Command line 'client' for MS Access?

Maybe IMHO, maybe not. I’m unsure that such a creature even exists, which is why I’m putting it in GQ.


I’m taking this intro to database class. I’m pretty familiar with basic theory, and I know enough SQL to get by for the things I need to do with Oracle in my sysadmin job and to run my personal website/blog/forum with MySQL. In fact, I’m most comfortable (and fastest) typing in my queries by hand. Part of my reason for taking this whole sequence is to get more of a DBA, rather than user, perspective on enterprise database design.

Unfortunately, because most of the students in my program are MS people, we’ve got to start the whole deal in Microsoft Access.

Basically, my problem is that the “query builder” just blows, and pretty much hides the SQL, and I’m entirely too uncomfortable with the interface. It doesn’t help that the prof is teaching the class to the lowest common denominator: “Here’s what buttons to click to extract records from your Microsoft ™ Access ™ MDB ™ file.”


…so I’m doing this project, and forgetting the buttons, and switching back and forth to the mung that comes out in the so-called “SQL View” is getting on my nerves.

Here’s the GQ (maybe):

Does there exist such a thing as a text-based client (really, interface) to an Access server (really, MDB file), a la sqlplus, Golden, mysqlclient, etc? I want to be able to run queries on the fly, and possibly save them so they show up in the “Queries” menu. In other words, pretend that I’m using a real DBMS.

Free helps, too.


It would probably be pretty easy to whip up a VBA form with a text box and an ‘execute’ button that, when clicked, saved the contents of the text box as a query and executed it; you could bind the text box to a memo field in a table so that your query exercises could be stored.

If I had more time, I’d throw this together for you, but I don’t.

BTW, you’re aware that Microsoft’s implementation of SQL (Jet SQL) is non-standard, aren’t you?

I appreciate even the pointer.

No, I wasn’t, but I can’t say I’m particularly shocked. It also explains why it kept puking on my perfectly valid syntax.

Access does actually allow you to write queries from scratch in SQL. Open the Queries objects list, double-click Create Query in Design View, close the Show Tables dialog box, then click the View button (which should say SQL at this point). You can use the drop-down arrow on the View button to switch back to the SQL window after running the query, and the query can be saved like any other query in Access.