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A Plea for DBF!

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Fellow GIS-ers,


As you may be aware, Microsoft dropped dbf support from the newest versions of Access (2013 & 2016).  Their reasoning?...dbf is an antiquated and/or dead file format.  They either did not realize or ignored that dbf is the tabular format behind all shapefiles and very much still in use throughout the entire GIS industry.  It is the universal format for, at the very least, GIS data exchange.


Unfortunately, this means one can no longer link to a shapefile dbf table from within an Access database to work directly with the data (neither manually nor through VBA).  I’ve been on the phone and exchanged numerous emails with Microsoft’s support personnel over the past couple of weeks, building a case for bringing back dbf support. The best I can get (without a “Premier” support ticket) is the suggestion to continue using Access 2010, or some other registry hack-type workarounds…all of which are unviable in the long-term.


So, I’m pushing for a “grass-roots” campaign, if this problem directly affects you…please consider voting for the current “bring back dbf” suggestion in the online Access suggestion box:




Click the “Vote” button

Enter your email address

Enter your name (the “Name” box will appear after entering your email address)

Click “3 Votes” (Or 1 Or 2)


Thanks (and feel free to pass the voting instructions along to others outside this forum!)

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3 votes from me too!


I have done the registry hack to retain support for existing linked DBF files in my Access databases but it is very frustrating not being able to connect to new ones!

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