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4 replies Latest Post - ‏2014-04-15T20:45:14Z by CMusicFan
17 Posts

Pinned topic External Link to Microsoft Access

‏2014-04-14T14:02:37Z |


I would like to link objects in a specific module to an existing database in Microsoft Access. I have written some dxl that does what I want based on the current object, but In order to use it I have to run it from the drop down menu in the module. This is not acceptable. What I want is a way to select an object and "follow a link" to Microsoft Access from that object. I realize that external links do not work in this manner (right?), but that's the closest wording I know to explain what I'm looking for. The options that I am considering right now are as follows:

  • Add an entry to the right-click context menu for that module. I have two issues with this:
    • I do not have write permissions to the folder on my hard drive where I would need to place the additional dxl code to populate the menu
    • Would this solution work for everyone that opens the module, or just me?
  • Add a text attribute that says something like "click here to open database" and apply a trigger to it. The issue I have with this option is that I cannot apply a double click trigger to a single attribute (as far as I can tell - please tell me if I'm wrong!), so the user would have to forfeit the ability to double click on an attribute to edit it...right?
  • Add some other type of external link to each object. I have no idea what that would entail

As you can see, none of these options seem altogether acceptable. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I might accomplish my goal? Any ideas are welcome!


Updated on 2014-04-14T16:28:06Z at 2014-04-14T16:28:06Z by CMusicFan
  • Mathias Mamsch
    Mathias Mamsch
    1954 Posts

    Re: External Link to Microsoft Access

    ‏2014-04-15T11:32:55Z  in response to CMusicFan

    Well, personally I think you are worrying much about usability where in practice there are normally more serious problems with any linked data approach to be considered when it comes to configuration management (baselining, etc). So maybe you can tell us something about the reasons why selecting a context menu from an external link is more acceptable then selecting a DXL script from the menu. Anyway.

    Well there is at least one other option to consider: A linked OLE Object, e.g. a spreadsheet that queries the data from your database or maybe even a linked Access object. The advantage is, that this information would at least be available for users without access as a picture (no idea what information you got in your database).

    An exernal link could also be an option provided your IT System somehow provides a URL to your data. Either by a web service that shows the data (easy to do normally) or maybe even a file:// link that directly redirects to the access file.

    Another option you should not discard in the first place is to copy the data over to DOORS in a suitable format and use DOORS links to link the data to your module (or even embed the information). While you might want to avoid the redundancy that this approach seems to bring, as far as I know the access database that you want to link to has not by default any version management, i.e. from a baselining perspective you certainly might want to keep a certain state of your access database. 

    So far for now - maybe you tell us what kind of information you are keeping in your access database?

    Regards, Mathias

    • CMusicFan
      17 Posts

      Re: External Link to Microsoft Access

      ‏2014-04-15T12:37:10Z  in response to Mathias Mamsch

      Thank you for your reply!

      I think there may be some confusion. Essentially, We have access to a database in Microsoft Access that is not under our control. This database has information that could be compared to software issue reports. We have our information stored in DOORS, but because of the way our process works (read: we cannot control this) the access database is where certain information will always reside. We do not need this information directly in DOORS, and even if we did it wouldn't be feasible because both databases will be updated regularly and Independently. To be clear, we do not want to update information dynamically between DOORS and Access. We do not need them to communicate with each other. What we want is the capability to open the proper software issue report in Access that pertains to a specific DOORS object.

      What I have at the moment is a short dxl script that, when run, will use information contained in the current object in the module to open the front end to our Microsoft Access database, navigate to the correct form, and fill the form with the requested information. This all works just fine via OLE automation. What I am looking for is a way to simplify the user interface a little bit. Ideally, I would like the user to be able to select an object and then do something specific to that module that will run my dxl script. The drop down menu is not ideal because any script that is placed in that menu will be available from any module.

      I hope that helps!

      • GregM_dxler
        163 Posts

        Re: External Link to Microsoft Access

        ‏2014-04-15T18:18:18Z  in response to CMusicFan


        There might be a couple of options.  The first thing I thought of is to use hyperlinks.  We use that when we want to link to software files or test files.  Another option that may be more useful for you is to add a selection to the right click menu.  That selection would launch your dxl script when selected.  There are threads in how to make a right click menu selection in the forum.

        Finally, you could include checking if the module is a specific one in the dxl script before running the access.  That way, the script won't run on any other module.

        Hope this helps,


        • CMusicFan
          17 Posts

          Re: External Link to Microsoft Access

          ‏2014-04-15T20:45:14Z  in response to GregM_dxler

          Thank you very much for your suggestions!

          Adding to the right click menu, as I stated in my first post, is an ideal option functionally, but setting it up may prove impossible with my current network setup. I also do have a part of the script that checks for the correct module so no one can accidentally run it in the wrong module.

          The use of hyperlinks would be ideal in this situation! Unfortunately, I am unsure how this would work in conjunction with a dxl script. I would be really interested in how that might work. If you could provide an example of this, or just point me to a post that discusses it somewhere else, that would be great!