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Hour 18. Sharing Data with Other Applica... > Importing, Linking, and Opening File...

Importing, Linking, and Opening Files: When and Why

When you import data into an Access table, Access makes a copy of the data and places it in the Access table. After Access imports the data, it treats the data like the data in 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 data.

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, except that its icon is different. In fact, if the data source permits multiuser access, the users of an application can modify the data as can the users of the applications written in the data source's native database format (such as FoxPro, dBASE, or Paradox). The main difference between a linked table and a native table is that you cannot modify a linked table's structure from within Access.


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