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Old 05-10-2005, 08:03 PM   #1
doulos05
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Porting MS Access data to Linux


I've currently got a fair database of information in Microsoft Access and I am working on switching to Linux. I want to switch completely and I've found replacements for every MS Office program (mostly the Open Office packages) I use, but I don't know too much about databases. I am pretty good at using Access and don't mind learning a new db program, but I'd like it to have a graphical interface if possible because the data has to be laid out very specifically on a 5x8 index card for when I print the hard copy of it. What programs are there out there that have a good deal of documentation and help for newbie users?
 
Old 05-10-2005, 08:17 PM   #2
Thoreau
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Welp, you can't run MS access on linux without a wine emulator. The database is copyrighted/patented/etc. etc. You could install codeweaver's crossover office and there is another that just does access, but I forgot the name.

To replace access with a user friendly interface, you would first use a real database, like mysql, db2, or postgresql and a frontend like Rekall. Which is part of KDE. You can grab it here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/rekall
http://www.thekompany.com/products/rekall/

There is also a simpler program that is access-like, and seems to be geared more towards what you want to do. It's called Kexi, and you can get it here:

http://www.kexi-project.org/screenshots.html

There are more alternatives, but I'm too damn tired from work. Sorry. Jist of it is, if you want access to run on linux natively, you are going to pay. If you use a Linux native app, it's free and they won't put you on a mandatory upgrade treadmill. For making cards/forms it would seem easiest to just go native with a Linux app. Good luck.
 
Old 05-10-2005, 08:23 PM   #3
doulos05
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So, is there a convenient way to convert my file from Access to a Linux native? Best I can tell from inside Access is to export as XML.
 
Old 05-10-2005, 08:29 PM   #4
Thoreau
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Don't expect Microsoft to make it convenient for you to leave them. They won't. If access will export the database to the XML standard, rather than their own twisted fucked up one, then yes- you are golden. If they pulled a JVM type embrace and extend on the XML code, then no, it's going to suck.

The databases on the Linux side, and their front-end's will import the XML standard properly.
 
Old 05-10-2005, 08:33 PM   #5
doulos05
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ok, so basically it depends on how determined Bill Gates is to make everything Windows only compatible with Windows, so I'm probably screwed... Ok, I'll check it. If they've screwed with the XML code, is there a HOWTO on XML someplace that I could get my hands on to fix it?
 
Old 05-10-2005, 08:52 PM   #6
Thoreau
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Yes, and rekall probably has services offered for converting it to proper XML for you. It'll cost money. But, it'll cost money only once. I don't know where the doc's are for migrating off access. My experience with access database conversions stopped about 6 years ago. Access has changed alot since then, so I can't give you any concrete tips.

I converted to pure linux 5 years ago after watching customers like yourself get cornholed by Microsoft repeatedly, and some of them lost their businesses in total because of their grip on the data. It really made me sick and pissed me off, and I couldn't do anything about it. Without cracking it illegally, I was powerless, and I didn't like breaking the law just to keep these people afloat. So I went native, and I implement GPL solutions wherever it's possible as a sysadmin today. Well, that was a nice stroll down memory lane. None of which helps you. Sorry for the diatribe.

Long story short, google for issues you have during the export/import. If you can't figure it out, ask the linux app creator for help and he might do it for free, point you in the right direction, or charge you a small fee. Lots of choices. No choices is you choose to do nothing.

Last edited by Thoreau; 05-10-2005 at 08:55 PM.
 
Old 05-10-2005, 09:08 PM   #7
doulos05
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Thanks a lot for your help. If I have any problems, I'm pretty sure I can figure it out if I've got help like this from the community
 
Old 05-10-2005, 09:22 PM   #8
Thoreau
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Semper Fi.
 
Old 05-11-2005, 12:04 AM   #9
rickh
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I've made that conversion with fairly simple Access databases

Export Access tables to Excel
Save Excel tables as comma delimited text
Move text files to Linux
Run Win2Linux utility to get rid of Carriage returns
Import Data to Postgres or MySQL (Postgres, if you want my opinion)
Strip spaces from data fields
Use ReKall

Rekall is a bear to use compared to Access, but if you get it working, It'll look like the same thing to your end users
 
  


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