The newest version of Access, Microsoft Access 2007, marks the end of the old familiar .mdb file format, replaced with the .accdb file extension. It is important for Access users to become familiar with the new format in order to be able to make an informed decision of how, and whether, to transition older databases into the new .accdb format.
It is important for users to be aware that although the new .accdb format offers some additional features and enhanced functionality, there are some drawbacks as well. It is important for users to consider the nature of each database in their library when making this important decision.
There are a number of important reasons why a user or database administrator would prefer to convert an old database to the new format. One of the most compelling of these reasons is to take advantage of some of the new field types. Access 2007 offers not only the old familiar field types of numbers and text, but the new attachment field type, which allows any number of files to be attached to a field in the database. From word processing documents to photo formats, this new field format offers a number of compelling benefits.
Access 2007 also offers the ability to store more than one value in each field, offering a great deal of flexibility and another important reason to consider upgrading existing databases. This new multi-value formats is of particular value for teams working on a project, since the new format allows more than one user to be assigned to a task. Database administrators who feel they could benefit from this flexibility have an important reason to switch to the new .accdb format.
Access 2007 also offers an enhanced user interface, including support for the new Access themes. Those using an .accdb database will see these Access theme colors as part of the color picker, providing a more consistent look and a more pleasant user experience. If an .accdb format database is saved with the older .mdb format those Access theme colors will display as either blue or black and the enhanced colors will be lost.
It is also important for users of the new Access 2007 to know when not to convert an older database to the new .accdb format. One of the most important reasons not to change is if other users, either within the organization or on the outside, will need to open it in older versions of Access. These earlier versions of Access will not be able to read the new .accdb format.
Those who use the Access replication feature to keep their databases synchronized may also want to avoid converting those databases. The new .accdb format used in Access 2007 does not support replication, although the tools needed to create and synchronize masters and replicas are still available in Access 2007. These tools only work, however, on .mdb databases.
Databases which rely on user level security also should not be upgraded. Access 2007 does support user level security for .mdb databases, but not for databases in the new .accdb format. Databases that rely on this security to prevent certain users from accessing or making changes to the data should keep the file in .mdb format.
Microsoft Access is an application used to create small and midsize computer desktop databases for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. It can also be used as a database server for a web-based application.
This electronic book (ebook) provides lessons on how to use Microsoft Office Access 2007 to create and manage databases. The lessons follow a step-by-step format with practical examples.
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