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Cross version compatibility between Access 2010 and Access 2007

Today’s guest writer is Lois Wang—PM for reports and version-to-version compatibility.

I saw a question on the Access TechNet Forum the other day that I’d like to share with the community:

I can’t open accdb files in Access 2007 after they’ve been opened in 2010.”

Access 2010 brings you many new features (Data Macros, Calculated Columns, etc.) that Access 2007 does not understand. If Access 2007 goes ahead and open a Database created/modified in 2010, it will ignore these new features and might even cause data loss or corrupt business logic. For example, a data macro validation rule that is forced in 2010 but ignored in 2007, this can cause data inconsistency. To prevent that from happening, we implemented the feature to block certain databases to open in Access 2007 after it’s modified in 2010, or open it as read-only in 2007.

Access 2007 cannot open a database built or modified in Access 2010 if it uses:

  • new sort orders,
  • Access 2010 new encryption, or
  • your application has been published to SharePoint.

For other new features as Data Macros, Calculated Columns, Navigation controls, Web browser controls, and new layout for forms/reports, we did the work to allow the Access application that contains these features to open up in Access 2007 SP2, but objects containing these features are read-only. However, the application does not open in Access 2007 SP1, so please make sure you get SP2 for Access 2007.

What if the people you want to share your application with only has Access 2007? There is a way to “down-grade” your 2010 application to 2007. In short, delete the new features in your application and import all objects into a new Access 2010 blank application. This will create a new app that can work in Access 2007.

The article on http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/cc907897.aspx has more details.