dinsdag, maart 24, 2009

Hidden Access Import specifications

I had to export data from an MS Access 2003 database to a text file. A colleague of mine had set up some code in Access, and used the import / export wizard to create an export specification. After i removed a column from the export, i lost leading zeros in some columns. I looked around for hours for the reason.

I tried to figure out whether the cause lied in my input tables, but they looked fine, including leading zero. Was it the query doing strange things? Could the the problem be with the output file? Or was it the import / export specification. After finding out how to get to the import export specification (which is a trick of its own), i saw no columns enabling me to specify fields as numeric, text etc.

After looking around some more, i finally found this article stating some columns actually are hidden. Who designed this, and why didn't the fix this with an update? So it turns out you have to click around in the header, aruond the field boundaries, and if you do that right, the hidden columns turn up, enabling you to state whether the field type. The screenprint shows the before and after, of a Dutch Access version, but you'll get the idea. Gee!

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