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  • Windows January 2019 updates breaks Access 97 access via Jet Database Engine

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows January 2019 updates breaks Access 97 access via Jet Database Engine

    This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  mn– 9 months, 1 week ago.

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    • #308853 Reply

      gborn
      AskWoody_MVP

      Just another warning. Windows January 2019 updates are patching a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Jet Database Engine – that’s good. The bad: This patch breaks the abillity to read/write some Access 97 database files.

      I’ve read about software for production environments, that failed after applying the patches. This affects all Windows versions patched with January 2019 updates.

      Further details may be found at Windows January 2019 Updates breaks access to Access DBs

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #309006 Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody_MVP

      The real question here is: Why bother applying current patches if still using Office 97?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #309058 Reply

      gborn
      AskWoody_MVP

      The real question here is: Why bother applying current patches if still using Office 97?

      Not sure, if I’m on the wrong planet – or if you catched the beef.

      What we are talking about:

      * A part of Windows is the Microsoft Jet Database Engine, that get also security updates with Windows

      * Some (a lot) of legacy software is using the Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0 provider to access (read/write) databases.

      * One supported database format is the MS Access 97 *.MDB format

      What my article also says: The latest security update for all Windows versions breaks the part of Microsoft’s Jet Database Engine, that is responsible for *.MDB access. .mdb databases with fields with more than 32 characters will return a ‘wrong database format’ error, and access fails.

      If there are legacy programs that depends on this interface, they will fail. I read about cases where production software failed worldwide due to the latest Windows patch, because of the missing access to .mdb files in Access 97 format.

      Changing the database format to Access 2007 is only a theoretical option. I’ve discussed several scenarios with some of my German blog readers. The feedback was: If the database isn’t trivial, there is no way, you should change the database format – too many dependencies in VBA or other languages and within the runtime environments (something like mission impossible – comparable to many old COBOL applications, that’s still in use and maintenance).

      I just posted a warning about that issue. Hope the point is clear now.

      • #309986 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        The real question here is: Why bother applying current patches if still using Office 97?

        * Some (a lot) of legacy software is using the Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0 provider to access (read/write) databases.

        * One supported database format is the MS Access 97 *.MDB format

        What my article also says: The latest security update for all Windows versions breaks the part of Microsoft’s Jet Database Engine, that is responsible for *.MDB access. .mdb databases with fields with more than 32 characters will return a ‘wrong database format’ error, and access fails.

        Indeed, by now a large part of the problem is the very fact that Microsoft keeps calling that database format “Access 97 file”… when many of the installations where it’s used have never seen an Access 97.

        You can find applications using this file format with release dates well into the 2010s.

        Mind you, I remember hearing some very uncomplimentary things about Jet back in the 90s already… but then again it’s not like Oracle 7.whatever didn’t have its own idiosyncracies.

        Changing the database format to Access 2007 is only a theoretical option. I’ve discussed several scenarios with some of my German blog readers. The feedback was: If the database isn’t trivial, there is no way, you should change the database format – too many dependencies in VBA or other languages and within the runtime environments (something like mission impossible – comparable to many old COBOL applications, that’s still in use and maintenance).

        Yeah, database format changes are a bother even when you have the source code and the full build environment up… and indeed one like this (Jet 3.5 for “Access 97” -> Jet 4.0 for “Access 2000” -> ACE 12 for Access 2007) where the upgrade path would include changes to everything from string representation to number types…

        One-way run-once data transfers would be possible, and there would seem to be non-Microsoft tools for that too so can be done post-update (WSL and mdbtools if no other way), but that’s not very useful if you don’t have a version of your application that’d use the new format.

    • #309103 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      Those workarounds make me twitch.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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