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If you need to use information in Excel that comes from Access, you need to first determine if you want to pull the data from the database (covered in Chapters 2 and 3) or if you want to push the data into Excel from the database. Assuming that you want to push the data from Access into Excel, you have to then figure out how you will use the data.
There are no simple right answers (but there are certainly some wrong ones) as to what the best method is. I decide on the option where I have the most control. If I built the database, and I am charged with maintaining it, I would most likely choose to push the data into Excel and would probably opt to automate Excel from Access (covered in Chapter 5). Whatever you choose, keep in mind what you are doing with the data and make sure that the method you choose is easy to maintain. For instance, if you use Excel to pull the data from Access, the feature will often automatically create a named range (see Chapter 2). This can make using the data much more manageable. However, if you need a new Excel workbook each month and a macro can do your work for you within Excel, you can create a blank Excel sheet with your macro, paste in your data, run the macro, and do the processing from Access. In many cases, this will be easier than opening the correct workbook and pulling in the most current data.
I find that when I am trying to share data with other users in the basic database format with no formulas, using the user interface functions from Access is easiest. If, however, I need to manipulate the data in Excel for my own purposes, I generally use Excel to pull the data or Access VBA to automate the process.
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