MDB Viewer Plus

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Description

Not all data requirement requires full-blown database servers and engines, especially so in SME offices with low employee count. The software of choice for such cases is often MS Access. However, all SQL management tools cater to SQL servers and not to Access files. MDB Viewer Plus is one such tool to view and manage MDB and ACCDB files.

Features

MDB Viewer Plus features a simplified user interface with traditional components such as menu bar, tool bar and a table based layout for display database tables. Its primary function is to open, read, modify and save MDB and ACCDB files which are generated by MS Access to store databases (which it does via MDAC – Microsoft Data Access Components service). Workgroup files in MDW format is also supported which can be specified at the time of opening databases. Tables are opened in a tabular view and are tabbed for multiple tables. Inline editing of entries is supported with standard search facility supporting wildcards and regex. Records can be filtered and sorted with respect to table fields and query results can be printed as well. Data export support includes TXT, XML, HTML, DBF, WKS, XLS, RTF and PDF file formats. Importing data to tables also supports numerous formats such as CSV, DOC, DB, TXT, XLS, WK1, WQ1, SAV, DBF, ADT, MDB, DAT, ADO, XML, WAB HTM, and VCS.

Apart from these, databases can also be created with full table modification support i.e. fields, field names and schema. Child-Parent table relationship is shown in graphic view for proper visualization. The software also supports password protected databases and lets user set or modify passwords. Further indexes can also be manipulated as well. The software is portable in nature and supports all major version of Windows operating system i.e. XP, Vista, 7 and 8. However, it required pre-installation of MS Access on the host machine.

Comparison

On Windows platform, MS Access almost provides all the facilities with its application. However, the default application is heavy on resources and may not be the easiest to navigate around. Further, it does not support the large number of file formats for exporting and importing purposes. Thus MDB Viewer Plus is perfect for sudden and emergency uses to view and work with ACCDB and MDB files whereas more serious work would require Access itself. The other viable alternative is Libre Office Base – which is an open-source and free offering with MS Access file format compatibility. However, it is focused more on Linux and BSD platforms and thus current users of Access may feel unfamiliar. MDB Viewer Plus in this case provides a familiar and simple workflow without any learning curve.

Conclusion

MDB Viewer Plus is an excellent freeware that provides tons of facility to even replace some of the workflow of Access itself. As it is portable, there is no hassle of installation but it requires Access to be already installed on host machines, which limits it in certain ways.

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