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linking DBF with filename size greater than 8 characters in Access

Posted on 2006-03-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi there,
I get the following error message when trying to link or import a DBF file in Access with a name greater than 8 filename length.
   "The Microsoft Jet database engine could not find the object filename. Make sure the object exists and that you spell its name and the path name correctly."

I found this technical note on Microsofts website and it says that although this was not the case previously "changes to Jet security now require that you use the correct extension" - 8.3

Is there anyone out there that has found a work around to this? Can I remove the new Jet engine that is installed and revert to the old one where I know it used to let me link/import dbf files with a name greatert than 8 characters?

Thanks for your help.
Question by:cmcgregor
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 16301266
It sems you might be able to programmatically either rename the file when the name does not follow the 8.3 convention, or copy the file, giving it a suitable name.
Doesn't answer the engine question, I know, but is a possible workaround.

Author Comment

ID: 16301394
Yes  it says that in the MS Article and that is what I have to do now is change the length to 8. I do not need a program to change the filename as I am manually linking it each time. I use FoxPro as well so I go back and forth from foxPro to Access depending on what I need to do and I prefer to have a name longer than 8 characters
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 16307572
You could try the DOS name of a windows long name which is the first 6 characters minus any spaces, a tilde (~) and a number for duplicates.  The extension would be the first 3 characters minus spaces.  For example:
my text file.text = mytext~1.tex
my text file number two.text = mytext~2.tex
If the two files are in the same folder and "my text file.text" is the first file listed in the unsorted directory listing.
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Author Comment

ID: 16309538
Thanks for the suggestion however I would like to have names that are meaningful like File1Day58.dbf. Shortening them makes it more difficult to decifer between files
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 16458126

Another option would be to import the DBF file to Excel first. Then change the name of the sheet tab to match the original DBF filename. Then import the Excel File into Access. The resulting Access Table will retain the Excel sheet tab name by default.

Change the name of the DBF file to match the 8.3 convention. Then Link as normal. Then simply rename the linked file to the original DBF filename.

Keep in mind also that even if you have short names for objects in the Access database window, you can right click the table (Or any object for that matter) and choose "properties". In the description box you can type in description as long as you like. Then when the Database window is in "Details" view you will see the description.

Hope this helps as well
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 16458142

When you inport the DBF file into Excel, it should create a sheet tab that retains the DBF File name.

good luck

Author Comment

ID: 16462258
Thanks for the suggestion but I repeatr I would like to have names that are meaningful like File1Day58.dbf. Shortening them makes it more difficult to decifer between files. I do not want to have to pass files between Excel and Access. I was aware I could do this already.
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 16468203

Here is an Microsoft link claiming that you can heve Jet  3.5 and 4.0 Apps that co-exist

Check the DBase site and see if they have an updated driver, that would allow filenames longer than the 8.3 limit?

A few more links:

Give them a look.

I hesitate to say "It can't be done"... but this MS link has this to say about un-installing Jet 4.0
<How to Uninstall...>
<Uninstall is not available.>

The update claims to fix security vunerabilities so you may be stuck here.

Let's see if anyone else knows of a workaround.

Expert Comment

ID: 16528427
You can find the short name which can be used to access the file as well as the long name  by running the command dir /x.  You can then link to this short name in Access and still use the long name also.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 16787901
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    PAQ with points refunded

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

EE Cleanup Volunteer
LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 16788028
fine by me

Author Comment

ID: 16800638
Fine by me as well.

Accepted Solution

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