Access Projects Using Access as a Front End to SQL server

As a quick recap, you are already familiar with standard Access database files: the MDB files. The MDB file is typically used in a standalone manner, meaning that all the tables, forms, modules, macros, and reports for the application are stored within the single file. In Chapter 7, you learned that it is also possible to use a standard Access MDB file in a client/server environment by linking to external database tables such as SQL Server. An example of a client/server architecture is shown in Figure 9.1, which illustrates a case where the user interface resides on the client and the database resides on the server.

When linking to a SQL Server database from a standard Access database, you can only work graphically with SQL Server tables from the Access environment. You cannot view and modify stored procedures, views, and functions from within the Access environment.

■ Client-Server Architecture



Application (User Interface, Business Logic)



Database (and possibly some business logic)

Figure 9.1

Access Projects are a special type of Access file designed to work specifically with SQL Server databases. Access Projects provide you with additional graphical tools for manipulating various SQL Server objects—not just the tables. When you are designing client/server applications that use SQL Server as the database, you should consider using an Access Project instead of a standard database so that you will have these additional design features.

The following table shows where the various objects that you can see from within the Access Project are actually stored.





SQL Server

SQL Server uses different data types.


SQL Server

These can be stored as stored procedures, views, or functions.

Database Diagrams

SQL Server


Access file


Access file


HTML files

Data access pages are stored in separate files.


Access file


Access file

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