Database Migration from MS Access to MySQL


Microsoft Access has been designed as personal desktop database management system that also can process small and medium size corporate data over the network. However, growing companies may face scalability issues while continue using MS Access for their needs. This fact can force organizations to migrate their data from MS Access to MySQL as more powerful and reliable DBMS that does not require much expenses for deployment.

Reasons for Microsoft Access to MySQL Migration

  • MySQL can work as back-end for MS Access that allows to use MySQL as a data warehouse and Microsoft Access as easy to use interface. At the same time MySQL is the best choice to integrate data with web servers like Apache.
  • MySQL supports any modern languages like C++, PHP, Perl, Python and many others. DBMS components and APIs are free and work on all popular platforms.
  • Unlike Microsoft Access, MySQL can handle simultaneous users via native client-server architecture and grant users multiple levels of privileges for more control over the database based on permissions and roles for relational DBMS.
  • Microsoft Access is distributed under commercial license. MySQL has open source distribution with a lot of free tools and frameworks. Migration to MySQL can reduce total cost of the ownership (TCO).

Approaches to Migration from MS Access to MySQL

There are multiple options to migrate Microsoft Access database to MySQL server: some of them require essential human efforts to post-process the resulting database while others perform turn-key automated conversion. The most straight forward approach to migration is to extract the data from MS Access database into temporary storage, convert it according to MySQL format and load into the destination database. Other options to migrate from Microsoft Access database to MySQL are listed below.

Export Data using Microsoft Access

MS Access allows to export data into text file that can be imported into MySQL database through ‘LOAD DATA’ command line statement or special tool mysqlimport. This approach does not require an extra software, but MySQL tables must be manually created before starting the procedure.

MySQL Scripts Generation

One more approach to database migration from Microsoft Access to MySQL is converting the source tables into MySQL data definition language (DDL) statements. Those statements are SQL-commands to create tables, indexes, constraints and to insert the data. Finally, the person responsible for database migration has to import the script file into MySQL database using any standard tool.

Dedicated Migration Tools

The simplest way to migrate from MS Access to MySQL is to use dedicated commercial tools that can automate entire procedure with just a few clicks of mouse button. It is better to use migration tools that support command line since it allows to script and schedule the procedure. Intelligent Converters, a software company specializing in database migration since 2001, offers such tool having all necessary features to process even large and complicated data.

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