Link to a Data Service

Applies to: Access for Microsoft 365, Access 2019, Access 2016, Access 2013, Access 2010.

You can link to a Data Service, or Web Service as it it’s alternatively named, from Access. For example, you can create a Data Service connection to your enterprise Business Data Catalogue and get business data into Access.

After you design a Data Service connection, you can link to it exactly in the same way as you would any other external data source. If the Data Service takes parameters, you can alter the parameters once you generate a linked table by using the Data Service connection.

Note, producing a new Data Service connection file, such as through Business Data Connectivity Services, transcends the purpose of this article. See Use external data with Access for further information about working with BDCM files and Access.

Overview

Access allows you to link to accessible external data through a Data Service. You need to have a pre-existing Data Service connection file, which is provided by the Data Service provider. The general process of using Data Service data is as follows:

  1. Acquire a Data Service data connection file.
  1. Install the Data Service data connection by using the connection file.
  1. Make a linked table by using the installed Data Service data connection.

Note that the linked tables that you format by using a Data Service connection are read-only.

Create a connection to a Data Service

  1. The location of the Link to Data Services wizard changes minimally based upon your version of Access. Pick the steps that match your Access version:

  • If you’re using the latest version of the Microsoft 365 subscription version of Access, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, select New Data Source > From Online Services > Data Services.
  • If you’re using Access 2016, Access 2013 or Access 2010, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, select More to open a drop-down list of options and then press Data Services.

  1. At the bottom of the Create Link to Data Services dialogue box, choose Install New Connection.Installing a Web Service data connection
  2. In the Select a connection definition file dialogue box, browse to and click the XML file that includes the description of the Data Service.

Note: This file is provided by the Data or Web Service provider, or by your system administrator.

To activate the Data Services button, Microsoft .NET 3.5 or later must be installed.

Link to an existing Data Service connection

  1. The location of the Link to Data Services wizard changes variably according to your version of Access. Tailor your steps to based on your Access version:
  • If you’re using the latest version of the Microsoft 365 subscription version of Access, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, click New Data Source > From Online Services > Data Services.
  • If you’re using Access 2016, Access 2013 or Access 2010, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, click More to drop down the list of options and then click Data Services.

  1. The Create Link to Data Services dialogue box illustrates the tables of data that the Data Service supplies. For example, if you connected to the AdventureWorks Web Service, you may see something like this:

A Web Service data connection available for linking

  1. In the Create Link to Data Service, select the table that you want to use.
  1. Press Create Linked Table.

Specify a parameter value

Your Data Service connection file might support parameters. A parameter is an expression that you apply to filter data.

For example, the AdventureWorks Web Service data connection has an Orders table that can acquire a value for Location, and use that value to restrict the records that you can access by using the link.

Web Service data connection parameter

You decide the parameter value for a Data Service connection once you design the linked table.

  1. Follow the first four steps in the previous procedure, Link to an existing Data Service connection. Do not select Create Linked Table yet.
  1. In the Create Link to Data Services dialogue box, set the parameter value in the relevant box in the parameter section. The interface that you notice will differ slightly based on the Data Service data connection file that you use. Some connections facilitate several parameters.
  1. After you are done setting parameter values, choose Create Linked Table.

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