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Moving to 64 Bit Version of MS Access from a 32 Bit Version of MS Access

P: 7
I volunteer coding MS Access for a food bank in Aylmer, Quebec. We have about 7 machines on a front end back end configuration running off our mighty (cheap) WDMyCloud "server". They were running MS Access 2007, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. We thus decided to upgrade to MS Access 2016.

Full disclosure: Never realised there was 32 vs 64 bit Versions of MS Access.

Our existing MS Access code runs completely (it appears) without problem on the 32 bit version of MS Access 2016 (32 bit). For the 64 bit version, one needs to create a 64 bit blank database, and import all the 32 bit objects into the blank data base. This mostly works, though I noticed some errors (problems with code translation to 64 bit ??).

Some comment on the Internet suggests that it is better to keep the 32 bit version, and avoid compatibility issues. I am a bit afraid of unknown compatibility issues, but likes what appears to be a bit more speed with the 64 bit version.

Can anyone share their experiences with 64 bit upgrades? Better to upgrade to 64 bit or stay at 32 bit?

Regards

J. Smith
Aylmer, Quebec
Mar 22 '18 #1

✓ answered by NeoPa

High John.

Twinny, you may need to see this too.

While you may get a project working in 64-bit Access there is still no general recommendation to use that version because there are still so many things it simply cannot handle at this time.

Generally, most issues are with the VBA code itself rather than table, query or object (Form/Report) design. There are a number of helpful blogs available to help with the most common issues. However, there are also some fairly commonly used libraries that simply haven't been provided for 64-bit (yet?)

I don't want to hold you back, but do realise that in this case (migrating to 64-bit) you may find yourself as a brave trail-blazer working a bit close to the frontier. You always admired those old frontiersmen didn't you?

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12 Replies


twinnyfo
Expert Mod 2.5K+
P: 3,054
praxis1949,

Welcome to Bytes!

We recently did our upgrade to 64-bit machines/Software here at work, too (government is always slow, due to validating security issues with new systems/software). We had very few issues with the new 64 bit machines.

You have already done what I would have recommended, and that is to import your old objects into a new, blank DB. I would recommend running through as much of what you do on a regular basis to find out where the incompatibility issues are and fix those as needed.

I would not recommend maintaining an old outdated project, "just because it still works." There may be some validity in that, but systems and software wait for no man. They will continue to advance.

Anecdotally, my wife used to work in an office in which there was one employee (who had been in the office since the Stona Age). He used WordPerfect--becuase he always used WordPerfect. Even though the office had long-since migrated to MS Office, he continued to use WordPerfect. They had to search to purchase a special upgrade for his version of WordPerfect because his version was so outdated. However, he could never share any documents with anyone, because they were in a different format, but it "worked for him." When he retired from the office, they lost all the historical records, because they were in a format that no one could use.

I do believe that the 64-bit paradigm will be here to stay for a while. I do think it is worth the effort to simply "bite the bullet" and make the migration. There will be some headaches involved with your migration--I won't sugar coat it. But, in the long run, I do believe it is worth it. You will have a more stable, more compatible platform for your applications.

Hope this hepps!
Mar 22 '18 #2

P: 7
Thanks for the reply. So far found only minor issues (References not checked, some minor query mistranslations something weird with publishing reports in PDF [ resolved in one of those weird Access ways]) Oddly, using a 64 bit version with a 32 bit set of tables as a back end (in the BE - FE testing configeration). Does the back end need to be translated to 64 bit too?

Thanks again. Should help me unchicken myself.

John S
Mar 22 '18 #3

twinnyfo
Expert Mod 2.5K+
P: 3,054
I don't think the BE needs to be translated into 64-bit, but it wouldn't be a bad idea. There can be some serious issues (that I have experienced) with BEs not being the same version as the FE.
Mar 22 '18 #4

P: 7
Hmmm. I will try upgrading the BE tables. Thanks
Mar 22 '18 #5

NeoPa
Expert Mod 15k+
P: 31,186
High John.

Twinny, you may need to see this too.

While you may get a project working in 64-bit Access there is still no general recommendation to use that version because there are still so many things it simply cannot handle at this time.

Generally, most issues are with the VBA code itself rather than table, query or object (Form/Report) design. There are a number of helpful blogs available to help with the most common issues. However, there are also some fairly commonly used libraries that simply haven't been provided for 64-bit (yet?)

I don't want to hold you back, but do realise that in this case (migrating to 64-bit) you may find yourself as a brave trail-blazer working a bit close to the frontier. You always admired those old frontiersmen didn't you?
Mar 23 '18 #6

P: 7
Hi. Interestingly, I may be running into having to do with emailing pdf copies of reports.Of course, this dated back to Access 2007. And this is in the 32 bit version of 2016.

Thanks for the advice. Makes me twice about moving to 64 bit.

John S
Mar 23 '18 #7

twinnyfo
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P: 3,054
@NeoPa,

Thanks for the additional information, as usual. Perhaps I am just fortunate that I am not using any of those libraries that don’t have 64-bit support? I admit, I stick mostly with MS Office automation and a lot fo the basic stuff.

I know you are much more deeply involved with knowing about commercial trends than I am—have you heard anything about “intent” for these libraries to be updated? For those who have quite advanced projects or enterprise-wide solutions, this could be a significant impact to continued success!
Mar 23 '18 #8

NeoPa
Expert Mod 15k+
P: 31,186
I do have to be careful what I say due to NDA, but I'm certainly not aware of any concrete push to ensure 64-bit is brought up to speed with the 32-bit version.

For now, just be on the lookout for any gotchas and be circumspect about moving projects on to 64-bit.
Mar 23 '18 #9

P: 7
Let me thank everyone for their experience. Can't say there is a "best reply". We experimented with going 64 bit. The conversion to 64 bit 2016 was not seamless, and we worried about more problems to follow. In the end we chickened out.

Oh, one small additional question: is it wise to reload all back end tables in empty 2016 databases. We are moving from 2007 to 2016. We have reloaded all the front end code into blank 2016 tables.

Regards, and thanks again.
Mar 26 '18 #10

NeoPa
Expert Mod 15k+
P: 31,186
Praxis1949:
Can't say there is a "best reply".
Let me sort that one for you. In a case like this the most important one for people to see quickly and easily is certainly post #6.
Praxis1949:
Oh, one small additional question: is it wise to reload all back end tables in empty 2016 databases. We are moving from 2007 to 2016. We have reloaded all the front end code into blank 2016 tables.
We don't encourage multiple questions in a single thread as that stops people being able to search for each separately. Nevertheless, this is a quick, easy one. While it's generally not necessary, it certainly doesn't hurt if you want to progress beyond any reliance on the older version.
Mar 26 '18 #11

P: 7
Oh. BTW, problems with PDF and emailing were my personal "brain fart"; forgot how they were set up. No problem, at least, with transition to 32 bit Access 2016. I will keep in mind the single threads requirements. Advice appreciated.
Mar 26 '18 #12

NeoPa
Expert Mod 15k+
P: 31,186
: - )
Mar 26 '18 #13

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