Importing Through the Access User Interface

Although this section of the chapter is devoted to discussing operations that are available on a Share-Point site, let's briefly discuss the import options available directly in the Access client. Importing data into Access is simple and fast, and the import operation parameters can even be saved for future imports. When any database is open in the Access 2007 client window (and the standard Ribbon options have not been disabled), the user sees a tab called External Data. That tab allows the user to work with all different kinds of Import (and Export) options and provides a collection of all of these entry points. Importing a SharePoint list can be done with just a few simple clicks using the features that the Access user interface provides.

To import a SharePoint list, click the External Data tab on the Ribbon. The fourth button from the right is the SharePoint List button, which invokes the Get External Data Wizard. The wizard enables you to import or link data from SharePoint in three easy steps. Its first page shows both the Link and Import options that are available as well as any sites from which lists have previously been imported. By default, the Linked Table option is selected, so be sure to switch this when importing. The user can select one of the previously imported lists, or provide the full URL path to a new site. The URL should be entered in the following format:

Once a site has been selected, click Next. The second page of the wizard simply allows you to select any lists on the site to import or link. Then click OK, and the list is imported or linked. The wizard's last page enables you to save the import steps if desired. Otherwise, click the Close button and focus returns to the Access client window. The new tables are imported from the specified SharePoint site.

So far you've looked at the various Access 2007 feature available from a SharePoint 3.0 site. The Access Web Datasheet, Open with Access, and the Import features for Access 2007 have all been discussed. While each of these features is powerful and easy to use, the true developer features are those that can be utilized continuously in an Access database solution, such as Linked Tables To SharePoint. The rest of this chapter focuses on the SharePoint features available from within the Access client and an Access database application.

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