One way to exceed the table limits in MS Access

Monday 10 May 2021 @ 6:40 pm

A few years ago I wrote about a limit on the number of tables you can use when connecting to MS Access. The limit is 31.  If you add table #32 to a report it will crash with no error message.  Even using 32 tables in an MS Access query will generate an error message. I see this occasionally when dealing with reports for Raiser’s Edge.

Today we needed table #32 and I found a way to get it. I made a duplicate copy of the MDB and connected to the first instance to get 30 tables. Then I connected to the duplicate MDB to get the other two tables. I selected those two because their joins made up a separate branch from the other 30.

This worked because Crystal does two separate queries, one for each MDB, and then merges the two result sets locally. Crossing connections a last resort, and is never very efficient.  The report was a bit slower but at least it would run.

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