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I can't view Microsoft Access import/export specifications

Posted on 2015-01-22
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I'm using Access 2010, and have quite a few saved import/export specifications in an Access database. I'd like to be able to edit them, but when I click "Saved Imports" and get the "Manage Data Tasks" dialog, both the Saved Imports and Saved Exports tabs are blank. There are no saved tasks listed.

The system table, "MSysIMEXSpecs," lists all the specifications. I know they're there and they work: I run several of them daily as scheduled tasks. But I can't edit them, or copy them, or view them.

Can you help?
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Question by:davewalter1
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11 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Simon
ID: 40564575
Good question... the only way I can see them is if I start an import/export for the relevant file type and then go to the 'advanced' tab. I can then see the specifications and apply one of them or modify and re-save them.

Like you, I can't see any specs listed when I click the saved imports or saved exports.
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40564581
An Import/Export Specification IS NOT the same as a Saved Import/Export
Not sure about Saved Import/exports, ...but you can  edit an import/export Spec.
Basically you start a new text import.
Then in the wizard, click the "advanced" button.
Then click the "Specs" button to select the specification. then you can edit it
Then save  it.

JeffCoachman
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LVL 120

Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 40564596
the saved imports or saved exports are different from the "import/export specifications"
if you import say, an excel file with
external data > excel
the Get External Date - excel spreadsheet will offer to save the importing steps
checking the save Import Steps check box will save the process to Saved Imports
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Author Comment

by:davewalter1
ID: 40583870
I understand the difference between a specification and one that's been saved. My understanding is that a "Saved Import" is just a Specification that you've decided to save and name. I've created and saved -- and elected not to save -- many of these over the years.

Once saved, though, I'd expect them to appear in "Manage Data Tasks" when I select, "Saved Exports" (for example) from the ribbon icon. Yet it, and the "Saved Imports" tab, is empty, although I know I have saved exports and imports. I can see their names in the system table.

I'm tempted to give you some points, Jeff, because you've described a way to view saved Specifications, at least for text, but that doesn't answer the question: why, when viewing "Manage Data Tasks," are the tabs for Saved Imports & Exports empty?
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40584130
My understanding is that a "Saved Import" is just a Specification that you've decided to save and name.
No entirely correct
Save Exports and Import/Export Specifications are two different things.

 Import/Export Specifications have been around in Access for as long as I can remember.
"Saved Import/Exports" were new in Version 2007 I believe.

Only Saved Import/exports will show up under "Saved Imports"

On the other hand, Import/Expors specs are not directly exposed to the User.
You either edit them directly by clicking the "advanced" button (during an Import/export)
...or if you are more daring, you can attempt to edit the spec in the MSysIMEXSpecs table.

The blurriness with these two terms is compounded by the fact that Excel import/exports, typically will not display the "Advanced" button.

But don't take my word for it.
Create a blank DB and import a text file using the "Advanced" button (Spec).
Then import the same file and "save the export steps".
Give both a distinct name.
Run the compact repair utility
Open the "Saved Exports" and see whats there.
Now open MSysIMEXSpecs and see whats there...

Now try to do the same for an Excel file.

Let us know your results.

JeffCoachman
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Author Comment

by:davewalter1
ID: 40592030
Thank you, Jeff.  

You're correct, while the "Advanced" button displays text imports and exports, I've not seen it display them for Excel. But whatever the source or target of the import/export, or whatever the semantics of specifications or steps or saved imports/exports...whatever we're calling them. they should appear in the tabs in the "Manage Data Tasks" dialog once they are saved, and they don't. This is in spite of the fact that all of my saved import/exports are listed in the system table.

I compact and repair this database regularly, with no effect. The dialog has never been populated, although I use saved import/exports regularly and have done for years.

Best,
Dave
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40592176
whatever we're calling them. they should appear in the tabs in the "Manage Data Tasks" dialog once they are saved, and they don't.
Again, ...this has never been the case ever since Saved import/exports were introduced.
Only when you select  "Save Import/Export steps" (create a saved Import/Export) will they ever show up in "Manage Data Tasks"
In other words, ...clicking "advanced" and creating an "Import/export specification" will never display in the "Manage Data Tasks"
It has never happened for me or anyone else I know.

I tried this in Access 2007, 2010 and 2013
What evidence do you have that both Import/Export specifications *and* Saved Imports/Export must both be displayed under "Manage Data Tasks"?

JeffCoachman
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Author Comment

by:davewalter1
ID: 40592227
Right. Except that I've selected "Save Import/Export steps" and created a saved Import/Export, and they do not show up in "Manage Data Tasks." That's my issue. I wasn't talking about "advanced" or any other complication.

"Save Import/Export steps" does not create an item in "Manage Data Tasks." I'm not concerned about what happens with any other scenario.
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Coachman earned 2000 total points
ID: 40592305
oh,...ok, now I understand.
To be clear, I was not trying to say that you were incorrect, ...i was just trying to make sure we were talking about the same things.
;-)

Then only thing I can think of is that you make sure you check both tabs: "Saved Imports" and "Saved Exports"...
Another thing might be if you have the Excel file open when you create the Saved Import/Export...?

A few more questions
Is this phenomenon with just this database, or all databases?
Is this issue for all users?
Is this an issue in all versions of Access?
Are you saying that you can create as many "saves" as you like, and none of them will every show up in the dialog?

Make sure you have all your updates installed for Windows and Office.
If none of the other suggestions works, you might want to simply uninstall/reinstall Office

JeffCoachman
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Author Comment

by:davewalter1
ID: 40592345
Okay, Jeff. :-)

There's nothing in either Saved Imports or Saved Exports tabs. "Save Import/Export steps" is the only method I use to do this.

I primarily use this one database in Access (it's behind a dotnet application), and I haven't created "saves" in the other smaller databases that I infrequently use, so I can't testify about whether this occurs in other databases.  I'll test this and see, though.

There are no other users who directly interact with the database. The issue has occurred with every version of Access I've ever used, and this particular instance of Access is a fresh install, on a new and fully updated installation of Windows 7.

And, yes, I'm saying that I can create as many "saves" as I like, and none of them will ever show up in the dialog. Their names are in the system table, though, and if I try to create a "save" with a name that already exists, I'll get an error about a duplicate name. Yet no "save" ever appears in the dialog.
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40592384
"Their names are in the system table,"
Again, only Export specs will show up in the system tables...
...are you talking about "MSysIMEXSpecs"?
This system table will only display "Import/export Specs", ...not "saved Exports"...

Still confused, ...can you post a sample of this database that exhibits this phenomenon?
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