Defining and importing data > The Data Access window

The Data Access window

The Data Access window is a component of ACL that contains data connectors, which you can use to import data to ACL from a wide range of sources. The Data Access window also contains features for precisely shaping the set of data you are importing.

Data connectors are ODBC drivers that provide an interface between ACL and ODBC-compliant databases and file formats, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Salesforce, and Microsoft Excel.

For a complete list of the data sources you can connect to using the Data Access window, see Data sources you can access with ACL.

Overview of the Data Access window

The features contained in the Data Access window are explained below.






Displays information about the currently active data connection.

Includes the name of the connection, and the name of the database, or the location of the file, containing the source data.



Search tables

A search box for progressively filtering the list of available tables in the source data.

As you enter characters in the search box, the Available Tables list is filtered so that it contains only tables names with a matching string of characters.


Available Tables

The tables in the source data that are available for import.


Staging Area

The area in the Data Access window that contains the table or tables you have selected for import.

The Staging Area is also the location where you perform joins between tables, and select which fields in a table are imported.


Filter panel

A panel for building simple or compound filters that precisely specify which records from a data set are imported.


Import Preview

A preview of the data exactly as it will be imported into ACL.

As you work with the data by joining tables, omitting fields, and creating filters, you can refresh the preview to see the effect of your changes.

The Estimate Size option displays an estimate of the number of records in the import, and the size of the ACL data file (.fil) that will be created.


Field Length

Two fields that you can use to adjust the maximum field lengths for imported character or memo fields.


SQL Mode

A text editor that allows you to directly edit the SQL import statement.

Users with knowledge of SQL can control aspects of the data import not available through the user interface.