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Import MS Access Database to SQL Server Effortlessly

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On May 14th, 2024
Reading Time 11 Minutes Reading
Category Migration

Migration is indeed an overwhelming procedure, however, it can be made less difficult with the correct information and approach. Therefore, we have brought you this blog. Here, we will explore the techniques on how to import Access to SQL server in a smooth and proficient manner.

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Microsoft Access is a well-known database management system. It is an astonishing application for storing user data in an organized manner. Business and enterprise users can analyze and manage large amounts of information. MS Access stores its data in two formats i.e., MDB and ACCDB. While MDB can only be accessed in MS Access versions 2003 and earlier. The ACCDB is the latest format of MS Access database.

On the other hand, SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDMS) developed by Microsoft. It uses .sql format to store its data. SQL server supports multiple business intelligence, analytics applications, and transaction processing in IT corporate environments. Let us move to our main topic i.e. how to transfer Microsoft access database to SQL server.

Benefits of Import Access to SQL Server

There are numerous reasons why users turn towards import MS Access database to SQL Server. Doing so, one receives several benefits as SQL Server itself is equipped with multiple features.

  • Increased Availability: Whether incremental or complete, SQL Server allows you to dynamically back up the database while it’s still in use. Moreover, you also need not force users to exit the database in order to back it up.
  • Immediate Recoverability: If due to unfortunate circumstances, the power goes out or the operating system crashes, the SQL server is capable enough to automatically recover the database to a consistent state in a matter of a few minutes. Moreover, it doesn’t even require any database administrator intervention as well.
  • More Concurrent Users: Unlike MS Access, SQL Server can handle many more concurrent users. Along with that, it minimizes memory requirements when more users are added to it.
  • Easy to Manage Larger Database: If your database size grown beyond the limit and hampers MS access performance. Then it the time to move to the SQL server. Don’t worry in this case, you are allowed to import old databases from MS Access to SQL Server easily.
  • Access SQL Server Remotely: SQL server allows users to access it remotely. It removes geographical hindrance and facility a wide range of accessibility. Move to the next level of data accessibility by moving from MS Access to SQL server.

Now that we have learned what benefits you get when you convert Access database to SQL Server. let us move on and see how to actually complete the import process.

Method-1: Import Access to SQL Server Manually

First, we have the manual approach for convert Microsoft Access database to SQL server.

  • Launch Microsoft SQL Server and open the Import/Export wizard in it.
  • Next, select the “Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider” option as the “Data Source”.
  • Then, in the “Data Source” field, select “Properties” and specify the location of the MS Access .accdb file.
  • After that, under login information click on “Blank Password” and then, enter a blank username.
  • Check if your connection works properly, and click OK.
  • Next, choose “Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server” for the “Data Destination”.
  • Then, from the dropdown menu, select and enter the MS SQL Server name. Upon providing the correct MS SQL information, the Access data you want to import will appear in the dropdown menu.
  • After that, select “Copy data from one or more tables or views”.
  • Proceeding forward, choose the tables that you want to copy and edit the mappings according to how you want to store your data.
  • Finally, proceed through the wizard to start the import and click “Finish”.

So, this is the manual procedure for importing Access database to SQL Server for free.

Method 2: Import Access to SQL Server Using SSMA

Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for Access is installed on the system through a Windows Installer-based wizard. In this section, we will provide a thorough installation and conversion tutorial using the latest version of SSMA.

  • Set up SSMA
  • To enter, unlock your SSMA.
  • Start a new file: To navigate, choose “File” → “New Project“.
  • Choose a place and save the file after adding the project name.
  • From the list of options, select SQL Server migration. Next, press the OK button.
  • Add the Access databases you want to look through.
  • In Access Metadata Explorer, right-click on the database that you want a report to be generated for. A second option is located in the top-right corner of the “Create Report” tab.
  • Check for errors, cautions, and conversion data in the HTML report. Open it in Excel as well to see an item inventory and schema conversion efforts. SSMA Projects is where the report is automatically stored.

Check Data Types to Import Access to SQL server

  • To access the Project Settings, select the Tools menu.
  • Choose the type mapping tab.
  • Examine and adjust the data type default mappings if needed.

Adjust the Database’s Elements to Migrate Access to SQL Server

  • Use SSMS to establish a connection to SQL Server.
  • To convert the database schema, use the Convert Schema tab or the right-click option in Access Metadata Explorer.
  • Check for discrepancies between the converted and original objects, and address any issues you discover.
  • Compare the modified Transact-SQL text with the original code.
  • As an alternative, you can convert specific things by using a right-click menu that says “Convert Schema.”
  • Examine the Error List window’s results to see if there are any problems.
  • Save the project locally by choosing FileSave Project in order to perform offline schema repair operations.

Method 3: Import Access to SQL Server using SSMS

The main purpose of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is to manage databases, related objects, and SQL Server instances. It is not the same as SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA).

Step 1: Verify that Microsoft Access and SQL Server Management Studio are operating properly.

Make that your computer is operational and that SQL Server is installed. Verify that you have administrative access to Microsoft Access and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) as well.

Step 2: Access Information Convert Access Database to SQL Server

  • Launch the Access database.
  • Select the table or tables that SQL Server should import.
  • Navigate through the menu to “External Data“.
  • Click on “ODBC Database” in the “Export” group to select it.
  • Use the wizard’s instructions to add a new data source to your SQL Server database.
  • Select the appropriate SQL Server driver and provide the connection details.
  • For each Access table, choose the SQL Server destination tables.
  • Complete the export process.

Step 3: Use SSMS to Import Access to SQL Server.

As soon as Microsoft Access’s export procedure is complete. Now, every database may be imported into SQL Server using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). 

  • Launch the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
  • Next, connect to your SQL Server instance using all necessary credentials.
  • To use the Object Explorer option to import data from Microsoft Access into a target database, right-click on it. After that, go to “Tasks” → “Import Data“. This will cause a new wizard to start with options for SQL Server Import and Export.
  • This wizard allows you to select the Access data source. Next, choose the relevant Access database file that needs to be exported.
  • From this menu, select the Access tables or queries that you want to export.
  • Choose the appropriate OLE DB provider or the “SQL Server Native Client” in the “Select a Destination” dialog.
  • Going forward, select “Copy data from one or more tables or views” if you wish to import whole tables.
  • If you want to change the data types or column mappings, select “Edit Mappings“. Make sure the source and destination columns are appropriately mapped first, though.
  • Click “Next” to start the import process at the end.
  • Upon completion of the import process, SSMS will display any errors discovered.
  • Verify the results to ensure they are accurate when the transfer is finished.

Method 4: Migrate Access to SQL Server via VBA Code

  • This is one of the easiest ways to import Access to SQL Server using VBA code. Visual Basic for Applications is referred to as VBA. Follow the instructions to finish the export procedure.
  • Before you attempt to import databases and tables, make sure your SQL Server is operational and that all required permissions are enabled.
  • Make sure the “Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects x.x Library” integration for the Access database is enabled. Use the guidelines below to set this reference:
  • You can open the VBA editor by simultaneously holding down Alt and F11. Select ToolsReferences next. Next, choose the appropriate “Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects x.x Library” version.

Code Begins —->>>>>>

Sub MigrateDataToSQLServer()

Dim conn As Object

Set conn = CreateObject(“ADODB.Connection”)

‘Connect to SQL Server

conn.ConnectionString = “Provider=SQLOLEDB;Data Source=YourServerName; Initial Catalog=Your DatabaseName; User ID=YourUsername;Password=Your Password;”


‘Export data from Access to SQL Server

Dim strSQL As String


Server;SERVER=YourServerName; DATABASE=YourDatabaseName;Trusted_Connection=Yes’ FROM YourAccessTableName;”

CurrentDb.Execute strSQL, dbFailOnError

‘Close connection to import Access to SQL server


Set conn = Nothing

End Sub

<<<<<——Code Ends

Don’t forget to update the placeholder values to match the real names of YourServerName, YourDatabaseName, YourUsername, and YourPassword.

Drawbacks of Free Solution to Import Access to SQL Server

Despite being functional, the free options for import MS Access database to SQL Server have a number of shortcomings.some of the shorting are listed below:

  • This method includes a lot of steps which makes it lengthy in nature and thus, time-consuming and tedious.
  • To follow through with this method, one needs technical insights. Unfortunately, not many users are proficient in adapting technical procedures, thus, this method turns out to be complicated for them.
  • Since it is a manual procedure, users need to manually execute every step, which means one single error could easily deescalate the process and even corrupt user data.
  • To store their data, MS Access and SQL Server use different structures. Thus, in order to import Access database to SQL server correctly, you need to perform mapping according to how you want to store your data.

All these hindrances make the import process complicated to execute for most users. One should not risk performing this process without any expert guidance, as it may cause them to lose their precious data.

So what can be done in this situation? Worry not, we have another solution up our sleeve. Moreover, this solution is backed by numerous technical professionals as the best solution to import table from Access to SQL Server proficiently.

Smart Insight to Import Access to SQL Server in Just a Click

Dealing with database migration from one platform to another. Therefore, we have brought none other than the Access ACCDB Converter Software. This excellent tool is equipped with numerous unique functions that simplify the migration process of import Access to SQL server. It is fully compatible with every version of the Windows Operating System. It can also import table from Access to SQL Server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What disadvantages come with convert Microsoft Access database to SQL server  by manually?

Easily accessible approaches have several disadvantages, such as being labor-intensive, necessitating technical know-how, prone to mistakes, and having intricate data mapping between Access and SQL Server.

Q. Is it possible to Import MS Access Database to SQL Server using manual methods for managing large databases?

Manual techniques are capable of managing sizable databases, albeit their effectiveness may differ based on elements like the system’s resources and the database’s complexity.

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By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.