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Stupid old access DB….. that only works in verson 2003

August 28, 2015

Well – that is what it seems anyway.  One of my access customers, who runs a fairly simply billing DB contacted me this week with this message.

Help, I have been out for 6 weeks and now my billing db is not working“.

I love the detail provided.

I looked at the DB and saw that on the main form of the application, the buttons were not working.  Its like a switchboard form – or auto-start form – we know the ones….

When I looked under the hood, there was no VBA and no defined macros ??  I wondered what the heck was supposed to be firing on the click events for each button?  The DB objects were there, tables, queries, reports, forms.  But no macros anywhere to be found….and no VBA.

What gives?

When I pushed a little deeper, my customer said “oh, well it only runs in access 2003.”  And she has a never version, 2010, on her workstation, along with the older version still.  don’t ask why, because IT installed it as part of the suite – and just did not bother removing it.

Quickly, I deduced that she probably opened the DB in access 2010 – it did some type of conversion of old VBA code – or tried to, and corrupted the DB.  I kinda proved this by opening an older copy of the DB using 2003 and seeing it work.  After sleeping on this, a very clear thought bubbled up today

my clear thought “This DB has been limping along in 2003 for many years and no-one has bothered to figure out what is necessary or required to update, so it works in the newest version of access.  Rather, it has been easier to simply keep 2003 laying around.”  How much work could it really be?  Her DB is not that complex.

Fortunately for her, she keep the db in her private network space and so I was able to request a copy of it from about 6 weeks ago.  I expect when I get the copy, I will be able to open it in 2003 without issue.  And that will solve the mystery of what happened to it.

Which leaves me with 2 outcomes

1 – Fix the code in the DB so it works in newer access version

2 – remove access 2010 from her computer.

The first is the better option, treating the problem, not the symptom.  BUT, this may prove to me more work that its worth.  When I have time, I will look at it with an eye toward 1 and update this post.

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