Creating Linked Tables

Access 2010 lets you create and use linked tables to a wide variety of data sources. A linked table in an Access database is a table of data that can be used as though it is a local table in the database, even though the data actually resides in another location. In most cases a linked table is updatable through manipulation in the Access database, but a table must at least be readable to be usable as a linked table.

In some ways, linking is not much different than importing external data, except that the data remains in the external file and not in the Access database. It reduces the database size by not needing to physically store the data in the MDB/ACCDB file. Linking also helps eliminate duplicate data. If the linked tables are used by multi-user applications, the data is located in a single database file — not in each user's local database. Linking can be used when you want to import only records that meet certain criteria. Linking also allows Access applications to gather, use, and manipulate data in an external data source without actually storing that data within the Access database.

The primary use for linked tables in Access is to create multi-tiered database applications. A typical multi-user Access database application is a two-tiered application. The first tier is the user interface (front end), which is distributed to all the application's users. The front end typically contains the database objects that the user interacts with, such as ...

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