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    ConvertU2 Technologies are the developers of the only 'Silver Bullet' technology for migrating Microsoft Access data and/or applications to Microsoft SQL 2008/2012
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The following are provided to not only expand on some of the points made elsewhere in this Site, but to also highlight some of the questions which require consideration when evaluating a decision to embark on a project to convert your Access applications to SQL Server.

The list is by no means exhaustive and will be expanded over time to include our responses to other relevant questions raised by our customers and business associates.

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1. Why should we migrate our Applications from Access to SQL Server?

There are three main reasons to consider investing in a conversion project:

  1. Data compliance.  Largely arising from Sarbanes-Oxley or similar rulings, good corporate governance requires that enterprise mission-critical data must reside on secure, controlled, centrally managed servers.
  2. Scalability and performance.  Once an Access database reaches a certain size or complexity, performance becomes significantly compromised, especially when communicating to data over a network.   In contrast, SQL Server is very efficient, highly scalable and supports unlimited users.  “Processing” is moved from the Access client to the SQL back end.
  3. SQL reporting benefits.  SQL Server is the gateway to the development of Web-enabled applications and makes available a variety of Business Intelligence reporting tools to facilitate the refreshing of your User Interface.

The reasons to migrate to SQL Server are very compelling, but the pathway from one environment to the other requires very careful preparation and planning, and should not be attempted without the appropriate steps being followed. For more reading on this important subject, please click here.

2. Why should I keep Access as the front end? Why not write a new one?

Developing a new front end can be very expensive and time consuming. Access is a relatively simple and flexible tool for creating databases, forms, and reports and you have already done much of the hard work. 2SQL makes the conversion possible and affordable. You can keep the familiar front end application that your people already know so there is no new training needed.

3. Why is conversion so difficult?

Creating the schema and migrating the data is easy. Converting an Access database to an SQL back-end is HARD. Conversions require an in-depth knowledge base of both Access and SQL Server language, and often the conversion of thousands of deep technical issues which are not only very hard to locate, they ALL have to be found and fixed. Incomplete conversions can cause a lot of problems. For example, even the simplest of Access Databases can contain one Crosstab query. If a Crosstab Query is left alone to stay as a client side process, it will either malfunction or cause performance to grind to a halt.

4. If it is so hard, why don’t I consider re-engineering instead of converting?

Re-engineering is even harder than converting and migrating, unless you can remove 75% or more of the existing functionality. If your database is functional in Microsoft Access, it is better to consider any kind of re-engineering after the migration process, not before.

5. Can’t I just upsize the data and convert a few Queries to make it work?

The less you convert, the more client-side processing is required. Only databases with small amounts of data and SQL Statements that are not complex will work without compromise for a client-side solution.

6. Can’t I just use the Microsoft Upsizing Wizard or SSMA to convert to SQL Server?

If your database does not have Tables with thousands of rows, and your Queries are not complex, there is a possibility that the Wizard or SSMA can deliver an uncompromised solution. The Microsoft Access Upsizing Wizard and SSMA (SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access) will only take you from 5% to 20% of the way to a Server side processing based solution leaving 80% to 95% left to be converted manually.

Please visit our How it Works (Comparison of 2SQL vs MS Wizard & SSMA) page for more information.

7. Why should we use 2SQL on our conversion project?

2SQL will convert 80% to 95% of the database AUTOMATICALLY. It removes virtually all of the programming associated with manually converting Access data and applications to SQL Server.

  1. It is a fully self-contained product which will migrate Table Schema and Data. 

  2. The 2SQL conversion process is fast and accurate, is completely self-auditing, and generates an XML report listing every change made and every issue unable to be changed.

  3. The software converts Access Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports and Code Modules, and achieves up to 95% conversion with no programming errors to chase and correct.

  4. Leverages your investment in Access – the change to SQL Server is completely transparent to the end user. There is no re-training required.

  5. 2SQL will allow your developers to work quickly reducing the time of a conversion project by up to 90% and it will significantly reduce the overall cost.

8. How much project time will 2SQL actually save us?

For complex databases, the saving in time is massive. Twelve month migration projects (excluding testing) can be reduced down to between four and six weeks. Three month projects can be conquered in two to three weeks. 2SQL is continually evolving and has reached the stage where it can now detect and repair 95% or more of all conversion issues, leaving very little mostly administrative ‘cleanup’ work to done to complete the project.

The larger and more complex the conversion, the greater will be the time (and cost) savings when compared with manual conversion. Please click here to take you to the CU2 Uni Library page to access the 2SQL Conversion Project Services Guide document that describes the cleanup process in some detail.

9. What Developer skills do I need to be able to use 2SQL on my conversion project?

2SQL is easy to operate and understand, but the person using it should be a skilled Access/SQL developer so they can understand what it is that 2SQL is doing and be able to interpret and understand the reports so they can do the manual cleanup to quickly complete the project.

10. How much manual ‘cleanup’ work will still be required post-2SQL conversion?

The amount of cleanup will depend on the complexity of the application. Some DAO to ADO conversion issues may remain, some compilation errors, some views and stored procedures may not have upsized to SQL Server. 2SQL provides very comprehensive reports of all actions in the conversion process. It provides a detailed list of every issue repaired and a report which highlights the issues that still require manual intervention, saving many hours of having to find remaining issues by trial and error.

Please click here to take you to the CU2 Global Library page to access the 2SQL Conversion Project Services Guide document that describes the cleanup process in some detail.

11. Our Access databases are not complex. How do you determine the 2SQL price?

Our pricing model is based on the complexity of the Applications, not the size of the databases. This ensures that you only pay for the work that 2SQL does, irrespective of whether or not your conversion project is simple or complex.

When we (or you) scan your application with the 2SQL Detective it determines the number of Conversion Issues that exist.  Some conversion issues are easy to fix and others are very complex.  We assign a “rating” factor of 1 to 8 to the different types of conversion categories to determine characteristics such as conversion hours saved utilizing 2SQL.

Once we know the number of Conversion Issues our sales and marketing organization, CU2 Global, we will be able to provide you with a quotation for 2SQL and for the cleanup work, should you wish us to complete the conversion for you.  Using this approach we can calculate accurate costs for each database conversion project and you only pay for the work 2SQL does.  Simple projects will cost less and complex projects will be priced higher, while the cost and time for each will be cut drastically from doing the work manually.

12. We have many complex Access databases. Is there a different pricing model?

For the very large conversion projects, we offer an alternative pricing model. This is the annual Enterprise Licence option where an organization is able to perform as much conversion work as it is capable of during a 12 month period. There is no limit to either the number of databases/applications or the number of corresponding conversion issues, that can be converted/consumed during the 12 month period.

A project with hundreds of Access databases to convert manually can involve a number of programmers with the Access/SQL Server skillset and span several elapsed years. This is the scenario where 2SQL shines because the licence fee will only be a fraction of the manual cost, and the elapsed time can also shrink to a few months in lieu of the years to do the conversions manually.

Please refer all purchase and pricing queries to our sales & marketing organisation CU2 Global.

13. You refer to 2SQL “Detective” and “Genie”. What do these terms mean?

The “Detective” function within 2SQL scans the database for conversion issues. You can register on the CU2 Global web site to download 2SQL and run the Detective on your database to get a sense of its complexity. Share the Conversion Issues report with us and we can provide a quote for your conversion project.

When you have acquired the licence to resolve Conversion Issues you will be supplied with a new software license key which will let the Genie out of the bottle. It is the Genie side of 2SQL that will process your database and apply all of the conversions. It may take an hour or two for the Genie to apply all of the hundreds or thousands of code changes. At the completion of the process you will have reports detailing what was fixed and what issues remain to be fixed manually.

14. Can we outsource our conversion project to ConvertU2, CU2 Global or a Business Partner?

Yes. We can take on the entire project for you. Send us an empty copy of your database (front end and tables) and we will scan it to determine the number of Conversion Issues needed. We will inspect the reports and the database to determine the extent of the clean up and provide you a quote for the project.

Our sales and marketing organization CU2 Global will be pleased to quote to deliver a completed turnkey solution, or you may choose to outsource only the cleanup work to us. Similarly, you may also license 2SQL and then outsource the clean up to a local service provider who you know and who has the Access and SQL skills to complete the project for you. You may choose whichever approach suits you best.

15. Why is a “linked tables” solution better than creating an Access ADP?

Microsoft has decided to end support for the ADP model in favour of ODBC Linked Tables. ODBC has been given a new life as a connectivity protocol and server-side based Linked Table solutions are in fact easier to implement and have fewer complications than ADP.

16. What level of performance improvement will SQL Server deliver?

Providing the processing of SQL Statements is server based, performance increases can be at least 10 fold, but where performance does not have a significant improvement, applying Table indexes in the appropriate Table columns usually solves the problem.

17. Can I keep all of my current Forms and Reports?

Yes. The recordsource and rowsource properties of Forms and Reports may be modified during the conversion process but on the whole this is transparent to the end user. Minor changes to the GUI are rarely required.

18. Once the database is converted, can I make changes to it?

There is no restriction to future enhancements, but a Developer must focus on server-based processing as opposed to client-based processing when implementing new features. This means that aside from changes to the GUI, most of the new legacy code should reside in SQL Server with hooks from the Access front end, e.g. ADO, to do the processing.

19. Do I get a report showing what 2SQL has converted or not converted?

Every single issue that 2SQL rectifies is stored in an XML file and an Access database. Users can write their own reports from these two data storage protocols.

Our 2SQL Conversion Project Services Guide document, (CU2 Library), has a repair status indicator for each issue. This ranges from complete, to partial, to failure. In addition, this document explains what to look for manually. These are issues that 2SQL does not, or cannot repair.

20. Does ConvertU2 provide any guidance on post-conversion test plans?

This is a part of the services delivery undertaken by CU2 Global when we are contracted to deliver either a full turnkey solution, or just the post-conversion cleanup work. Post-conversion test plans are not a part of our standard 2SQL Licence Fee and will be the subject of a Statement of Work quotation to suit each specific circumstance.

Converting from Access to SQL Server is HARD

Large conversion projects require automation.