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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Document Database (Access 2002)

    Here is a variation on a question I know has been asked many times before, regarding using Access as a Document Database. I'm currently in the design phase and after sitting down with my users they want something like 7 to 10 (still waffling) MEMO fields in the same table.... Of course some/all of these fields will never be used to their full capacity (they will be used though). I am intrinsically uncomfortable with that many memo fields. I am imagining every record taking huge amounts of space.
    The main issue, is that the document they want to store currently has long narrative sections with specific headings (these headings are now proposed as the new fields). They want to be able to retrieve those sections quickly and specifically in various reports.
    Just to be clear here - this scenario is mostly about storing documents and retrieving subsections for examination later (usually on-screen). So we are not creating a db that will be used for mail-merges or creating new documents.
    Is anyone aware of a method of subdiving a memo field (sounds wacky to me even as I propose it) or ideas about searching memo fields to bring out a subsection of information?

    Any comments are welcome....

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Document Database (Access 2002)

    The problem with memo fields is not waste of space, but increased chance of corruption. A memo field is stored in the table as a pointer to a storage space outside the table itself. The storage only takes up the size of the memo field plus a small overhead. But since the data are not stored in the table itself, there is a theoretical chance that the data will become disconnected from the table. I have to say that in practice, I have hardly encountered corruption in memo fields, although I use them in many of my databases, used by many users day in day out.

    A memo field is just a stream of characters that can be short or long, it is not structured like a Word document with heading styles etc. There is no built-in way to distinguish parts of memo fields, except with functions like InStr etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: Document Database (Access 2002)

    Can you use access tools to search the contents of a hyperlinked word document? And how would you make sure that the word doc, got saved to the right location?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Document Database (Access 2002)

    You could use Automation to open a Word document, and search its contents using all the tools Word VBA puts at your disposal. <!profile=WendellB>WendellB<!/profile> has a tutorial on Automation, with useful links, on his website (see his profile.)

    I don't understand your last question. What is "the right location" (I hope we're not getting into philosophy here <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>)

  5. #5
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    Re: Document Database (Access 2002)

    Sorry, got ahead of myself. I was trying to figure out how the documents could be automatically saved to the correct location on the network by Access.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Document Database (Access 2002)

    If you're using Automation, you can use the SaveAs method of the Document object to store it; you'll have to provide the "correct location". Is that what you mean?

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