Lotus Approach Database Converter for Access

Posted on 2001-07-09
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I am after a conversion file that will allow me to import a Lotus Approach database (or it's tables etc) into Access. Does one exist?

I have tried looking through the ms site - but not much help.

I have also tried to Office97 Value Pack download -> but this didn't help either.

the extension for these files are ".apr, .apx, .adx"

I can import the dbase files that help create these files (.dbf) but I wanted to know if there was a way I could get the equivalance of the whole application (forms etc)from Approach - not just the data tables from the dbase files.
Question by:aps_qenos
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Accepted Solution

MacRena earned 100 total points
ID: 6267686

Here's the bad news...
I spent a half hour searching the web for an answer for you.  I found almost nothing, and what I did find is not encouraging.

From Sue Sloan
>>"You can import your Approach databases into Access, but all your views, macros, scripts, et al will not convert. You will need to redevelop your application in Access."<<

You might want to join the Lotus Approach Database Discussion List.
To subscribe send to:
with the following command in the body of your email message:

Sorry, aps_qenos.  I wish I could have helped more.



Author Comment

ID: 6267832
Thanks for your help Mac.

From my own investigations I came to the same conclusion - but was just hoping someone else knew (or could find) out something more.


Author Comment

ID: 6267835
btw - I am still hoping - so if someone can ACTUALLY find a way around this, that would be great.

Otherwise, I'll close it and give you the points Mac.

Expert Comment

ID: 6270558
Not really an answer, just my two cents worth...

Lotus makes the point that it can attach to the tables in an Access Database if you set up an ODBC connection using an Access Driver.

If you can track down a Lotus ODBC driver, then you could do it the other way around...

They also say that you can import Access tables, if they were exported from Access in a .dbf format.  You could try this the other way around, also, that is, saving or exporting the Approach file as a .dbf and then importing the tables into Access.

The prior warning about any macros or programming stands, though.  They have used a not-quite SQL for their queries, and a not-quite VB for their programming, which does not translate straight across....

They apparently haven't learned the lessons of the marketplace about not being compatible with other programs...

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Expert Comment

ID: 6270599
I agree.

Reprinted without permission...
Posted by Richard Lunder on July 18, 2000 at 13:50:19:
In Reply to: Approach to Access posted by Sandy on July 18, 2000 at 12:31:21:

It has been my experience that when management makes up their minds to switch to a new product or technology, you are not likely to change their minds. Most managers know that a certain percentage of employees will disagree with their decisions. As for Microsoft being the ?Wave of the future?, After the recent court decisions, they might change their opinion if Microsoft get broken up. But for now I would start looking at how to make the transition to Access, and look at it as a new learning experience. Get the training and conversion costs up front and be sure that management is aware of how much this Wave-of-the-future is going to cost them.
As you have seen, one class in Access does not make anyone an expert. And you already realize that Approach does some things better than Access. On the other hand, Access does some things better than Approach. They are both very good systems as far as desktop databases go, but they are far from ideal. Many compromises were made to make their use easier, but each product went after a different kind of user.
Approach was designed to appeal to the Non-Programmer, by allowing a user to design some fairly complex database applications without requiring a single line of programming code (early versions did not even have LotusScript).
Access took a different route. It was designed to allow a novice user to create an attractive, but simple database without writing any programming code. However, some of the most basic database functions will require coding in either VBA or VB. There for, Access will require designers to be exposed to, and know more programming code at a more elementary level in the development process.
Simply put, most business applications written in Access will require real programmers who are knowledgeable in Visual Basic (VB) or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
Where as the same business application written in Approach may not require any programming (Script), and can often be written by someone who understands the nature of the business process, but knows little if anything about programming.
If you are not a programmer, or the company does not have a programming staff trained and knowledgeable in Access, VB or VBA, you will have a tremendous learning curve ahead of you. It will also be very costly to train qualified people, and then to pay them enough to keep them long enough to recoup the investment spent to train them. VB programmer salaries range from about $40K to $80K, depending on your experience and location.
I use Approach a lot in my consulting business, but I also use Access databases, but the application is written in Visual Basic, SQL, and Crystal Reports. I find that if I have to code something, I might as well use only one development platform VB6, for the entire application and not deal with all the quirks and limitations in dealing with a pure Access application.
Best of luck,

Expert Comment

ID: 6305572
any luck with this, aps_qenos?

Author Comment

ID: 6315394
Unfortunately, this confirmed what I had already found out myself - I was just hoping there was a way around it.

Thanks for the assistance.

Expert Comment

ID: 6315753
Sorry there's not a better answer.

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