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Posted 26 Apr 2000
Licenced CPOL

Accessing Microsoft Access databases in ASP using ADO

, 26 Apr 2000
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A simple introduction to using Access .mdb databases in your ASP pages
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  • Introduction

    Windows DNA provides a means to provide your user interface, business logic and data sources as separate services working together in harmony over a distributed environment. The browser has become an extremely powerful, yet simple method of providing the user interface, since it handles the network considerations and allows you to create rich user interfaces through simple scripting, HTML and style sheets.

    Your database considerations can be taken care of simply through the use of SQLServer or the Microsoft Jet Engine, and your business logic - the guts of your application that processes the data from the database and sends it to the browser - can be simple ASP pages (enhanced with ActiveX controls if the fancy takes you).

    Once you have the basics of ASP, HTML and VBScript the business logic and user interface are taken care of quickly and simply - but how do you use ASP to access your database and hence complete your 3-tier application? Read on...

    Simple database Access using ADO and ASP

    For this example we'll use Access .mdb databases - but we could just as easily use SQLServer by changing a single line (and of course, configuring the databases correctly). We'll be assuming your application is ASP based running on Microsoft's IIS Webserver.

    We use ADO since it is portable, widespread, and very, very simple.

    The Connection

    To access a database we first need to open a connection to it, which involves creating an ADO Connection object. We then specify the connection string and call the Connection object's Open method.

    To open an Access database our string would look like the following:

    Dim ConnectionString
    ConnectionString = "DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)};" &_

    where the database we are concerned with is located at C:\MyDatabases\database.mdb, and has no username or password requirements. If we wanted to use a different database driver (such as SQLServer) then we simply provide a different connection string.

    To create the ADO Connection object simply Dim a variable and get the server to do the work.

    Dim Connection
    Set Connection = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")

    Then to open the database we (optionally) set some of the properties of the Connection and call Open

    Connection.ConnectionTimeout = 30
    Connection.CommandTimeout = 80
    Connection.Open ConnectionString

    Check for errors and if everything is OK then we are on our way.

    The Records

    Next we probably want to access some records in the database. This is achieved via the ADO RecordSet object. Using this objects Open method we can pass in any SQL string that our database driver supports and receive back a set of records (assuming your are SELECTing records, and not DELETEing).

    ' Create a RecordSet Object
    Dim rs
    set rs = Server.CreateObject("ADODB.RecordSet")
    ' Retrieve the records
    rs.Open "SELECT * FROM MyTable", Connection, adOpenForwardOnly, adLockOptimistic

    adOpenForwardOnly is defined as 0 and specifies that we only wish to traverse the records from first to last. adLockOptimistic is defined as 3 and allows records to be modified.

    If there were no errors we now have access to all records in the table "MyTable" in our database.

    The final step is doing something with this information. We'll simply list it.

    ' This will list all Column headings in the table
    Dim item
    For each item in rs.Fields
    	Response.Write item.Name & "<br>"
    ' This will list each field in each record
    while not rs.EOF
    	For each item in rs.Fields
    		Response.Write item.Value & "<br>"
    End Sub

    If we know the field names of the records we can access them using rs("field1") where field1 is the name of a field in the table.

    Always remember to close your recordsets and Connections and free any resources associated with them

    set rs = nothing
    Set Connection = nothing


    This has been an extremely simple demonstration without serious error checking or even legible formatting of the output, but it's a base to start with.


    This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


    About the Author

    Chris Maunder
    Founder CodeProject
    Canada Canada
    Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.

    His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.

    He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.

    Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.

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    Comments and Discussions

    Generalplease be clear Pin
    dogan_sezgin2-Jun-06 5:59
    memberdogan_sezgin2-Jun-06 5:59 
    GeneralRe: please be clear Pin
    Nabeel Anwer11-Mar-07 23:46
    memberNabeel Anwer11-Mar-07 23:46 

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