Exchanging Data Between MySQL and Microsoft Access

10.39.1 Problem

You want to exchange information between MySQL and Access.

10.39.2 Solution

To use information stored in MySQL, connect to the MySQL server directly from Access. To transfer information from Access to MySQL, use a utility that can perform the transfer directly, or else export tables from Access into files and import the files into MySQL.

10.39.3 Discussion

MySQL and Access both understand ODBC, so you can connect to MySQL directly from Access. By making an ODBC connection, Access becomes a frontend through which you use MySQL databases. The mysql.com MyODBC area contains a lot of useful information:


An excellent description of the procedures for setting up ODBC and for connecting from Access to MySQL over ODBC may be found in W.J. Gilmore's article at the DevShed web site:


If your tables currently are in Access and you want to move them into MySQL, you'll need to create tables in MySQL to hold the information and then import the Access data into those tables. A couple of good free tools that can make this easier are DBTools and MySQLFront. They can examine the structure of tables in an Access database, create the corresponding MySQL tables for you, and copy the data directly into MySQL.

You can also choose to export Access tables to files and then import the files into MySQL. (This may be necessary, for example, if your MySQL server is on a different machine and doesn't allow connections from your Windows box.) If you elect to go this route, some of the issues you'll need to consider are the file format to use, date format conversion, and how to create the MySQL tables for the data if the tables don't already exist. Several of the scripts described earlier in the chapter (such as cvt_file.pl, cvt_date.pl, and guess_table.pl) can provide assistance in dealing with these issues. The procedure for importing an Access table into MySQL might go something like this:

  1. Export the table from Access in some text format, perhaps including the column labels. Should you need to transform the file with other utilities that assume tab-delimited, linefeed-terminated input, it will be most useful to export in that format.
  2. If the table contains dates and you did not export them in ISO format, it will be necessary to convert them for MySQL. cvt_date.pl can be used for this.
  3. If the MySQL table into which you want to import the Access data does not exist, create it. The guess_table.pl utility might be helpful at this point for generating a CREATE TABLE statement.
  4. Import the datafile into MySQL with LOAD DATA or mysqlimport.

Using the mysql Client Program

Writing MySQL-Based Programs

Record Selection Techniques

Working with Strings

Working with Dates and Times

Sorting Query Results

Generating Summaries

Modifying Tables with ALTER TABLE

Obtaining and Using Metadata

Importing and Exporting Data

Generating and Using Sequences

Using Multiple Tables

Statistical Techniques

Handling Duplicates

Performing Transactions

Introduction to MySQL on the Web

Incorporating Query Resultsinto Web Pages

Processing Web Input with MySQL

Using MySQL-Based Web Session Management

Appendix A. Obtaining MySQL Software

Appendix B. JSP and Tomcat Primer

Appendix C. References

MySQL Cookbook
MySQL Cookbook
ISBN: 059652708X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 412
Authors: Paul DuBois

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