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  1. #1
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    Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    As I've mentioned in other postings, a charity I'm working with has a business critical application which is built on Access97. The company they bought it from is now out of business and the database cannot be converted to a later version. This means that the whole Appeals department is locked into Access97 while the world is moving on. They have issues like solving a problem with Word only to find that the DB suddenly stopped working with MailMerge and it cost them thousands of pounds to get a workround. The ideal solution (until they can sort out what to do with this application and its data) would be to have Access2003 installed along with the rest of Office2003 while still retaining the ability to run this 97 application since they are developing new DBs which they obviously want based on Access2003.
    I have searched the lounge and, for example, there is some discussion of the problem here, but I don't really understand a lot of what is being discussed here (esp. DLLs)
    Repeating that this DB is their most critical business application, is there a simple (guaranteed?) way that Access2003 can be installed without screwing up Access97 and, if so, how can it be done, please?
    TIA
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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Are they using full Access 97 or an Access 97 runtime? If it's a runtime, there is no issue, since installing 2003 doesn't affect runtime installations. If they are using full Access 97, they'll have to do a custom install of 2003 and instruct the installer to preserve the Access 97 installation. I would strongly suggest you rename your system.mdw to something like system97.mdw before you install 2003, which will install its own mdw which will, I believe, be unreadable by Access 97. Office 2003 will install in its own set of Office directories, so that's about all that is required.

    However, you may run into issues with mail merge in your 97 app since it isn't too likely that it will play nicely with Word 2003.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Multiple version of Access can co-exist. When you load Access2003, just be sure you specify a different directory (such as Office2003) instead of just the Office directory that the installer will suggest. Also, make ABSOLUTELY certain you JUST SAY NO to any questions about "cleaning-up" prior versions. This will uninstall them!

    The only other problem you will encounter is that whichever version is the last one used becomes the default version of Access should you want to open a database just by double-clicking on it in windows explorer, or if you have a shortcut directly to the database. Best thing to do is make a shortcut to the version of Access you want to use, and include the particular database in the command line string. Something like:
    "crogram filesMicrosoft OfficeOffice97MSaccess.exe" "c:datadirectorymydb.mdb"
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Why can't it be converted to a later version.

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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Charlotte
    Many thanks for your quick, helpful reply. I will discuss this with the Hospice director.
    I will report back in the future on which way the charity chose to go (one suggestion was a PCs with dual boot capability!)
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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Mark - as I've written to Charlotte, I'm very grateful for your quick, helpful reply.
    I will discuss this to the Hospice director and report back to the lounge on which way they choose to go.
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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    Hi Pat
    Very reasonable question. I think the answer is that it could be, but the lack of deep technical knowhow puts everyone off. As I said, this is their business critical app and they have no support or upgrade path for the product. I don't know much about Access yet, but the app has been delivered with no ability to use design mode - I think it's called the stripped out version of an Access DB. So I don't even know if the data can be got at.
    They are mindful of unexpected happenings whenever this product is touched - or anything on which it relies. As mentioned, when they paid a lot of money recently for a techie to go in and sort out a Word problem, the solution adopted was to install Word 2003. This resulted in the MailMerge feature failing which cost them thousands more to get a workround from another consultant.
    This, I think, is the reason why the focus is on "Can we get a later version of Access on these PCs so we can move on with other DBs which they need while not causing any problems with this application".
    I will mention this to the director, along with the info from Charlotte and Mark and let him decide!
    Thanks for taking an interest
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    Re: Multiple versions of Access (97/2003)

    You should be able to get at the data in the database by simply linking to the tables, unless they have totally locked down the application from an Access User Security point of view. Even then you should be able to use the existing .mdw file as Charlotte noted, and be able to read the data tables. Never the less, if they have no documentation about how the system was developed, it will be an expensive propisition to upgrade the design to a later version of Access. We been through that a number of times in the last 10 years, and it can be quite challenging. However the new system has worked better than the old each time.
    Wendell

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