Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Importing or Linking to Data
If you have a large amount of data to move, see the next section, “Importing
or Linking to Data,” for a better method.
Importing or Linking to Data
If you have large quantities of data that you want to use in your Access
database, using the Link Wizard or the Import Wizard may be an easy way to
make that data accessible within your Access database.
The wizards (which are very similar) offer some useful features. Using a
wizard allows you to do the following:
Append records to an existing Access table.
Choose a range within the data to import. (The availability of this
feature depends on the data’s format.)
Set Data Type, Name, and some other properties for each field.
Skip importing one or more columns of data.
Making data available
You have a several choices about how to make your data available in
Access. You must choose whether you want to store the data in Access
(import it) or create a link to the data. Here are the differences:
Import: Make a copy of the data in Access. (Copying from Word, Excel,
or wherever your data is and then pasting into Access is the simplest
form of importing.)
Link: Keep the data in another file, and tell Access to get the data each
time it’s needed.
Following are some factors to consider in deciding whether to import or link:
Storage: When you import data, you may be doubling the storage
required because you’re storing the data in Access as well as in its
original format.
Customization: If the data is stored in a format other than an Access
database, and you want to define a primary key, enforce referential
integrity, change field names, and/or customize field and table
properties, you should import the data.
Maintenance: Does the data get updated, and if so, how? If a system is in
place to update data in another format, leaving the data where it is and
linking to it makes sense unless you’re prepared to create a system to
update it in Access. If the data isn’t analyzed in its current format,
however, moving the data to Access and creating a system for updating it
there makes sense.
 
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