Personal GDB(.mdb) import tool

04-20-2018 09:32 AM
Status: Open
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New Contributor III

Since ArcGIS PRO currently does not have a native method for reading data from Microsoft access databases(.mdb) we need a tool at least to import the data into a file geodatabase.  It would be best to natively read the personal geodatabases instead of importing.  

Many companies still use the personal geodatabase because of the ease of development in MS access for forms and reports.  

Please vote up this idea.Microsoft Access (.accdb) Support in ArcGIS Propug list #pug puc


Are you currently using ArcMap?  Just curious why the workflow wouldn't be to import the mdb contents into gdb in ArcMap/ArcCatalog.  Then use the gdb in Pro?


That workflow might make ArcMap users NOT want to transition to Pro though where everything can be done in one application instead of two.



  I do have ArcMap and ArcCatalog and could do the conversion.  But many of us are interested in testing for full parity so we can transition to a PRO primarily production environment.  This is one of those critical functionality missing from PRO that will have an impact on GIS users that ESRI may not recognize.  The personal GDB is a good storage medium with access by other non-GIS applications that make it very useful without the need for synchronization of files to switch formats between applications.


This is extremely important. A python tool a GP or anything in PRO  ...we need to be able to pull personal gdb into PRO without having to keep ArcGIS Desktop installed. Even a conversion tool that gets a mdb and converts into gdb or geopackage.

Some users are recurring to QGIS to read mdb. That shouldn't be acceptable from ESRI's standpoint.


I would understand if ArcGIS Pro cannot read Personal Geodatabases or Access Databases....   but it would be nice if ESRI included a separate tool tool that will convert Personal Geodatabases to a File Geodatabase.  For all I care the we could run a 32 bit tool outside of ArcGIS Pro...  I just don't want to keep an old copy of ArcMap around so that I can access data that is stored in older formats.

Specifically my situation is that the NRCS web soil survey stores data in an access database.  ArcMap can read that database and import the data into a File Geodatabase while ArcPro cannot.




Here we are so many years later into ArcGIS Pro and still no tool to convert .mdb to .gdb. Why? ESRI, please respond.


Thanks everyone for your comments. 

I'd like to bring awareness to a blog that folks finding themselves here might find useful.  This blog, and others in its blog series, provide users some insight as to why these formats are no longer supported, and provide script tools to help migrate data from older formats to more modern file and mobile geodatabases.

Check it out and let us know if they help your process.  If there are additions to the tools or questions about them, be sure to let us know in the comments of the blog. 

Migrating Data: Tools to migrate a personal geodatabase to file geodatabase or mobile geodatabase 


@SSWoodward, I think most of the people here is looking for (using @JoabelBarbieri words) "(...) a python tool a GP or anything in PRO ...we need to be able to pull personal gdb into PRO without having to keep ArcGIS Desktop installed!"

The Migrate Personal Geodatabases to File Geodatabases tool, recommended in the blog you suggest, needs ArcMap, and helps in a workflow which was already possible using ArcMap, and somehow even even in QGIS.

I think what everyone is aspecting is something that allow us to do without ArcMap and QGIS, and just use ArcGIS Pro. If it's not possible for 64 bit reasons, please try to devise some kind of stand alone tool...