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Access™ 2007 VBA Programmer's Reference by Armen Stein, Geoffrey Griffith, Rob Cooper, Teresa Hennig

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A.6. Enabling a Database

As mentioned earlier, Access 2007 can work with Access 95 and 97 files. Basically, there are two options for working with the file: convert it or enable it. Converting creates a copy of the file in a newer format, as discussed earlier. To work with the file without converting it requires enabling the database.

There are some logical limitations when working with an enabled database. Considering that databases are not forward compatible, it makes sense that although you can use Access 2007 to work with an Access 97 file, you cannot use an Access 97 file to link to a table in an Access 2000 or newer database. Access 2007 will not convert a file to an Access 97 or 95 format. However, you can export the tables to an Access 97 file. You can also move or copy data from a table and paste it directly into a table in a prior-version database.

Other concerns deal with the file format, mostly because features of the new file formats were not available or supported in Access 97. For example, data that relied on Unicode compression may not convert correctly. And because Access 97 had a 256-character set, it may not have equivalent characters for some of the characters in the new format. Also, the Decimal FieldSize property for Number fields was not available in 97. This property must be changed prior to conversion. Typical alternatives include Single or Double or changing the data type to Currency.

A.6.1. Enabling the Experience: Opening 95 or 97 Files with Access ...

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