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Getting MSAccess Capabilities on Linux

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Posted: 24 Jun 2004

We've had several people inquire about MSAccess equivalents available on Linux. You can do mostly the same with OpenOffice as you can with MS Access. Table design, query design, relation design, forms and reports. The big difference is that OpenOffice doesn't ship any database (only dbase) with it.

You need to choose your own database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MYDB, Adabas D, Oracle, etc. or even the MS Access file).

Anyone out there have any recommendations for a good database to use with OpenOffice? Let us know.


Chris Hopp

Information on access to databases through OpenOffice may be found on the OpenOffice web site.

"Currently, there are implementations enabling access to JDBC, ODBC 3.0, ADO providers, MySQL, dBase and CSV files, and Adabas D. However, the component technology behind SDBC, SDBCX, and SDB is flexible enough to be extended with new drivers easily."

MySQL would seem to be the optimal free/Open Source option. PostgreSQL and MDB drivers are at alpha levels of development, so only individuals interested in doing testing for OpenOffice should use them. These are definitely not options for production.

On the Linux plaform there are other options beyond OpenOffice. PostgreSQL users might be better to consider pgAccess.

In addition, The Kompany, which produces applications for KDE, GPLed its Rekall product last fall.

In addition, two of the major desktop environments offer graphical database tools:

Finally, try checking out Google Directory (based on the Open Directory project) under the KDE and Gnome listings for additional options.

Danny J. Wall

I suggest MySQL, for its power, flexibility, and it ability to run on several platforms (included with Netware). phpMyAdmin is a suitable front end for admins, but for users, Rekall is a good choice.

If your users will be creating their own reports, and don't know SQL, you will have problems. Also, if your users use the QBE tools, I do not know of an equivalent. MySQL is very powerful for scripting and more suited to the web than Access, but ease of use for a basic user is not as good. phpMyAdmin will even show you the PHP code needed to embed queries in web pages.

Kevin Chin

What about Rekall? I've not used it personally, but I've been told it might be something to investigate...

David Balcar

I would use StarOffice 7.0 which comes with Adabas.

Carl Parrish

To work just like MSAccess I like SQLite (actually this is a bit faster than MSAccess). The problem with this is you can't really use multiple users with SQLite. So I often use MySQL instead. I've often wondered why the openoffice group doesn't simply include SQLite in with OpenOffice (though I should still be able to change to my db of choice).

Alois Popp

MySQL is really a very good database for Novell, Linux and also Windows as server and/or client!

At this location, we have had the MySQL Database (4.0.12) installed, running on a Novell SBS 6 Server with SP3/4 for 14 months.

Workstations are:

  • Win2K with ODBC Connector for different applications or OpenOffice 1.1.1 and the MySQL Connector/J (V3.0.7), since 14 months.
  • SUSE Linux 9.0 with OpenOffice 1.1.1 and the MySQL Connector/J (3.0.14) since today.

No problem at all. Take it at

Andy Potter

Kexi is designed for this purpose. And it's looking very promising indeed.

Roger Foss

Actually, Novell's own SUSE Linux Pro 9.1 ships with Rekall, which is similar to MS Access. I'm not sure whether or how much it integrates with OpenOffice, but it looks very nice.

Jari Jakonen

Take a look at the Database Access Project

Marco Menardi

I use Firebird . It's multi-platform (like OpenOffice), small footprint, no administration, very powerful and stable. The license is essentially the Mozilla Public License v.1.1. It can be interfaced with OOo using JDBC or ODBC, AFARK.

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