How to Convert XML to a Microsoft Access Database

By Steve Diamond

Microsoft Office Access stores data in a proprietary binary format that is meaningful only to Access and compatible programs. However, a very different way of representing structured data has become popular in the Internet age: Extensible Markup Language, commonly known as XML. An XML file is a plain text file that any text editing program, such as Windows Notepad, can open and that any person with some knowledge of data structures can read without additional aids. Microsoft Access cannot manipulate XML data directly, but it can easily convert XML into the Access database format.

Step 1

Click the **File** button, then click **New**. Click **Blank Database**, then type a file name in the File Name box and click **Create** to create a new Access database.

Step 2

Select **External Data** in the Access ribbon. Open the external data import wizard by clicking **XML File**.

Step 3

Find and open the XML file to launch the the Import XML window.

Step 4

Go to the Import Options list and make sure that the **Structure and Data** option is selected. Click **OK**. Access will create a new table in the database for each table defined in the XML file and will convert the XML data into Access format for storage. When finished, Access will show the message "Finished importing document" plus the name of the XML file.

Step 5

Click **Close** to exit the XML data import wizard.