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MS Access

Posted May 3, 2004

MS Access for the Business Environment: Extend Access with Pass-Through Queries

By William Pearson

About the Series ...

This article continues the series, MS Access for the Business Environment. The primary focus of this series is an examination of business uses for the MS Access relational database management system. The series is designed to provide guidance in the practical application of data and database concepts to meet specific needs in the business world. The majority of the procedures I demonstrate in this article and going forward will be undertaken within MS Access 2003, although most of the concepts that we explore in the series will apply to earlier versions of MS Access, as well.

For more information on the series, as well as the hardware / software requirements to prepare for the tutorials we will undertake, please see Tutorial 1: Create a Calculated Field with the Expression Builder. Along with MS Access, of which we have made repeated use in the previous articles of the series, additional application considerations apply for this tutorial, because it introduces another Microsoft RDBMS, MSSQL Server 2000.

For those joining the series at this point because of a desire to work with MSSQL Server 2000 and its components from an MSSQL Server perspective, it is assumed that MSSQL Server 2000 is accessible to / installed on your PC, with the appropriate access rights to the MSSQL Server 2000 environment to parallel the steps of the article. If this is the first time MSSQL Server 2000 is being accessed on your machine, you may need to consult the MSSQL Server 2000 online documentation for installation and configuration instructions.

Introduction to this Tutorial

This article focuses on a topic that is related to an earlier group of articles we have published, all of which dealt with the use of "SQL specific" or "direct SQL" within MS Access. As many of us are aware, MS Access can play many varied roles in client / server architecture, and it is quite common to find it acting as a front end to various enterprise-level, back-end databases. MSSQL Server is a natural for the back-end partner in such arrangements, and we can manage communication between MS Access and MSSQL Server in multiple ways. This flexibility includes using links, ActiveX data objects, or SQL Pass-Through queries to allow communication between MS Access and SQL Server

In this article, we will devote our efforts to the latter of the three options, and concentrate on the use of Pass-Through queries as the medium of communication. Our examination of Pass-Through queries will include the following:

  • A discussion of the nature of Pass-Through queries, and instances in which their use is warranted;
  • A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages incumbent within the choice to use Pass-Through queries;
  • A hands-on practice exercise that includes the creation and operation of a Pass-Through query to a MSSQL Server 2000 database.

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