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Chapter 19. Using External Data > Importing, Linking, and Opening: When and Why

Importing, Linking, and Opening: When and Why

When you import data into an Access table, a copy is made of the data and is placed in an Access table. After data is imported, it is treated like any other native Access table. In fact, neither you nor Access has any way of knowing from where the data came. As a result, imported data offers the same performance and flexibility as any other Access table.

Linking to external data is quite different from importing data. Linked data remains in its native format. By establishing a link to the external data, you can build queries, forms, and reports that present the data. After you create a link to external data, the link remains permanently established unless you explicitly remove it. The linked table appears in the database window just like any other Access table. The only difference is that you cannot modify its structure from within Access. In fact, if the data source permits multiuser access, the users of your application can modify the data along with the users of applications written in the data source's native database format (such as FoxPro, dBASE, or Paradox).


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