In practice, Microsoft Access is widely used for creating databases. However, the MDB and ACCDB Access formats are very poorly supported outside of the commercial Microsoft Access. Due to the different versions of these formats, it may even be that Access itself does not always support the files properly.

For the time being, for many databases created with Microsoft Access, DANS has provided sustainable and accessible formats by storing the tables from the databases as separate CSV text files. Tables can be exported from Access via an Access-form, which is available here, the download includes a readme with information about the use of this tool.

Storage of the tables as CSV files only retains the tabular data from a database. Any overarching documentation needs to be described in a separate document accompanying the CSV files. Within Microsoft Access, the “Database documentation” function can be used to generate a document with column descriptions and table relationships: this document can be saved as PDF / A in accordance with formatted text and supplied with the tables of the database.

In addition, care must be taken that all codes and variables used can be explained, this can also be done by providing further descriptions in a separate document (“codebook”).

Microsoft Access is a non-preferred format for file type Databases.