for our database with minimal corruption problems risk (read: must avoid it at all means as the database contains all our financial data about payments,...). If corruption risk is low or non existent as long as the XP user through his/her XP frond-end doesn't edit data (= enter cell, type, leave cell), it's OK. If corruption may even occur when the XP user only views data (using the same forms but not effectively editing data), I'll have to look for another solution.

    Thanks in advance for any answer <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    p.s. I've read Drew's suggestion in the <!post="Sharing database",345678>"Sharing database"<!/post> thread but this is only an option I might think about in the long term.
    p.s. fyi: this relates in some way also to the project I talked about <!post="here",168197>"here"<!/post>

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    When the office where I work converted from Office 97 to Office XP two years ago, there was a transition period of some 4 months when all backend databases were still Access 97, and both Access 97 and Access 2002 frontends were used, both to view and to enter/edit data. Although using the Access 2002 frontends was noticeably slow, it worked without further problems.
    As always, making backups frequently is imperative. Apart from making a nightly backup on separate disks, our IT department makes snapshots every few hours on the server disks themselves, so that it's easy to retrieve a previous version if a file gets messed up.
    Of course, it's best to keep the transition period as short as possible.

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    Hi Hans. Thanks for your reply <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.
    unfortunately it didn't bring me much further: our IT department is already for a year talking about a transition 'soon' so I've sort of a 'wait and see' attitude developed (mostly known in governmental administrations?). Therefore it's so important to know for me whether I can trust Access XP front-ends to be reliable as 'viewers' or not... because the situation might last for a while...
    (About backup strategy I'll start another thread)

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    I don't have any experience using Access 2002 with an Access 97 back-end, but since Hans worked in that environment for several months, your risks are probably reasonable - especially if you apply all the latest fixes. The biggest risks are crashes in Access when editing a record, and network errors while editing. However it sounds like your data is a pretty critical part of your organization's mission, and in cases like that we nearly always recommend SQL Server because of it's immunity to corruption and it's ability to be backed up and restored to the point of failure, rather than the last good backup. You might consider playing with the MSDE version that you get with Access XP.
    Wendell

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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    With a front end/back end design, you're should feel reasonably secure with your data, as the back end rarely corrupts...I've had numerous times where (this is an unfortunate case) users will connect to the FE over the network, the network will go down (trusty government work <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>), and that FE goes corrupt. The user then proceeds to "freak out" what about my changes?!?! etc... I just laugh, and say "your changes were made, and saved....access isn't excel" Sure enough, when I restore the FE from a backup copy, all is well, and the users look at me <img src=/S/hailpraise.gif border=0 alt=hailpraise width=27 height=22>.

    <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I have code on the startup form of my database...whenever a user opens the database, a backup copy is made of the back end, and archived on the network. I do it for two reasons. 1) Historical data in an infantry battalion can never be too old....never know when an award will be approved, and then you're asked to research who was in the unit. Gosh I hate that. 2) In the rare case the back end does corrupt, I at least have a fairly recent copy.
    ____________________________
    Jeremy
    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

  11. #11
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    Re: Linked tables between two versions on Access (

    Thanks for your replies & tips! They make me I feel quite more comfortable now :-).

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