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Chapter 4. Importing and Linking to Data > Linking to Data - Pg. 125

Importing and Linking to Data 125 3. Move to the AccessInsideTrack folder. Name the new database file HelloWorld_be.mdb, and then click Split. Click OK in the message box indicating that the database was split success- fully. In the Database window for HelloWorld4, notice that the tables are now marked with an arrow at their left. This arrow indicates that the database file contains links to the tables rather than the tables themselves. The two forms we have created are still contained in the file HelloWorld4.mdb. If you want to, you can close HelloWorld4.mdb and open HelloWorld4_be.mdb to see the file that contains the actual tables. If you need to modify the design of the tables in a back-end database, you need to make those changes in the back-end file itself. You can't modify the design of a linked table in the file that it's linked to (although you can set a few of the properties for the table and the fields it contains). Linking to Data The ability to link to tables and other sources of data outside your Access database offers advan- tages even if you're working with a single Access .mdb file. As we mentioned earlier in this chapter, linking to data lets you use that data in your database while keeping the data in its original file or format. For example, you can link to tables in a database that someone else manages, or you can link to an Excel worksheet and use the data it contains in a query or modify or edit the data. However, you do face some restrictions with what you can do with linked data. You can't change the structure of a table you've linked to, for example, although you can update and edit the data. Linking to Tables in the Northwind Database In this section, we'll link to tables in the Northwind orders-tracking database that we need to refer to when planning marketing campaigns. The steps to link to data are generally the same no matter which data format you're linking to--another Access database, an Excel spreadsheet, a text file, or other data formats. Link to data 1. Open the HelloWorld4 database if it isn't open already.