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Learn it from start to finish.Installing MyODBC, creating a new data source through the ODBC Data Source Administrator, linking a MySQL database into a new MS Access database, and finally updating the MySQL database through an MS Access GUI.

  1. MySQL and ODBC
  2. The Sample Project
  3. The MS Access GUI
  4. Importing and Linking the Data Source
  5. Updating The Database
  6. Conclusion
By: W.J. Gilmore
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February 12, 2001

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Although creating custom Web-based GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) for your MySQL backend is a fairly common method for administrating database information, it is not without its problems. Slow Internet connections and cross-browser coding issues are just a few issues that could inhibit your client from updating their database information in the most timely and efficient way possible. Of course, problems such as these are largely out of your control, but donít try telling that to the client!

Well, if not a Web-based GUI, what then? The alternative is actually a quite interesting one. You may not be aware that MySQL is compatible with the ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) standard, and even offers its own ODBC drivers (known as MyODBC) free for download from the MySQL site (http://www.mysql.com). This is great, because MyODBC makes it possible to incorporate MySQL into quite a few interesting applications, including Microsoft Access. In this article, Iíll demonstrate just how easy it is to install and configure MyODBC and subsequently use Microsoft Access to manage MySQL data.

{mospagebreak title=MyODBC Installation} The first step in the MyODBC installation process is to go to the MySQL Website and download the latest version of the MyODBC drivers. They are located at: http://www.mysql.com/downloads/api-myodbc.html. Incidentally, the drivers are available for the Windows 95/98/NT, UNIX, and Solaris platforms. However, since the demonstration will be devoted specifically to integration with MS Access, it is assumed that either the 95/98 or NT version of the drivers will be downloaded. To summarize the installation process:
1. Download the drivers from the URL given above.
2. Unzip it using your favorite ZIP package. WinZip (http://www.winzip.com) is particularly popular solution.
3. Click on Setup.exe. This will begin the installation process.
4. A Welcome prompt will appear. Click Continue.
5. A Install Drivers prompt will appear. Highlight the MySQL driver in the Available ODBC Drivers box and press OK.
6. Installation of the various files will begin. If you get an error referring to the MFC30.dll file, please read the Note found below. Otherwise, proceed to step 7.
7. A ĎData Sourcesí prompt will appear. Just press Close for now.
8. A Setup Succeeded! prompt appears. Congratulations, MyODBC is now installed.

Note: Installation problems relating to the MFC30.dll file are often encountered when installing MyODBC. If error messages appear while installing MyODBC, there are two options that I am aware of:
1. Restart Windows in Safe Mode (Press F8 during reboot). Once rebooted, perform the installation process as outlined above. Then reboot once more, this time normally.
2. Edit the odbc.inf file, deleting the line (only do this if using Windows 98/NT): "MFC" = 1, mfc30.dll,,,, 1995-07-11, ,,, ,,,,,, 322832,,,,,
The boring installation part is complete. In the next section, a sample project will be introduced, which will provide a practical basis for learning more about how MyODBC is used as the interface between MySQL and MS Access.

>>> More MySQL Articles          >>> More By W.J. Gilmore

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