External Data Sources

One of the things that makes Access such a powerful database and user interface is the capability to collect and work with data from multiple, disparate sources. Power users may be adept at crunching numbers in Excel, but they turn to Access for data collection, integration, and reporting. Large organizations may rely on SQL Server or SharePoint to maintain the data, but many departments rely on Access for custom applications and to create ad-hoc queries.

People need to work with data from around the world, and Access supports that reach with tools and integration for XML, InfoPath, Outlook, SQL Server, SharePoint Services, managed code, and mobile devices. There is built-in integration with Outlook, both to collect data from forms and to exchange contact information. Using linked tables to connect with SQL Server, users can leverage the new features in Access 2007. And, when exchanging data with Excel, the Import Wizard now allows changes to field data types so import and export specifications can be properly constructed and saved.

Those are just some of the highlights for improvements in working with Microsoft products. The Access data engine and Jet database engine both support connections using Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) or installable index sequential access method (ISAM) drivers. So, there are plenty of opportunities for creating solutions to interface with accounting programs, Web applications, and a host of other commercial and custom programs.

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