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Chapter 15. Integration with Office 2003... > Extending SharePoint Using Access - Pg. 539

Integration with Office 2003 and SharePoint Services 539 To work through the SharePoint exercises in this chapter, you'll need to have access to a SharePoint Team site or install SharePoint Services either to an accessible SQL Server database or to a local MSDE database. You'll need at least one team site created. Information about how to install Share- Point to either of these databases is included in the SharePoint documentation. Linking to SharePoint Data Using Access Because most of what you see by way of content on a SharePoint site is retrieved from a database (a SQL Server database, to be exact), you can use Access to link to that data for a variety of pur- poses. Some things you might do with SharePoint data through Access include the following: · · · · Run a query against the data to determine usage information. Modify a set of records in a batch process instead of individually via the SharePoint interface. Create a backup of a discussion list for archiving purposes. Create a set of reports that show how various SharePoint objects were used. For example, you might want to know how many discussion list users also used SharePoint tasks. · Merge two calendars from different SharePoint sites. · Compare announcements from various subsites in your SharePoint environment. Access 2003 makes it easy to connect to a SharePoint site by hiding the wiring, so to speak. As you might recall, Access will allow you to link to various data sources, including Microsoft Excel spread- sheets, dBASE and Paradox databases, and formatted text files. With Access 2003, Microsoft has added SharePoint as a data source. In previous versions of Access, you could connect to a Share- Point database, but you had to use Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) through a SQL Server connection to do so. Once you were in the SharePoint database, you had to wade through a bunch of cryptic table names to find the data you wanted. With Access 2003, SharePoint now is a native