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AcuODBC User's Guide
Version 6.0

4.1.3 Accessing Data From Access 97 and 2000

The following procedure describes how to access your COBOL data from Microsoft Access 97 and Access 2000, the database components of Microsoft Office 97 and Office 2000, respectively. If you have a different version of Access, use the procedures shown here to get an idea of the concepts involved in accessing COBOL data from within an Access database, but be aware that your steps may be slightly different.


Note: When you are accessing relative files, you do not need to specify a unique key for Access. When Access displays the dialog box requesting that you enter a unique key, just click OK without selecting any field.

If you are using the Multicompany feature and are linking tables, you must relink every time you start Access and use this data source. See section 3.8, "Multicompany Support," for more information on this feature.


  1. Start Access.
  2. Open an existing database or create a new one. If you have created a new database, name and save it.
  3. Select Get External Data from the File menu, and then select Import or Link Tables.
  4. Here's a brief comparison of working with imported or linked data. For more information, refer to your Microsoft Access documentation.

Imported Tables
Linked Tables
Data is local. The entire contents of an imported table is read into a copy on local storage.
Data is remote. Only rows requested from the linked table are read into local storage.
Note that you can link to a local table, rather than creating a second copy by importing it.
Importing can take several seconds, or minutes, depending on the size of the database.
Creating a link is almost instantaneous, depending on the network connection.
Space is required for local copies of imported tables.
The link requires very little local storage.
Data is static. If there are changes to the database, they are not reflected in local data. If the database is subject to frequent changes, linking can be preferable.
Data is dynamic. You have access to any changes.
If the network connection is broken, users still have access to data.
If network connection is broken, users have no access to data until connection is restored.
Users cannot write to the Vision source.
Users can write to the Vision source if the DSN is read/write.

As a guideline, re-linking or re-importing is required when the table structure (such as the number of columns, or their names, sizes, and types) changes.

Note that in the examples shown in this section, the data is imported, not linked.

  • In the Import dialog box, select ODBC Databases from the "Files of type" list box.
  • In the Select Data Source dialog box, select the DSN that you established, and click OK. (Click New to create a new DSN. Refer to section 3.1, "Data Source Names (DSNs)," for instructions.) If you want to use the sample DSN that comes with AcuODBC, select AcuODBC Datasource.
  • The Import Objects dialog box opens, displaying a list of the tables available in the selected data files.

  • Select the table or tables that you want to read into Access, and click OK.
  • Click Select All to add all of the listed tables to your Access database.

  • Double-click the table icon to open the table in Access.
  • If you have imported the data, the table name or names you selected appear on the Access screen next to an icon of a table. You will see a different icon next to the table names if you have linked the data.

  • You may now perform Access operations on this data.

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