Home > Articles > Data > Access

This chapter is from the book

Collecting Form Data via Email


Although small databases are often managed by a single person, larger databases require input from multiple people. If those people are on your network, such collaboration is most easily achieved either by placing the database in a shared network location or by moving some or all of the data to a SharePoint site. However, what do you do if your collaborators don't have network access? One solution would be to export the necessary tables and forms into another database and then email that database to the collaborators. When the data is returned, you could then import it back into your database.

Such a solution is workable, but a little too unwieldy to be practical. Fortunately, Access 2007 comes with a new feature called Access Data Collection (ADC) that makes email-based data collection much easier. With this feature, you create a form that includes fields for the data you want to collect, place that form in an HTML email message, and then send that message to every person from whom you want to collect the data. Each person fills in the form and returns the message, which is then saved in a special Outlook folder called Access Data Collection Replies. You then synchronize Access (by hand or automatically) with those replies, and the data is added to the underlying table.

Sending the Access Data Collection Email Message

Unlike the other forms you've seen in this chapter, an ADC form cannot be created by hand. Instead, Access runs a wizard that builds the form step by step, as shown in the following procedure:

  1. Use the Navigation pane to click the table you want to use to store the collected data.
  2. Choose External Data, Create E-mail. Access starts the ADC Wizard.
  3. In the initial wizard dialog box, click Next. The wizard asks whether you want to use an HTML form or an InfoPath form.
  4. Click HTML Form and then click Next.
  5. If the table already contains data, the wizard asks whether you want to collect new information or update existing information. Click one of the following options and then click Next:
    • Collect New Information Only—Click this option to send a blank form for new data.
    • Update Existing Information—Click this option to send existing data for the recipient to edit. The record that contains the recipient's address is the record the recipient will edit.
  6. For each field you want to include in the form, click the field and then click > (or click >> to add all the fields). Click Next.
  7. If you want Access to synchronize with Outlook automatically when the replies arrive, click to activate the Automatically Process Replies and Add Data to Table check box (where Table is the name of the table you chose in step 1) and then click Next.
  8. Choose how you want to specify the message recipients (click Next after you've made your choice):
    • Enter the E-mail Addresses in Microsoft Office Outlook—Click this option to enter the recipients by hand in the Outlook message window that appears later. Skip to step 10.
    • Use the E-mail Addresses Stored in a Field in the Database—Click this option if you have the recipients' addresses stored in the current database. Proceed to step 9.
  9. Specify the addresses in the database using one of the following options (click Next when you are done):
    • The Current Table or Query—Click this option if the email addresses are stored in the table you're using with ADC. Use the associated list to click the field that contains the addresses.
    • An Associated Table—Click this option if the addresses reside in another table that's related to the current table. First, use the associated list to click the field in the current table upon which the relationship is based. Second, when Access displays a list of fields in the related table, use the list to click the field that contains the email addresses.
  10. Edit the message Subject and Introduction, as needed. If the addresses came from the Access database, click where you want the addresses added: the To Field, Cc Field, or Bcc Field. Click Next.
  11. You now have two ways to proceed:
    • If you choose an Access field for the recipient addresses, click Next. Access displays a list of the recipients with check boxes for each address. Leave the check boxes activated for the recipients you want to receive the message. When you are done, click Send.
    • If you will be specifying recipients via Outlook, click Create to create the message, select the recipients, and then click Send.

Replying to an Access Data Collection Email Message

If you receive an ADC message, you need to fill in the fields and return the message. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Click the Access Data Collection message and then click Reply. Access displays the message window.
  2. Scroll down the message body until you see the form, as shown in Figure 3.13.
    Figure 3.13

    Figure 3.13 When you reply to an ADC message, fill in each form field in the body of the reply.

  3. Click inside a form field and type the data.
  4. Repeat step 3 for each field.
  5. After you've filled in each field, click Send.

Managing the Access Data Collection Replies

As I mentioned earlier, when you receive replies to your messages, they are automatically routed to the Access Data Collection Replies folder in Outlook. (This is a subfolder of the Inbox folder.) If you didn't set up Access to handle the replies automatically, follow these steps to handle a reply manually:

  1. In Outlook, open the reply.
  2. Click Export to Access. Outlook asks you to confirm.
  3. Click OK. Outlook exports the data.
  4. Click OK.

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