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Microsoft Access Specifications and Limitations

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Just as any application, MS Access has specifications and limitations that should be remembered. The following tables specify the maximum sizes and numbers of various objects defined in Microsoft Access databases.

MS Access 2007, MS Access 2003

General

Attribute Maximum
Access database (.accdb) file size 2 gigabytes, minus the space needed for system objects
Note: Although the maximum size for a single database file is 2GB, you can work around this limitation by using a split database. A front-end database file can point to thousands of back-end database files, each of which could be as large as 2GB.
Number of objects in a database 32,768
Number of modules (including forms and reports that have the HasModule property set to True) 1,000
Number of characters in an object name 64
Number of characters in a password 20 (for MS Access 2007)
14 (for MS Access 2003)
Number of characters in a user name or group name 20
Number of concurrent users 255


Table

Attribute Maximum
Number of characters in a table name 64
Number of characters in a field name 64
Number of fields in a table 255
Number of open tables 2048; the actual number might be smaller because of tables opened internally by Access
Table size 2 gigabyte minus the space needed for the system objects
Number of characters in a Text field 255
Number of characters in a Memo field 65,535 when entering data through the user interface;
2 gigabytes (for MS Access 2007) and 1 gigabyte (for MS Access 2003) of character storage when entering data programmatically
Size of an OLE Object field 1 gigabyte
Number of indexes in a table 32
Number of fields in an index 10
Number of characters in a validation message 255
Number of characters in a validation rule 2,048
Number of characters in a table or field description 255
Number of characters in a record (excluding Memo and OLE Object fields) when the UnicodeCompression property of the fields is set to Yes 4,000
Number of characters in a field property setting 255


Query

Attribute Maximum
Number of enforced relationships 32 per table, minus the number of indexes that are on the table for fields or combinations of fields that are not involved in relationships*
Number of tables in a query 32*
Number of joins in a query 16*
Number of fields in a recordset 255
Recordset size 1 gigabyte
Sort limit 255 characters in one or more fields
Number of levels of nested queries 50*
Number of characters in a cell in the query design grid 1,024
Number of characters for a parameter in a parameter query 255
Number of AND operators in a WHERE or HAVING clause 99*
Number of characters in an SQL statement Approximately 64,000*

*Maximum values might be lower if the query includes multivalued lookup fields.

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MS Access 2000

Attribute Maximum
Max mdb file size 2GB
Max table size 1GB
Max objects in database 32768
Max modules in database 1000
Max object name length 64
Max password length 14
Max user/group name length 20
Max users connected to database 255
Max record length (without Memos and BLOBs) 2048
Max fields in table 255

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MS Access 1997

Attribute Maximum
Max mdb file size 1GB
Max objects in database 32768
Max modules in database 1024
Max object name length 64
Max password length 14
Max user/group name length 20
Max users connected to database 255
Max record length (without Memos and BLOBs) 2048
Max fields in table 255
Max nested transactions 7

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