Avatar of mlagrange
mlagrange
Flag for United States of America asked on

When to import data from Excel into Access, rather than link Access to Excel spreadsheet?

Hello - I am taking over an Access 2010 app that links to an Excel 2010 spreadsheet that is currently at 52,000 rows.

I have a gut feeling that it would better to just import this data into the back end accdb (it's the typical split db implementation), but I'd like to have something to hang my hat on if/when questioned.

Has anybody seen any white paper-type articles about when it makes sense to import, rather than link?

Thanks
Microsoft Access

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
mlagrange

8/22/2022 - Mon
Dale Fye

There are a number of reasons to link vs import.

What is the purpose of the Excel file?  How often does it change or have records added

Does your Access application need real time updates or near real time via your Access application.
Jim Dettman (EE MVE)

Ditto what Dale said; there are pro's and con's to each and which you use depends on your needs.

If it comes down to either would suffice, then go with the simplest and simply link.

And of course the 3rd way is to work with Automation and read/write the spreadsheet directly with Excel.

Jim.
mlagrange

ASKER
Great points - the spreadsheet is a SAP database query of expenditure transactions for fixed asset construction and maintenance projects. It is only run once a month, after the monthly close process. As such, there are no updates to it; it is display-only on the Access forms & reports.

I am re-working how the data is used in the application; the original developer had it rigged up so that the relevant fields of the query output was copied to another xls, linked to the Access front end, and a series of update queries were run to summarize and update the spend amount fields in the project records for prior & current year totals, monthly totals, etc.  I'm replacing all that with a single SELECT query that does all that roll-up hoo-hah, and just JOIN it to the project table when needed.  

I'm thinking, for 50K+ rows, indexes would be helpful.
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.
fblack61
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Dale Fye

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
SOLUTION
Log in to continue reading
Log In
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
Jeffrey Coachman

Here is my take.

If there is some special functionality with the spreadsheet (Links to another sheet, Custom Functions, special data entry processes, ...etc)
Then it may be best to keep the data in Excel.
(Many member here also site that it is easier to Graph/Chart/Pivot in Excel)

There is always something to be said for keeping everything under one roof.
So if this is just a "list" (Customers, Orders, ...etc), ...then consider moving this to Access.

As you know, the ability to update Excel from Access has been removed for a while now.
Also note that you typically cannot link an .xlsx (XL 2007/2010)  file into a .mdb  format database.

"My users like Excel"
...A valid point...
IMHO, Access offers may advantages over Excel.
You can create an interface that feels and looks similar to the Excel "experience"

Finally consider what might happen if you had to upgrade the Back end to SQL Server...
I have seen all sorts of posts stating that you can "Link" Excel into SQL, but I have never tried any.

JeffCoachman
mlagrange

ASKER
Thanks, guys