Access Upgrade

Problem Solving an Access Database Upgrade

Maple Leaf is an established, independent firm of property consultants specialising in retail and commercial property.

They needed urgent help when their Microsoft Access database stopped working following a recent upgrade.


The Maple Leaf database had been built by one of the company directors in Microsoft Access 2003 using wizards and macros. He had subsequently hired an Access consultant to add functionality.

When a staff member, using a new computer running Access 2013, opened the database it was automatically upgraded. This rendered it unusable in earlier versions. Both the original developer and the consultant lacked the skills to solve the problem.

The problems were further compounded as the consultant had inadvertently broken the original integrity of the data model when adding new features. Table relationships had been lost resulting in “widowed” and “orphaned” data.


We were able to quickly locate the source of the problem to get the database working and restore functionality. Although solving this issue was reasonably straightforward, the process requires a certain degree of technical competency to avoid potential pitfalls.

We reconfigured the underlying model to fix a number of data integrity errors. The application was further stabilised by removing duplicate as well redundant functionality.

Since this initial work, PC Access has further expanded the database to add more features.

Our business database is an essential tool for us, not only providing us with project monitoring reports but also dealing with fee projections and supporting features to monitor comparable evidence and carry out valuations which are core to the work we undertake. The inability to use the database when problems arose was a major problem that simple backup copies were unable to resolve.

PC Access’ swift response to assess and resolve the problems was vital to enable us to continue to operate effectively as a business. Their ability to provide us with a short term fix as well as a long term proposal to make the database more efficient were thorough and professional and as a result we did not hesitate to ask them not only to undertake this work but to upgrade and improve the database to make it a more efficient and effective tool for the business.

Whilst this process is ongoing at the time of writing we have been impressed with what they have produced to-date in their provisional designs and from our own experience would have no hesitation in recommending them.

John Williams, FRICS ACIArb MEWI Maple Leaf Property Consultants Ltd