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Chapter 40. Access Essentials > Exporting and Importing Data

Exporting and Importing Data

Sooner or later—probably sooner—you'll want to transfer information stored in an Access database to some other software environment, or move data originally created in another program into Access. In some cases, you'll want to move entire tables between database programs for use in different applications. For example, you might want to copy a table of supplier names and addresses from Access so that another database developer can incorporate that data into an application created with SQL Server or Oracle. Or, if you're building an Access database to replace an application created in an older program, such as dBASE, FoxPro, or Paradox, you may need to import data twice—once when you begin designing the database, so you can test forms, reports, and queries using real data, and a second time when you're ready to switch from the old system to the new one.

Tip

Even when you're extremely careful, exporting and importing information between database formats runs a serious risk of creating duplicate data sets. If you keep infor-mation about customers and products in Access and in a SQL Server database, for example, whoever is responsible for data entry has to enter changes in two places, and it's almost certain that some records will be out of sync or contain errors and inconsistencies. When you must use the same data in two different database programs, you should choose one program to store the data, and then create a link to that data from the other database program so that you can add or edit records or run queries. Because Access can link to data stored in a variety of formats—including dBASE, SQL Server, and Paradox—you will most often want to store shared data in another program and create links to it from Access.



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