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Chapter 42. Linking Multiple Tables > Creating Links to External Databases

Creating Links to External Databases

In some cases, you may want to incorporate the contents of an external database file (or a collection of related files) into an Access database. If the external file is available on your system or network, and if the data is stored in a format that Access can use, you can incorporate the data into your Access application. Access enables you to work with database files that were originally developed in desktop database programs, including most versions of dBASE, FoxPro, and Paradox, as well as previous versions of Access. You can also use data from Excel worksheets, Lotus spreadsheets, text files, and Web pages. Access reads information directly from Microsoft's larger database program, SQL Server, and it can work with other database formats as well if you have installed the appropriate ODBC (page 638) driver.

Access gives you two ways to incorporate data from an external database. You can import a copy of the data, creating a new table in your Access database. You can also create a link to the external table, without actually importing it into your current database. In this case, Access enables you to work with the data just as if it were stored within the Access file— you can establish relationships between the external data and existing table objects in your database, and you can create new queries to extract combinations of data from related tables.


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