Home > Articles


📄 Contents

  1. Chapter 3: Making Access Project and Data Technologies Choices
  2. Using DAO Versus ADO Versus XML
  3. Summary

Chapter 3: Making Access Project and Data Technologies Choices

Before Access 2000, when you created an application, you had to plan whether you wanted to use a Jet (the database engine Access uses natively) or a client/server back end. Depending on the type of back end chosen, you would use various methods to create the application. Although this is still the case, you now have more choices to make when starting on a project. Now, in addition to the back-end choice, you must decide what type of database container to use: the traditional MDB or ADP.

The other choice to make is the method of accessing the data while working in VBA: DAO (Data Access Objects), which has been used since Access 2, or ADO (ActiveX Data Objects), the data-access technology now used throughout a number of Microsoft products, including Visual InterDev. You now have an additional choice of XML (Extensible Markup Language), which transfers data between systems and applications.

Helping you decide which technology to use in which case is what this chapter is all about. When you first look at the choices, it's hard to see when one should be used over another.


This chapter isn't intended as an in-depth discussion of these technologies. Each is discussed at length in various parts of the book. At the end of this chapter you can see where each technology is discussed further.

Using Microsoft Database Versus Access Database Project

The choice of whether to use MDB versus ADP actually follows the Jet versus client/server choice pretty closely. ADP, used as a front end for SQL Server, contains tools for editing not only Access objects such as forms and Data Access Pages, but also views and stored procedures.

Microsoft also provides a desktop solution to use with the ADP, known as the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE). This is aimed at small workgroup applications. Generally, you want to use an ADP with MSDE when you think you will be moving your application to the full functionality of SQL Server 7/2000.


You can also use the MSDE to test your ADP and then easily modify the connection string to hook you up to the production database. Chapter 24, "Developing SQL Server Applications by Using ADP," covers more about MSDE.

Looking at the Objects Used in Each

Your standard MDB contains the usual objects, plus the Data Access Pages (DAPs) available as of Access 2000. Data Access Pages let you create an application in Access, and then move it over to the Web. You can read more on DAPs in Chapter 12, "Working with Data Access Pages."

Figure 3.1 shows the standard Access Database window displaying the Northwind sample database that comes with Access.

Figure 3.1 Here is the good old MDB you've come to know and love.


Features found in both ADP and MDB are Data Access Pages and the Outlook style toolbar. The Groups feature (refer to Figure 3.1) is great when you're working on one area of a project and want to group multiple objects for development purposes.

In Access 2002, you can choose to work with Access 2000 or 2002 file formats (notice the title bar in Figure 3.1). Both Northwind.mdb and NorthwindCS.adp are provided in the Access 2000 file format.

You can take the same Northwind database and upsize it to SQL Server and an ADP by choosing Database Utilities, Upsizing Wizard from the Tools menu while in the Database window. (If you decide to do this, you must have the MSDE installed and running or be connected to SQL Server. For more information on how to do this, see Chapter 24.)

After the upsizing is done, you see the ADP in Figure 3.2, which, although it looks similar to the standard MDB, has different objects. Table 3.1 lists the objects found in each and how they correspond with each other.

Figure 3.2 In a ADP, the objects in Tables, Queries (now consisting of views, functions, and stored procedures), and Database Diagrams are actually stored in the back end.

Table 3.1  Comparing Objects Between MDB and ADP






Database Diagram*

Select Query


Action Query

Stored Procedure*

Parameterized Query

Stored Procedure*





Data Access Page

Data Access Page





* Stored in the back-end database on the server.


Stored procedures can actually buy you everything that views can and more, although they're a little harder to create. One drawback to views is that you can't specify ordering. You can use the View Designer to create a SELECT statement and then copy the SQL text into the stored procedure editor, where you can add parameters and ordering. For more on this, check out Chapter 24.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020