I have a Sharepoint list that is a Linked List with MS Access (2010). It has just under 5,000 items (4,864), thus meaning it avoids the reduction in functionality lists of greater than 5,000 items have.

Among the list are five calculated columns. These take the information from another column (different employee numbers), and by using a formula produce a clickable link to my company's Directory page, where that particular employee's info is displayed. I'm not sure if these five columns are relevant to my query, but I'm mentioning them in case.

My problem is this: Frequently when I run any query on the list that updates the list, I get this error: "There were errors executing the bulk query or sending the data to the server. Reconnect the tables to resolve the conflicts or discard the pending changes".

When I review the errors, it says they conflict with errors a previous user made (with that previous user being me). It frequently highlights several columns, despite the info in them being identical, and the calculated columns (with the original showing the value they contained and the new showing #VALUE! (as Access can't display the formulas).

However, if I click Retry All Changes, all the update stick and everything seems fine. Why is this happening? It's proving very annoying and is really stopping the automation of my large number of queries. A list of 5000 items isn't particular big (and they've got roughly 100 columns, although I didn't think that was too large either, given Excel's 200+ column limit).

Is this due to poor query design and SQL? Is this due to connectivity issues (which I doubt, as my line seems perfect)? Is this due to Access tripping over itself and not executing the update on each row in the table, but rather executing them concurrently and locking itself up? I'm at wit's end about it and really need to get this sorted - as it's preventing large scale automation of my queries.

Edit: Sample query that has failed at least once (but passed often as well):

UPDATE [Universe Of Systems] INNER JOIN [Summary] ON 
       [Universe Of Systems].[SALSA ID] = [Summary].IT_System_ID 
SET    [Universe Of Systems].[SALSA Name] = [Summary].[IT_System_Name],
       [Universe Of Systems].[System Type] = [Summary].[IT_System_Type],
       [Universe Of Systems].[CAO Critical] = [Summary].[Critical], 
       [Universe Of Systems].[LOB] = IIf(IsNull([Summary].[LOB]),"None Specified",[Summary].[LOB]), 
       [Universe Of Systems].[Business Ownership] = IIf(InStr([Summary].[LOB],"Shared")=0,[Summary].[LOB],"Shared Application"), 
       [Universe Of Systems].[GS System?] = IIf(InStr([Summary].[LOB],"Global"),"Y","N"), 
       [Universe Of Systems].[Business Owner] = [Summary].[Business_Owner],
       [Universe Of Systems].[System Domain] = [Summary].[System Domain],
       [Universe Of Systems].Delivery = [Summary].[Delivery Unit], 
       [Universe Of Systems].Platform = [Summary].[Platform], 
       [Universe Of Systems].[Delivery Owner] = [Summary].[Delivery Owner],
       [Universe Of Systems].[Lifecycle Stage] = [Summary].[Lifecycle_Stage],
       [Universe Of Systems].[Service Management Level] = [Summary].[SML],
       [Universe Of Systems].[SoX] = [Summary].[SoX], 
       [Universe Of Systems].[Bld Code] = [Summary].[Location_of_IT_Assets];
  • This has happened to me too in various occasions, when using the Datasheet view (which in the end is just like Access) and never really found out what was the cause of this behaviour
    – MdMazzotti
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 13:48
  • How are you running the query on the list? There would be several ways to make this connection and update and not all of them are robust enough for your task.
    – ghangas
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 16:28
  • @MdMazzotti: I have it when using both Datasheet and the List views in Sharepoint (although I assume the error is on the Access end given they're the ones who generate the error) Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 15:19
  • @ghangas: I run the query in Access. I've tried running it as a standalone query, as part of a larger set of queries in a Macro, or through VBA where I use code and run Macro commands to run it. Effectively, it just seems that some queries (especially those that query all 4980 items in the list) occasionally fail (thus rendering automation impossible). Quite often they'll work immediately after - so I've no real idea what's causing this problem. Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 15:19
  • what is the error in the ULS logs, could you please share the complete trace if there is any?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Strategies for accomplishing this query while working around the constraints:

  1. Shorten your query: Do you really need to update 5k records at the same time? Prefer to reduce updates to those actually being changed. If still too big for a successful update then you can break up the records and only update 1k at a time.

  2. Change your connection method from access using Datasheet view to using the more robust and fault tolerant web services. Use a tool to explore Web services and/or SOAP connections to learn what you can do. Creating web service connections in Access.

Likely a combination of the two solutions above would give you the best results. However, since you are nearing the logical limits of what SP claims to do you are running into the actual reasons for the limits. You can successfully do what you are intending to do, but you will need to change how you do it. When you are doing these updates SP is running a ton of additional logic in the background.

Another option (especially if you are running SP 2013) would be to move your raw data to SP and do your joins there instead of in te update query. It would be worth your time to look at the updates to cubes etc in 2013. It swallows farm memory whole, but there is some great functionality there. The linked slide deck would give you a list of terms to google and an overview of features integrated at the brochure level, so take it with a salt mine.

  • Apologies for not getting back sooner. I'll apply all the changes you've suggested and research your helpful articles. Hopefully there'll be a marked improvement. Thanks for your advice. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 8:28
  • Interesting, I actually changed one minor thing as well. My macros had "Set Warnings = No", so the macro would run from start to finish with no prompts. By taking this off, and allowing warnings, it also seems to have reduced any errors. Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 9:34

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