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If the requirement you have is to take an Access database and get back into SQL Server, either all of it or part of it, you have a couple of ways of doing that. Not surprisingly one of them is using the Import and Export Wizard. But it's possibly a little different from what you're expecting. If I pick the 32-bit one, I am going to click the Next button and then when I select my data source, I could just easily carry on and select Microsoft Access. It asks me to browse the file. It's looking for an Access database.
But I'm browsing to my desktop and it doesn't show up. That's because it's going to be looking for the old school pre-Access 2007 Access files, .mdb files which are not going to show up. If I try and bypass that by just selecting all files and then I will select this classic Northwind Access database. It's in the .accdb format. I could try that. I'll click Next and it's not going to work at all. That's because this original data source is old school Microsoft Access.
It's not going to work. Well, what can I do? Well, not a lot immediately, because what you need to have installed-- and I'm just going to open up an Internet Explorer. If you are importing from Access 2007 or Access 2010, before you do this, you will need to go out to microsoft.com/downloads and download some connectivity components. In fact, that's what I am going to search for here is the phrase "data connectivity components." You'll see a couple of different choices here.
If you have the 2007 version, you can get the Office 2007 System Driver: Data Connectivity Components. You want it to come from Access 2007. If you're coming from Access 2010, get the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable, which comes in two versions, either the 32-bit or the 64-bit. Now I've installed the 64-bit. What does that mean? Well, it means right now when I open up my 64-bit Import/Export Wizard, what I'm going to find on this is a data source of Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine.
Now this, formally speaking is what's called an OLE DB Data Provider, which is a little bit of a tedious phrase. In fact, when you try and open it, it's not going to just say "Well, point to the accede." Really that's what it's after. It just doesn't make it obvious. So it says "Enter the data source and/or location of the data." Location is blanked out. But I actually can enter the data source of this. In fact, if I just right-click it to find the address of it here, it's right here on my desktop.
I am going to copy that path and paste that in and \Northwind.accdb. I am going to click the Test Connection button and it says test connection succeeded. Once they do that, it's going to allow me to click on Next through, to select then where I'm going to put it. In this case, I might decide to create a new database or I could put it in the old Two Trees Test. I got the same screen I got with an Excel import that I can select from one or more tables or views.
And if I do that, it will give me the screen here where I can choose just individual pieces of this Access database or the entire thing, with each one then breaking down into the mappings that it's going to do. Now, if you're looking in this with the idea that you are going to check everything and bring in the entire Access database, you can do it this way. I just wouldn't advise it. I'll show you the way that you do it after that. So if I just said I'm going to bring in one piece of information, which is the Products table, just unchecking that, select Products, click Next.
It just gives us the same idea that it's going to create a SQL Server Integration Services package and it's copied across 45 rows. So that's just one thing. If, on the other hand, what you are wanting to do is take the entire Access database, this is the way I would advise it. In 2007 or 2010, open up Access and get into your system however it is you need to do it. You want to close down any object you have open and simply select from your Database Tools, where you have this upsizing wizard, a way of migrating some or all of your database into SQL Server.
So this way you are doing a push and what it is going to step you through is the whole process. Would you like to use an existing database or create a new one? I am going to say create a new one. It's asking the same kind of information that we have to give when we are connecting to the SQL Server ourselves. What machine is it? Well we are using the phrase "local," which is fine. A dot would work as well. It's going to ask, do I have a login ID and password? Well, no, I don't. I'm logged in right now as the administrator. So I am going to tell it to use the current connection, the trusted connection. It's going to then say if you want to make a new database, what you want to call it? We will say NorthwindSQL. I will click Next.
Which tables do you want? Let's just say all of them. Click two arrows, then Next. Then also asking, what do I want to upsize? Do I want to copy across my indexes or my validation rules? Or my default values and table relationships. In fact, I am going to take all of them. I am going to leave the other options in the default. Click Next. It's going to give me the option to kind of separate the data parts from the Access front end. I'm not going to do any of them. I just want to take all the data and move it up into SQL Server.
So I will click Next. It says it has all the information it needs. Then click Finish. This may take a few minutes depending on the size of your database. But when it finally comes back, it will even give you this Upsizing Wizard Report and tell you the details of what it's actually taken and uploaded. Information about how it's mapped the different fields across here, so you can actually page through that. Certainly, something that you will often have to do is a little bit of revisiting the table design once you get in into SQL Server.
So don't imagine that everything is going to work perfectly. I didn't get any errors on this because it was a fairly vanilla database of the basic Northwind sample. But what I would like to do is certainly go and check and see if it's in SQL Server correctly. And I expect so. The database was called NorthwindSQL. That looks like it's there. I can even start using the regular database diagramming tools once I've provisioned them. I can say, for example, create a new database diagram. And I'm going to add just several tables on the top of it.
The reason I am doing this is just to show that you can tell the database design has mapped across correctly and even as we start to look at them, things like the relationships have started to be copied across as well into parts of this. Of course, you're going to take some time and verify that everything seems to work. But it's looking pretty good right now. So your real decision most of the time is when you're bringing in information from Access, are you just bringing in a table here or there? In which case, using the Import/Export Wizard is just fine.
If you're trying to migrate the entire database, I do it more of a push from the Microsoft Access side.
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