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Mach5 Mailer Help -- Access Databases

Mach5 Mailer and Microsoft Access

Mach5 Mailer Gold supports direct connections to Microsoft Access Views and Tables. Using a direct connection, there is no need to export data to a CSV file or text based data source. The underlying connection uses ODBC, but M5 Mailer will automate the ODBC connection for you using a file DSN.

All you need to do to connect to an Access view or query is set up the view in Access, save it, and then browse for it when prompted by Mailer.

Please note there are a few peculiarities regarding connections to Access. These peculiarities arise from the fact that ODBC does not properly convey NULL fields through the data interface into any kind of meaningful result value. Mailer needs each field to have a value, and NULL does not fit into any of the defined values for ODBC connections.

If you get an "Unspecified Error" when trying to connect to an Access database, try looking for NULL values in your data source. Please make sure that every field has a default value (zero or blank instead of NULL).

Please also note that you may have your database opened in Access in exclusive mode. Mailer can't connect to your database if you have it opened this way. You need to open your Access database in Access in a nonexclusive mode, or close the database in Access before trying to connect to it with Mailer.

Sometimes you may not have the ability to alter the data definition of your Access tables. An alternative approach is to define a database view on your Access table, if your table has NULL values in it. Your view can map NULL values into an appropriate non-NULL default value (such as zero or space). Then, you can have Mailer connect to the view, rather than to your original table.

ODBC passes back error messages which are very cryptic and oftentimes out of context. Usually, an "unspecified error" problem with an Access database connection can be corrected with the above approach.

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