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Finding databases in Windows XP with Office 2003 (Read 2854 times)
Gerrit-Jan Linker
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Finding databases in Windows XP with Office 2003
03.11.07 at 23:38:51
 
Finding databases in Windows XP with Office 2003
 
Ever wondered what databases are used on your PC? I am using SQL*XL today to find databases that are installed on a newly installed windows XP system with Office 2003.
 
I installed SQL*XL and opened it in Office 2003 (for a description of the SQL*XL software I refer to http://www.oraxcel.com/projects/sqlxl). I pressed the connect button and pressed the new connection button. In the screen that shows the tools that can be used to make a connection I choose the File Database Connections tool.
 
The new file database connection window shows. I selected all database types and did a search on the C:\ drive (recursing the sub directories). Approximately 20 seconds later SQL*XL finished scanning the C drive. It found 10 databases of which 6 XLS files and 4 MDB (Access) files.
 
The 4 access files are:
Northwind.mdb
Access9.mdb
dnary.mdb
ias.mdb
 
The 6 XLS files that were not further investigated.
 
The first access database found is Northwind.mdb. This is a test database that comes with Office11 (Office 2003). It is interesting to have a look and it can serve as a good testing database.
 
The access9.mdb database was unknown to me. I decided to have a look at it. I pressed the test the selected database button and the SQL*XL connection wizard attempted to make a connection to the database. All 4 connections it attempted were successful and I connected using the first SQL*XL tried. The next 2 access databases  that were found are interesting as well so I also took the opportunity to make a connection to the dnary.mdb database and the ias.mdb database.
 
Inspecting the Access9.mdb database.
Closing the new file database connections dialog I returned to the connection dialog. The 3 databases I tried to connect to are now in the connection history. I can simply select one of them and connect (no password required).
I connected to the Access9.mdb database.
 
To find out which tables are defined inside the database I went to the SQL dialog in SQL*XL. Then I pressed the SQL editor button and had a look at the schema that is outlined in the left hand pane of the SQL editor. I found no tables. It seems to be an empty database.
 
Then I turned to the dnary.mdb database. Again I went to the SQL editor to look at the tables. I found 3 tables: attributes, enumerators and syntaxes. Wondering what data it contains I selected the tables node and selected "count rows in all tables" task. SQL*XL generated 3 SQL statements to count the rows in the tables. Executing the 3 queries it turns out that the attribute table contains 563 rows, the enumerators table contains 1168 rows and that the syntaxes table contains 9 rows.  
 
I returned to the editor. Right clicked the tables node and chose select. SQL*XL created for each table a select * statement. I ran the statements to dump the data into Excel. It is interesting to see the contents. It seems to contain networking related data. Does anyone knows what this database is used for? I'd love to hear about it.
 
The ias.mdb database also contains tables. Again I used the SQL editor in SQL*XL to find the table names: Objects, Properties, VariantType and Version. I generated for all tables a select statement by right clicking the tables node and chosing the select option.  
Again it is interesting to see the contents. It seems to contain network equiment related info. Does anyone knows what this database is used for? I'd love to hear about it.
 
I have shown in this topic how SQL*XL can be used to find and explore databases. You can easily repeat the process on network drives or other drives that contain file databases.
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« Last Edit: 11.12.07 at 21:45:46 by Gerrit-Jan Linker »  

Gerrit-Jan Linker
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