Access To Access Without Access
Sorry about the title, but I just couldn’t resist…
Anyway, this morning, I needed to open a MS Access 2010 file (.accdb extension), but I don’t have any version of Access installed or handy, except for Access 2000, which is obviously going to be a little behind the times. Not one to let that stop me from looking at the Access file in question, I consulted google, hoping for a free and/or open source solution. The internet did not disappoint.
I came across this link: http://www.alexnolan.net/software/mdb_viewer_plus.htm
From this site, you can download MDBPlus.exe, which is a free utility that allows you to view MDB files without having Access installed. You can see screenshots at the link, so I won’t bother to post them here, but it has a nice WPF-feel GUI and is pretty slick in general. Best of all, there’s no MSI or installer–it’s very lightweight. Just an executable that you download, and you’re set. There may be a .NET framework requirement, but I think I have 3.5 at least installed here, so I wasn’t prompted for it if there was. My compliments to Alex Nolan, the author of the utility.
When I first opened the Access DB file in question, I got an error message about needing a provider. This is a relatively recently formatted/clean-installed Windows machine, so I realized that I didn’t have the MS Access database engine installed. A quick trip to Microsoft’s site did the trick.
Those easy two steps, and I had my Access database open and was perusing the tables.