How to connect Microsoft Access with SharePoint

This "how-to-connect" documentation will explain the initial configuration of an example connection from Microsoft Access to a SharePoint Online List in Office 365. We will be synchronizing data stored in Microsoft Access.

 

This guide presupposes that you have installed the Layer2 Cloud Connector and that you are familiar with its basic functionality. The Layer2 Cloud Connector User Documentation will provide you with all necessary information.

 

 

Contents

1. Configuring Microsoft Access

2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1 Creating a new connection

2.2 Configuring the Data Entity 1

2.3 Configuring the Data Entity 2

2.4 Running your connection

3. Hints and known issues

3.1 Connection direction

3.2 Accessing shared files

3.3 Verification failed

1. Configuring Microsoft Access

To Connect to Microsoft Access you need to have the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable installed. The driver must fit to the Layer2 Cloud Connector installation (32-/64-bit architecture). In addition you need the path to the folder where your Microsoft Access database file are in. 

2. Configuring the Layer2 Cloud Connector

2.1. Creating a new connection

Create a new connection by using the Create New Connection option in the Actions pane (right-hand side). The new connection will appear at the bottom of the Connection Manager List (left-hand side). Click on your newly created connection to open the connection configuration settings.

 

Choose a meaningful name for your connection and replace the current "New Connection" Connection Title with it.

 

Connections to Microsoft Access can be bi-directional. An initial connection should always be uni-directional to assure that both data entities are identical before switching to bi-directional. Therefore, choose Left to Right as Direction. You can change this setting after your initial synchronisation finished successfully.

 

Step 1 Microsoft Access connection setup.png

 

 

2.2. Configuring the Data Entity 1

We will now set up our Data Entities. Go to the data entity “Data Entity 1” to open the configuration settings.

 

Choose a Data Entity Title. It is recommended to give your entities meaningful names to maintain an overview when you decide to set up multiple connections.

 

Select the Data Provider .Net Framework Data Provider for OleDb to connet to Microsoft Access from the data provider list. You can search for Mircorsoft Access by typing into the selection box.

 

Step 2 Microsoft Access integration source setup.png

 

For the Connection String, we need the in step 1 mentioned information. You can copy the below connection string and adjust it to match your gathered information. Use the Verify Connection String option to evaluate if the provided connection string is valid.

 

 

Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=C:\Applications\QuoteWerks\Products.mdb;Persist Security Info=False;

 

 

  • "Provider=providername;" this property must be set to the installed provider name.
  • "Source=path;" this property defines the path to the Microsoft Access database.
  • "Persist Security Info=false;" this property allows Windows to save your password, if set to True. 

 

 

The Select Statement text box is used to define specific data queries. We will be gathering ID, Description, Availability, Cost, ManufacturerPartNumber and Category from our Products table. You can copy the below select statement and adjust it to match your needs. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

SELECT ID, Description, Availability, Cost, ManufacturerPartNumber, Category FROM Products;

 

Step 2.5 Microsoft Access integration connection string setup.png

 

To check if all necessary columns are received, you can use the Preview Data option on the right-hand pane which will provide you with a pop-up window showing your sample data from your Microsoft Access entity.

 

 

Preview data of Microsoft Access integration.png

 

2.3. Configuring the Data Entity 2

We are going to send the data to a custom SharePoint Online list. It's required that you set up this list prior to the next steps. Your list should contain matching columns according to your source entity.

 

Use the left-hand pane to switch to the data entity "Data Entity 2". We will be using the Layer2 SharePoint Provider for this setup. 

 

For more information about the SharePoint provider visit:

https://www.layer2solutions.com/support/cloud-connector-faqs/layer2-csom-sharepoint-ado-net-provider.

 

You can copy the below Connection String which contains the minimum of required properties to connect to your custom SharePoint Online list.

 

URL=https://your_custom_sharepoint_list_url/AllItems.aspx;Authentication=Office365;[email protected];

 

  • "URL=https://your_custom_sharepoint_url/AllItems.aspx;" this property defines the URL of your custom list that will be addressed.
  • "Authentication=Office365;" this property will determine the authentication method used. Office365 is the default authentication method to access Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint Online. This method will not work in case of federation, e.g. ADFS. For further authentication method you can consult the provider specifications linked above.
  • "[email protected];" this property should describe the user you wish to connect to SharePoint to. 

 

Enter the password that belongs to the user account used in the connection string into the Password field. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

Step 3 Microsoft Access integration target setup.png

 

In the next step, we will configure our mapping settings. Click on the Mappings option on the left-hand pane. If your fields from SharePoint are named identical to the fields from your source system, the Enable Auto Mapping option will match those columns. Disabling this option allows you to match your columns as needed. We enabled auto-mapping in our setup. Save your changes by using the right-hand pane option Save Changes.

 

Step 4 Microsoft Access integration mapping.png

 

2.4. Running your connection

To run your connection switch back to the main connection configuration node and use the Run Now Button located on the bottom of the setup page. The Run Synchronization Toolbox will also display the synchronization process. 

 

Step 5 Microsoft Access data integration start.png

 

Below is a data preview of the information we have accessed in our source entity:

 

Microsoft Access integration ready.png

 

 

This will be the result in our SharePoint Online list after our initial successful synchronization:

 

 

Finished Microsoft Access integration.png

 

 

If you want to use a bi-directional syncronization, you can now switch your connection directon after our first initial synchronization run finished successfully. See section 3.1 for further information.

3. Hints and known issues

3.1. Connection direction

As far as tested, this connection supports uni-directional as well as bi-directional synchronizations. 

 

After adjusting the direction to bi-directional, you should check your Mappings settings again because some systems might include read-only columns that cannot be mapped directly.

 

We also recommend to choose a Conflict Resolution that matches your environments needs. You can find out more about the different conflict resolutions in our Layer2 Cloud Connector User Documentation.

 

3.2 Accessing shared files 

In many cases, a local account is used for the Layer2 Cloud Connector Windows Service with no access to attached file shares. You can change, if required to access Access databases not only locally, but also on file shares. if you have any issues, please start with a file on a local disk and go step-by-step.

 

3.3 Verification failed

If you get something like: "Verification failed: The 'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0'-Provider is not registered on the local computer." please check the architecture in which Layer2 Cloud Connector is running (32-bit / 64-Bit). You can change this in the Layer2 Cloud Connector general settings (root node of the connection's tree). For example, if you have installed the 32-bit version of the Access data provider on a 64-bit machine (as required if you have a 32-bit Office Word, Excel, etc. running there, just switch Layer2 Cloud Connector from 64-bit (default) to x86/32-bit. Don't forget to restart the Layer2 Cloud Connector after applying your changes.

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