Formatting a table in Microsoft Access for use in ArcGIS
You can use tables from a Microsoft Access database in ArcMap through an OLE DB connection. OLE DB is a standard for sharing data between applications, enabling you to view the Access database in ArcMap. To maintain data integrity, you should only modify an Access database in Access.
Make sure your field names are properly formatted. You should follow these general best practices for field naming, particularly if you want to join an Access table to another table in ArcMap:
- Field names must start with a letter.
- Field names must contain only letters, numbers, and underscores.
- Field names must not exceed 64 characters.
- Field names must not contain Microsoft Access reserved words. Some examples include date, day, month, table, text, user, when, where, year, and zone. For a list of reserved words, see Microsoft support article (KB 286335).
If you import a table into a database in Access, follow these guidelines when using the wizard:
- The fields do not need to be indexed.
- If the table does not have a field with unique values, allow Access to add a primary key.
- Name the table with only letters, numbers, or underscores and begin it with a letter.