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  1. #1
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    MS Access for Mac

    Does anyone know if there is, or if there is going to be, a Mac version of Access? I am trying to find a way to use a few reference Access databases I'd like to use in the field. Apple has been selling a Mac version of MS Office BUT it does not include Access (what's up with that anyway?).

    In the alternative, I'd like to find out if there is a suitable substitute database program to which I could import my current ACCESS 2007 databases? I've tried OpenOffice twice, or more, and each time I became frustrated with OO's database registration and such. All I want to be able to do is refer to the databases on my Mac in the field. I know I've posted this part in year/s past but maybe something has come out since then.

    I am currently using Mac OS X, ver. 10.6.6 on my MacBook Pro.

    Thanks,

    -Steve Gardella-

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    I know Access is not included in the Home and Business Edition or Home and Student Editions of MS Office Mac 2011. The only difference in these two versions is the addition of Outlook in the Home and Business Edition.

    I have not heard any official announcements or rumors concerning the inclusion of Access in the Mac Office suite in the future. This is an interesting question though.

    Access tables can be exported into Excel, where they can be edited and exported back to Access. I don't know if this is sufficient for your needs, but I thought I would mention it.
    Last edited by Deadeye81; 2011-01-23 at 08:30. Reason: add link
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  4. #3
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    Filemaker has both Mac and Windows version. You should be able to import your data from Access, but and development such as queries, forms, reports and code would need to be recreated.

    I have not heard of any plans to produce a version of Access for the Mac.

    Another approach is to intall software such as Parallels to set up a virtual machine with Windows and install Office Pro Windows.
    Regards
    John



  5. #4
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    MS Access for Mac

    Hello johnhutchison & Deadeye81,

    To bring you both up to speed on what I've been doing so far I'll quote what I wrote to FileMaker support:
    "When I try to have the FM trial program convert the exported files I find that while they appear in the folder in which I saved them, the files are inactive (grayed out) and cannot be selected for conversion. A past attempt at using an XMS format export file went alright a few days ago but this is where I found out about Excel's data text limitation. You already know about the Excel text data limitation issue and I am looking through a Windows forum for an answer to that problem (so far it appears I may be out of luck there). It is obvious that I am probably doing something wrong but I cannot figure out what it is that I'm doing wrong. Don't know that you'll be able to help me with this one but I guess we'll see. Just in-case, I want to be sure you know that I am working from a Mac laptop on which I am running Office 2007 through a Parallels Desktop virtual machine, and I'm using the Mac version of the FM trial program."

    FileMaker's support response was "If you are in the FileMaker Pro 11, and you are trying to open a file and it's "grayed out" then that mean that file is unavailable and FileMaker Pro 11 can not do anything about that. You may want to do a "Get Info" on thos "grayed out" files you export and make sure you have Read & Write privileges. If you do then you will have to contact the makers of those file formats you are using to find out why they are appearing as "grayed out" and you can not open them." I'm going to try their suggestion as soon as I finish sending this response.

    The reason I am endeavoring to ascertain if FileMaker will suffice as an Access alternative is that I'm hoping FileMaker will be more universally usable on smartphones such as Blackberry (my current phone) and the iPhone and Droid X (phones I'm considering when I renew my Verizon contract this Spring). This might be putting the cart before the horse but it's how I chose to proceed.

    Bottom line, I have several MS Access databases, in both the 2007 & 2002-2003 formats, that I produced over the years to reference State statutes, and case law decisions. Needless to say, these db's contain a great deal of text in several fields. Since I do not always have internet access in the field I like having the db's available to me on pocket size devices such as smartphones (previously they were on a PDA I used to have on which I used third-party apps such as HandBase to make field use of the databases).

    Blackberry has, maybe, one app that is supposedly good for converting Access db's. I could not get that app to work and the company was not forthcoming in helping me through the problem/s I encountered. I've since heard through the grapevine that I'm not the only person to have received less than stellar assistance from the third-party developer.

    I thought I had found my answer when I learned that FileMaker would convert Access files exported to MS Excel format. That fell through when I subsequently learned that Excel limits the amount of text its cells will hold (up to 255 characters). Either in this thread or a similar thread Hans, who has helped me a number of times in years past, responded to another Lounge member that there is a way to get some 32,000 characters in Excel text cells but I did not understand how to make that happen when exporting. I feel I am doing something wrong in the export operation though I've tried every export format that FileMaker will accept from Access.

    As an aside I'd also like to learn just what makes Access so exclusive and hard to adapt to other products. My first impression is corporate hubris. You'd think MicroSoft would want their Access users to be able to use their product on different platforms to keep customers using their product and not seek out suitable substitutes (like I'm doing). Then again, a captive user base is probably more of a sure thing than "rolling the dice" by making their product easily convertible to competitor products.

    Thanks for responding. I look forward to hearing any suggestion/s you care to offer.

    -Steve-

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    Steve

    So the immediate issue is that your Memo fields are truncated to 255 chartacters when exported?

    How do you do the export? My understanding is that if you specify a more recent Excel file format for the export , the whole field will be exported.

    I just tested this, as shown below, and with XlSX as the export format the whole field was exported.
    Regards
    John



  7. #6
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    You could try MDB Tool. Its an app in the mac app store for opening MDB databases. Not sure if it would do everything you want though. You can also get the command line MDB Tools from http://mdbtools.sourceforge.net/. They may be a bit complicated to use though.

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    Crossover

    So far I have not found a native application for mac that will read Access dbs properly. I use Crossover Mac with an old copy of Access (2002) - you could try Wine as an alternative to Crossover.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #8
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    Access to Access

    Steve -

    1) It's encouraging to learn of another lawyer wise enough to use Mac. Now we just need to convince the rest of the legal community.
    2) The "quick and dirty" method to gain access to all of your databases would use the Boot Camp feature which is available on your version of OSX. This will require a full installation of Windows and MS Access, however, it will provide the convenience of carrying one machine that will work as two.
    3) With regard to the error messages and truncation: Especially with Access / Excel 2003 and earlier, your field will be truncated by default. Here is what I do to circumvent the truncation issue.
    a) Export your data tables to tab delimited format. (A TXT file that uses a tab mark ^t to indicate a new field. Do NOT set a fixed width when exporting in this fashion. I choose tab over csv because a comma in the memo field can occasionally be misinterpreted when importing data from another source.
    b) Once all data tables are exported, ZIP them to archive. This makes a nice failsafe and a single zip file can be easily loaded into a cloud drive if retrieval is needed in the future.
    c) FileMaker pro is a very versatile database and can suit your needs. If you do NOT need to update the data you have stored, simply want to reference it, you should be able to LINK the TSV (or tab delimited text file) data table to the FM database. Unfortunately, it is true that you will need to re establish your queries and any forms or reports created in Access, that is unavoidable.
    4) An alternative is Apache OpenOffice.org This is a multiplatform office suite that is open source and available for commercial use. AO3 has a spreadsheet tool that WILL allow you to import the data tables I described and includes a Base program that operates much like Access 200 / 2003. The database feature of AO3 is also amenable to open database connectivity to begin sharing your research through your network with colleagues.

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