Workflow:Preserving Access databases
For .mdb the ADS has a Java Package that exports all tables as .CSV with “” text qualifiers. For .accdb the Digital Archivist manually exports each table a .CSV with “” text qualifiers.
DANS developed an Access form and makes use of this to export all tables from .mdb and .accdb files. See the linked tool 'CSV export form for Microsoft Access'.
The SND exports Access tables to CSV and additionally disseminates the data as XML files.
The archivists will check and ensure for the presence of the necessary documentation to understand and reuse the data tables.
Purpose, Context and Content
In practice, Microsoft Access is widely used for creating databases. However, the MDB and ACCDB Access formats are very poorly supported outside of the commercial Microsoft Access. Due to the different versions of these formats, it may even be that Access itself does not always support the files properly.
Within the SEADDA consortium, workflows for dealing with the preservation of Microsoft Access databases were examined from three long standing digital repositories for archaeological data: the Archaeology Data Station of Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), the Swedish National Data Service (SND), and the Archaeology Data Service (ADS).
Each repository uses exports of the Access data tables to CSV files as the method for preservation and dissemination.