The Accdt File Format

The structure of the Access 2007 ACCDT file format is different from any Access database file formats. The new Office Open XML file format schema defines the ACCDT structure. ACCDT files are collections of text, XML, and image files packaged into a single file that is consumable by Access. When a user invokes a template, Access retrieves the database objects and settings from the ACCDT file, creates a new database, and then builds the database objects that are specified in the ACCDT file. This section discusses the structure for the Access 2007 ACCDT database template file format in depth.

Essentially the ACCDT file format is a hierarchical structure that contains a set of files describing how the data files contained in the file package are related, as well as a collection of data files that store the actual data. That structure is then compressed into a single file using the ZIP file format and its extension is renamed .accdt. Figure 21-1 provides a diagram of the file structure hierarchy for the Access 2007 ACCDT file format.

The ACCDT format stores all of the supported objects that can be created from a template, but unfortunately, not all Access features are supported. Before you look at which features are not supported, explore how each of the objects in the file relates to the template. Understanding the parts of the file format will help you discern why certain features aren't supported in a custom template.

Decompressed, the ACCDT file can be thought of as having four levels of data within the file. The root, or the first level, contains data about the types of files contained in the file, metadata about the specific template, and the location of the actual data in the file. The second level, which could be considered the dataroot level, stores the template's preview image, the template settings, a folder containing the objects in the database, as well as a description of how the parts of the database are defined.

The third level, considered the database level settings, contains all of the information about the database properties, the Navigation pane settings, the system relationships, and the VBA project references as well as a folder containing all of the database object information. The last level contains all of the information about the database objects defined in the database solution, as well as any sample data that those objects contain. Each of these files plays an integral role in describing how the resulting database will be created when the template is invoked. The following sections examine each of these files in greater depth.

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  • sandro
    Where are access 2007 accdt stored?
    8 years ago

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