Chapter 16. Working with External Data


  • Looking at the types of external data and methods for working with them

  • Linking your Access database to external data

  • Using linked tables

  • Linking to external data sources with code

So far, you've worked with data in Access tables found within the current database. In this chapter, you explore the use of data from other types of files. You learn to work with data from database, spreadsheet, HTML, and text-based files. After I describe the general relationship between Access and external data, I explain the major methods of working with external data: linking and importing/exporting.


This chapter uses the Chapter16.accdb database as well as several other files that you'll use for linking. If you haven't already copied these files onto your machine from the CD, you'll need to do so now.

Note that, because the point of this chapter is to show how Access works with external data, there are examples of external data that you need to copy to your machine. Unfortunately, when working with external data, Access requires an exact path to each file — it can't work with relative paths. That means that when you copy Chapter16.accdb to your machine, it won't work until you relink the various external files. I show you how to do that in this chapter. For now, be aware that the following tables are linked to the files indicated:


External File Type



dBase 5.0



Excel ...

Get Access® 2010 Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.