How do I update or link tables to my Access/Excel file?

MapInfo Pro can open Access database of Excel files directly, so that any changes to the data (i.e. new rows added or cell values changed) are automatically shown in MapInfo Pro.

There are 2 methods to do this -

1. Create a linked TAB file 
Simply go to HOME>Open>Table, and change the file type to Excel or Access. Make sure to not tick the Create copy in MapInfo format option.

    The downside of this method is the browser attribute data will be read only in MapInfo. You can create points from the coordinate data in the table, but when these are moved in the map, or values changed, or new rows added, you will need to use Discover>Update Coordinates to sync the browser and map coordinates and points.
Also the file will be locked, so yo will need to close the file in MapInfo to edit it in Excel/Access, or overwrite it with a new copy.
If you receive an update file, you can simply copy and paste over the existing Access/Excel file with the same name. Note that structural changes such as adding/removing fields or changing field names are not supported by  this method and will require a new tab file to be created by repeated Home>open table.

2. Create a ODBC database table
     MapInfo can open any database table by using Windows ODBC drivers. To do this, go to Home>Open>Database table and create a new ODBC connection, or select one already made (you can share them by the File dsn).
The advantage of this is it can be opened by multiple users at the same time, and any edits/changes can be refreshed in real time in MapInfo each time the map is moved/redrawn.
The downside of this method is you cannot simply go to Spatial>Create Points. There is a process to enable the database to contain spatial point data, see the related KB for steps on how to do this.

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Last Updated on: 9th of July, 2021