Share data between Access 2010 and Outlook 2010

There are three main ways that Microsoft Access 2010 provides to share contact data with Microsoft Outlook 2010:

  • Linked table    To establish a connection between an Access 2010 database and an Outlook 2010 folder, create a linked table in Access that uses the folder as the data source. Changes to the Outlook data are reflected in Access.

     Important    Errors might occur if Outlook folder data is updated via a linked table in Access. Check with your email administrator before you try to change Outlook data via Access.

  • Import    To use Outlook data in Access when subsequent data changes in Outlook don’t need to be reflected in Access, import the data from Outlook into Access.
  • Export    To use Access data in Outlook when subsequent data changes in Access don’t need to be reflected in Outlook, export the data from Access to a text file, and then import the data from the text file into Outlook.

Access 2010 also provides a way to collect data by using email messages. There are also database templates available to help manage contacts. For more information about these options, see the Other Options section.

In this article


Link to an Outlook folder

  1. Open the database in which you want to create a link to an Outlook folder.

 Note    You can create a linked table in a web database, but cannot use the linked table to create objects that can be used in a web browser. To use a linked table in a web database, you must first open the database by using Access.

  1. On the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, click More, and then click Outlook Folder.

The Get External Data dialog box opens.

  1. Click Link to the data source by creating a linked table, and then click OK.
  2. Select the Outlook folder to which you want to link, and then click Next.
  3. On the next screen, specify a name for the linked table (or accept the default name) in the Linked Table Name box. For improved security, clear the I would like the wizard to store my MAPI profile name with my linked table check box.
  4. Click Finish to create the linked table.

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Import contact data from Outlook into Access

  1. Open the database into which you want to import Outlook contact data.
  2. On the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, click More, and then click Outlook Folder.

The Get External Data dialog box opens.

  1. Click Import the source data into a new table in the current database, and then click OK.
  2. Select the Outlook folder that contains the data that you want to import, and then click Next.
  3. On the next screen, Access displays the fields that the Outlook folder contains and lists import options for each. Make any selections that you want, and then click Next.

For each field, there are the following options:

  • Field Name You can change the name that Access uses for the field by typing the name that you want in this box.
  • Data Type Access assigns a data type to each field, but you can specify a different data type by selecting it from this list.
  • Indexed Select this check box to create an index for the field in Access. An index speeds up reading but slows down updating. Create an index if you expect the data to be read more often than it is changed.
  • Do not import field Select this check box to exclude the field from the import operation.
  1. On the next screen, Access offers to create a field to use for the primary key, lets you pick a field to use, or not create a primary key. A primary key makes it easier to create relationships between tables, and also includes an index — which makes reading data faster and updating data slower. All of the values in a primary key field must be unique.
  • If you don’t want to choose a field for Access to use for the primary key and aren’t sure whether you will create relationships using the imported table, click Let Access add primary key.
  • If there is a field that you are importing that you want to use as the primary key, click Choose my own primary key, and then select the field using the list box.
  • If you are sure you won’t be creating relationships using the imported table, click No primary key.
  1. On the last screen, specify a name for the imported table (or accept the default name) by typing in the Import to Table box.

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Export data to a text file and then import it into Outlook

Step 1: Export Access contact information as a text file

  1. In the Access Navigation Pane, right-click the table or query that contains the contact information you want to export, point to Export, and then click Text File.
  2. In the Export - Text File dialog box, make a note of the file name and location suggested by Access. Click OK to accept the default values, or click Browse to select a different file location, and then click OK. Do not select any of the check boxes under Specify export options.
  3. In the Export Text Wizard dialog box, make sure that Delimited is selected, and then click Next.
  4. On the next page of the wizard, select the Tab delimiter, and then select the Include Field Names on First Row check box.
  5. On the next page of the wizard, click Finish.
  6. Click Close without saving the export steps, and then exit Access.

In the next procedure, the text file is imported into Outlook. Before you proceed, decide which Outlook folder that you want to import the contacts into. Many Outlook users have only one contacts folder. However, if you want to import the contacts into a new Outlook folder, you must create that folder before beginning this procedure. For information on how to create an Outlook folder, see Create a folder.

Step 2: Import the text file into Outlook

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab.
  2. Click Open, and then click Import.
  3. In the Import and Export Wizard dialog box, select Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
  4. Select Tab Separated Values (Windows), and then click Next.
  5. In the Import a File dialog box, click Browse, click the .txt file that you created in the preceding procedure, and then click OK.
  6. If the destination folder in Outlook already contains contacts, some of the contacts that you are importing might be duplicates. Under Options, choose how duplicates are processed.
    • If the contacts that you are importing are more complete or more up-to-date than the contacts in the Outlook folder, click Replace duplicates with items imported.
    • If you're not sure which contacts are more complete or up-to-date, and you want to import all the contacts in the text file regardless of whether they are duplicates, click Allow duplicates to be created. After the import operation, you can review the contacts in Outlook, and delete any that you do not want to keep.
    • If you believe the contacts in Outlook are more complete and up-to-date, click Do not import duplicate items.
  7. Click Next.
  8. In the folder list, click the contacts folder where you want to import contact information, and then click Next.
  9. To review or change how the contact information will be saved in the Outlook folder, click Map Custom Fields. This is an optional but recommended step if you want to make sure that the data that you are importing is assigned to the correct fields in Outlook.

If the Map Custom Fields button is not available, under The following actions will be performed, select the check box next to the import operation.

For more information about mapping custom fields, see the following section.

  1. Click Finish.

Additional help about mapping custom fields

  1. In the Map Custom Fields dialog box, examine the default mapping in the To list on the right.

To display additional fields in the To list, click the plus sign (+) next to the field. For example, to display the First Name and Last Name fields, click the plus sign (+) next to Name.

  1. If the field mapping looks correct, click Cancel to return to the Import a File Wizard. Otherwise, change the mapping by using any of the following steps:
    • To map a field in the text file to a field in the destination Outlook folder, drag it from the left (From) list to the appropriate field in the right (To) list.
    • To remove a field from the mapping, drag it from the right (To) list to the left (From) list.
    • To remove all mapping, click Clear Map.
    • To reset the original mapping, click Default Map.
    • To see additional records in the From list, click Previous or Next.
  2. Click OK when you are finished mapping fields.

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Other options

Data collection via email:

Database templates:

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Applies to:
Access 2010, Outlook 2010