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Connecting to SQL Server

SQL Server 2012

To migrate Access databases to SQL Server, you must connect to the target instance of SQL Server. When you connect, SSMA obtains metadata about the databases in the instance of SQL Server and displays database metadata in SQL Server Metadata Explorer. SSMA stores information about which instance of SQL Server that you are connected to, but does not store passwords.

Your connection to SQL Server stays active until you close the project. When you reopen the project, you must reconnect to SQL Server if you want an active connection to the server. You can work offline until you load database objects into SQL Server and migrate data.

Metadata about the instance of SQL Server is not automatically synchronized. Instead, to update the metadata in SQL Server Metadata Explorer, you must manually update the SQL Server metadata. For more information, see the "Synchronizing SQL Server Metadata" section later in this topic.

The account that is used to connect to SQL Server requires different permissions depending on the actions that are performed by that account.

  • To convert Access objects to Transact-SQL syntax, to refresh metadata from SQL Server, or to save converted syntax to scripts, the account must have permission to log in to the instance of SQL Server.

  • To load database objects into SQL Server and to migrate data to SQL Server, the minimum permission requirement is membership in the db_owner database role in the target database.

Before you convert Access database objects to SQL Server syntax, you must establish a connection to the instance of SQL Server where you want to migrate the Access databases.

When you define the connection properties, you also specify the database where objects and data will be migrated. You can customize this mapping at the Access database level after you connect to SQL Server. For more information, see Mapping Source and Target Databases

Important noteImportant

Before you connect to SQL Server, make sure that the instance of SQL Server is running and can accept connections. For more information, see "Connecting to the SQL Server Database Engine" in SQL Server Books Online.

To connect to SQL Server

  1. On the File menu, select Connect to SQL Server.

    If you previously connected to SQL Server, the command name will be Reconnect to SQL Server.

  2. In the Server name box, enter or select the name of the instance of SQL Server.

    • If you are connecting to the default instance on the local computer, you can enter localhost or a dot (.).

    • If you are connecting to the default instance on another computer, enter the name of the computer.

    • If you are connecting to a named instance, enter the computer name, a backslash, and the instance name. For example: MyServer\MyInstance.

    • To connect to an active user instance of SQL Server Express, connect by using named pipes protocol and specifying the pipe name, such as \\.\pipe\sql\query. For more information, see the SQL Server Express documentation.

  3. If your instance of SQL Server is configured to accept connections on a non-default port, enter the port number that is used for SQL Server connections in the Server port box. For the default instance of SQL Server, the default port number is 1433. For named instances, SSMA will try to obtain the port number from the SQL Server Browser Service.

  4. In the Database box, enter the name of the target database for object and data migration.

    This option is not available when reconnecting to SQL Server.

    The target database name cannot contain spaces or special characters. For example, you can migrate Access databases to a SQL Server database named "abc". But you cannot migrate Access databases to a SQL Server database named "a b-c".

    You can customize this mapping per database after you connect. For more information, see Mapping Source and Target Databases

  5. In the Authentication drop-down menu, select the authentication type to use for the connection. To use the current Windows account, select Windows Authentication. To use a SQL Server login, select SQL Server Authentication, and then provide a user name and password. 

  6. For Secure connection, two controls are added, Encrypt Connection Checkbox and TrustServerCertificate Checkbox. Only when Encrypt Connection Checkbox is checked TrustServerCertificate Checkbox is visible. When Encrypt Connection is checked(true) and TrustServerCertificate is unchecked(false), will validate the SQL Server SSL certificate. Validating the server certificate is a part of the SSL handshake and ensures that the server is the correct server to connect to. To ensure this, a certificate must be installed on the client side as well as on the server side.

  7. Click Connect.

Higher version compatibility

It is allowed to connect/reconnect to higher versions of SQL Server.

  1. You will be able to connect to SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2012 when the project created is SQL Server 2005.

  2. You will be able to connect to SQL Server 2012 when the project created is SQL Server 2008 but it is not allowed to connect to lower versions i.e. SQL Server 2005.

  3. You will be able to connect to only SQL Server 2012 when the project created is SQL Server 2012.

  4. Higher version compatibility is not valid for SQL Azure.

PROJECT TYPE Vs TARGET SERVER VERSION

SQL Server 2005
(Version: 9.x)

SQL Server 2008
(Version: 10.x)

SQL Server 2012
(Version:11.x)

SQL Azure

SQL Server 2005

Yes

Yes

Yes

SQL Server 2008

Yes

Yes

SQL Server 2012

Yes

SQL Azure

Yes

Important noteImportant

Conversion of the database objects is carried out as per the project type but not as per the version of the SQL Server connected to. In case of SQL Server 2005 project, Conversion is carried out as per SQL Server 2005 even though you are connected to a higher version of SQL Server (SQL Server 2008/SQL Server 2012).

If SQL Server schemas change after you connect, you can synchronize the metadata with the server.

To synchronize SQL Server metadata

  • In SQL Server Metadata Explorer, right click Databases, and then select Synchronize with Database.

Your connection to SQL Server stays active until you close the project. When you reopen the project, you must reconnect to SQL Server if you want an active connection to the server. You can work offline until you load database objects into SQL Server and migrate data.

The procedure for reconnecting to SQL Server is the same as the procedure for establishing a connection.

If you want to customize the mapping between source and target databases, see Mapping Source and Target Databases Otherwise, the next step is to convert database objects to SQL Server syntax using convert database objects

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