lunes, 14 de enero de 2013


Having switched to MAC and still trying to be a friendly person to people of other beliefs (and operating systems), I have been looking for the ideal solution to work with Access Databases on the MAC.
Searching Google mostly yielded advice to run Windows on a Virtual Machine or simply to also have a Windows Machine with Office installed and then just use Access to work with it… for so many reasons its not funny, I off course thought that would be equivalent to failing to have to resort one of these solutions.
Instead of making this a lengthy post about why and how, I will simply leave it as a recipe as I have come up with a simple, quick and easy solution that also happens to entirely free… and it doesn’t require you to open any command prompts, restart you machine or even call you computer saavy cousin, this is a 3 mins job you can do yourself… in a quick 4 easy steps !
1) Download and Install OpenOffice

2) Download and Install Actual ODBC Driver for Access

3) Configure the connection to your Database
  1. Run “ODBC Manager” (found in Applications/Utilities/)
  2. Navigate to “System DSN”
  3. Select “Add”
  4. Select “Continue”
  5. Enter “Name” and “Description” (Can be anything you wish, these values are only used for your convenience in the management of the connections)
  6. “Choose…” the MDB file from your local disc system
  7. Select “Continue”
  8. Select “Advanced  Language…”
  9. Remove the selection in the “Auto-detect language…” checkbox (VERY IMPORTANT, if you leave it selected you might not be able to read the data in the database)
  10. Select “Continue”
  11. Select “Test”
  12. Confirm that it reads “Test Completed Successfully” in the last line
  13. Select “Done”
4) Connect to your Database
  1. Start the OpenOffice from Applications.
  2. Select “Database” from the Welcome Screen.
  3. Select “Connect to an existing database” and select ODBC in the drop-down.
  4. Select “Browse” and select the database connection you created in previous step.
  5. Select “Next” and enter optional Username and Password (its possible you can skip this step).
  6. In the next screen you can either accept default or change the settings, this step is purely a convenience matter, so decide for yourself.
…and voila !!
You should now be able to both access and manage your data in your Access Database on your MAC OSX… and you managed to do it in less than 5 minutes and it cost you zero deniros !
Happy hacking…
PS. If you know of better or alternative ways to achieve the same result, please post it here and share with others… I know many people are facing this issue from time to time, and as you can see in this post, suffering needlessly since the solution is readily available and very simple.