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Managing Your SQL Server Database Using MS Access

Many people aren't aware that they can manage a Microsoft SQL Server database if they don't have Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Manager. The following instructions will tell you how to use Microsoft Access to manage a SQL Server database. These instructions are using Microsoft Access 2000. We only assume they will work in other versions. These instructions are assuming the SQL Server database already exists on a remote server, that you know the server address, the name of the database, and the login and password to access the database.

  1. Open MS Access. Click Cancel under the "Create a database using" dialogue.
  2. Choose "New" from the File menu.
  3. Click the General tab and choose "Project (Existing Database)". Click OK.
  4. Name the "project". It will have an extension of .adp. Click Create.
  5. In Data Link Properties, number 1, enter the domain name or IP address of the SQL Server. Your host should give you this information.
  6. Under number 2, check the Use a specific user name and password radio button.
  7. Still under number 2, enter the login name and password assigned to the database. If Blank Password is checked, you will have to uncheck it to enter the password. If you want to enter the password every time you log in (for instance if others have access to your computer that you don't want logging into the database), then uncheck Allow saving password. Otherwise, leave it checked to log in automatically.
  8. Under number 3, Select the database on the server. When you click the arrow in the menu, it could take a few seconds to a couple minutes, but you should be logged in with a list of databases on the SQL Server. If you get an error that you couldn't be logged in, check your username and password. When you get the list, choose your database.
  9. If you like you can click "Test Connection". You should get Connection Succeeded. Click OK.

That's it. You should now have an interface to manage your Microsoft SQL Server database using the familiar Microsoft Access interface. If you get a login failure, double check once again that you have the Use a specific user name and password radio button checked and the correct user name and password entered.

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