Migrating to Access 2003

Applies to
Microsoft Office Access 2003
Microsoft Access 2.0, 95, 97, 2000, and 2002

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Access 2003 lets you create and use powerful database management solutions that make organizing, accessing and sharing information easier than ever before. Use Access 2003 to better collaborate with Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services sites, take advantage of enhanced XML support, add smart tags to forms and reports, easily discover object dependencies, and more.

For more information on what's new and improved in Access 2003, see Introducing Microsoft Office Access 2003.

Thinking of migrating to Access 2003? It's easier than you think.


Migrating from Access 2002
Migrating from Access 2000
Migrating from Access 97 or previous versions
Impact of enhanced security on migration
For more information

Migrating from Access 2002

If you're using Access 2002, migrating to Access 2003 is easy. Access 2003 supports the Access 2002-2003 file formats, so in most cases you need only install Access 2003 and open your Access 2002 files — even if they contain Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA) code. If your database uses data access pages (data access page: A Web page designed for viewing and working with data from the Internet or an intranet. Its data is typically stored in an Access database.) created in Access 2002, note that Access 2003 also uses the Microsoft Office XP Web Components to create data access pages. Because the same components were used to create data access pages in Access 2002, those pages will work normally in Access 2003.

Migrating from Access 2000

Migrating to Access 2003 from Access 2000 is simple. Access 2003 supports the Access 2000 file format — so, in most cases, you need only install Access 2003 and then open your Access 2000 files, even if they contain VBA code. However, if your database employs data access pages and they were created using Access 2000, you will have to convert them. Access 2003 uses the Office XP Web Components to create data access pages. Data access pages created using Access 2000 used an earlier version of the Office Web components and, therefore, have to be converted.

Converting is really simple:

  • To convert data access pages created using Access 2000    

You must install the Office 2000 Web Components that are included with Office 2000 or Office XP on your computer before you attempt to convert the pages.

Access will create a backup copy of a page (pagefilename.bak.htm) at the same location as the original data access page file and will offer to automatically convert the page for use in Access 2003. You can choose to proceed or cancel.

Migrating from Access 97 or previous versions

If you are currently using a version of Access that is older than Access 2000, you must convert your files before working with them in Access 2003. For more information about how to convert previous-version Access files to the file formats supported in Access 2003, see Convert an Access file.

  • Microsoft Office Access 2003 Conversion Toolkit    

Access developers, administrators and users now have a new toolkit to aid in analyzing Access 97 databases for upgrade and conversion to Access 2003. You can use the tools in the Microsoft Office Access 2003 Conversion Toolkit to find and analyze Access databases in preparation for switching to the latest version of Access.

Access Conversion Report Tool

Note that the toolkit does not actually convert your databases. It only helps you with scoping and identifying known issues that have an impact on the conversion process. For more information, see Access 2003 Conversion Toolkit.

Impact of enhanced security on migration

Access 2003 provides features designed to enhance your ability to secure a database against outside threats. Because of these new features, you might see some new warning messages when you open a database in Access 2003. For instance, you have the option of employing a new feature in Access 2003 called sandbox mode. In sandbox mode, Access evaluates only those expressions in control and field properties that are safe and that do not contain potentially unsafe code. An expression is considered safe if it does not use functions or properties that could be exploited by malicious users to access drives, files, or other resources for which they do not have authorization.

Security warning message: Unsafe expressions are not blocked

For example, functions such as Kill and Shell could be used to damage data and files on a computer, so they are not considered safe. When Access runs in sandbox mode, an expression that calls these functions will result in an error message.

Using Access 2003 you can take advantage of the new digital signature and macro security features to prevent automatic execution of code contained in database files from unknown publishers. Thus, when your macro security level is set to Medium and Access cannot verify that the file is from a trusted source, you will see a security warning similar to this:

Security warning message: This file may not be safe...

For more information

For more information about migrating to the latest version of Access, see:

Applies to:
Access 2003