Hi Everyone.

First of all, this is not a call for code, but more a request for opinions of those more experienced than me. I am quite happy that i will be able to write the necessary code once i know in which direction i should be heading.

I have an Access97 database looking after the building of new Cellsites. I import data from the client via Excel which is mainly dates and notes. I then export back to them giving them an up-to-date recordset showing any new data inputted by the users in my office.

I am now building the client a small Access 97 app. to achieve two objectives: 1) to allow them to view records on a form like our guys do instead of working from a spreadsheet, and 2) to validate the data they input before it reaches me.

They will have the ability to import and export in much the same way as i do at this end.

The app. will have a back end with the tables, and a front end for each user.

Now for my question. I can't rely on their users being database proficient, so want to reduce bloat to a minimum. I really don't expect them to have to compact on a regular basis and i am well aware of the effect that importing data has to the size of a database.

So in principle, instead of importing the data to a temp table (i keep a copy of the export table, then import the data into another table, and then run a whole load of queries between the two to establish the changes made), i would be better keeping the import and export spreadsheets outside the database and linking to them???

Would this be the "conventional" or "normal" way of doing this kinda thing?? As i said, i welcome any input on this subject area.