Whilst subject matter experts (SMEs) can usually readily identify Access databases that are either complex or contain mission-critical data, this task is not as simple for larger enterprises. Similarly, conversion to SQL Server for smaller businesses is not usually a large project, but it can become a huge undertaking for larger enterprises, particularly where the major driver is data compliance which has to be completed within tight timeframes.
Separation into “convert” or “not convert” is not as straightforward as it might appear.
The two free conversion tools available from Microsoft (Upsizing Wizard and SQL Server Migration Assistant [SSMA]) only take you part of the way through a conversion from Access to SQL Server.
2SQL, though the Inspector and Detective components, aids in both the initial and detailed scoping of any conversion project. By using the Conversion Issue counts, along with other assessment criteria, your Project Team can “grade” the selected Microsoft Access Applications into one of 6 complexity ranges: Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High and Extreme. (See Empirical Case studies for more details).
A typical post-audit profile in the larger enterprise with thousands of Access databases is likely to reveal that something like only 1% are regarded as large and complex, a further 3% or so are medium-sized and requiring conversion, and the remaining 96% are either unused or not worth converting.
Importantly, even that 4% can still amount to several hundred databases, the conversion of which is impossible without a high degree of automation using a product such as 2SQL.
Some of the key questions to consider are:
It is always an instructive exercise for your IT staff to complete the conversion of one medium-sized Access database as both a learning exercise and to provide you with a detailed indication of the issues with which you will be dealing throughout the conversion project.
Our Business Partners can utilise the 2SQL Detective to scan a representative sample of your Access databases and use your statistical information to size the project (including cleanup) with a reasonable degree of accuracy. From that information you will be in a position to decide how you would like to take the project forward.