Run a saved import or export specification

When you run an import wizard or export wizard in Access, you can save the settings you used as a specification so that you can repeat the import or export operation at any time.

You must first run an import or export operation to save a specification; however, you can use an existing specification for an operation that you have never performed before if your operation meets either of the following conditions:

  • If the only difference between the operation you want to run and an existing specification is the name of the source file (in case of an import operation) or destination file (in case of an export operation), then you can change the name of the source or destination file mentioned in the existing specification and run the specification.

  • If you need to export formatted data and the only difference between the operation you want to perform and an existing specification is the column or filter settings, you can change the column and filter settings in the specification. The current column and filter settings will always determine what gets exported, not the settings that were in effect at the time of creating the specification.

Run a saved import or export specification from Access

After you save the details as a specification, perform the following steps when you want to repeat the operation.

Run the specification

  1. Open the Access database that contains the specification, if it is not already open. When you run an import specification, the current database is the destination database. When you run an export specification, the current database is the source database.

  2. If the specification exports formatted data to an Excel workbook or a Word document, open the object and make sure the fields that you want to export are not hidden in the view. Similarly, review the filter settings to make sure all the records you want exported are visible in the view.

  3. On the External Data tab, click Saved Imports or Saved Exports to open the Manage Data Tasks dialog box.

  4. In the Manage Data Tasks dialog box, on the Saved Imports or Saved Exports tab, click the specification that you want to run.

  5. If you want to change the source file (when you are running an import operation) or the destination file (when you are running an export operation), click the path of the file to edit it.

    It is important to note that you can change the source or destination files, but the new file you specify must satisfy all the requirements essential for successfully completing the operation.

  6. Before you click Run, you must make sure that the source and destination files exist, the source data is ready for importing, and that the operation will not accidentally overwrite any data in your destination file. Do everything that you would do to ensure the success of a wizard-driven operation before running any saved specification.

  7. Click Run.

    Access displays a message that communicates the status of the operation. If the operation failed, troubleshoot the error the same way you would if you were using the wizard.

    Tip: If the message does not pinpoint the cause of the failure, try starting the import or export wizard and stepping through the dialog boxes to perform the same operation.

Run a saved import or export specification from Outlook

If you have set up the specification as an Outlook task, you can start the operation from within Outlook.

Note: You cannot change the path or file name of the external file in the specification before starting the operation when you run the specification from within Outlook. To change the file name in the specification, start the operation from within Access instead of as a task from Outlook.

Before you start the operation in Outlook, make sure that Access is installed on your computer and that the source and destination files exist. Do everything that you would do to ensure the success of a wizard-driven operation before you run any saved specification.

Run the specification

  1. Start Outlook and click Tasks in the Navigation Pane. Double-click the task to open it.

  2. On the Task tab, in the Microsoft Office Access group, click Run Import or Run Export. Click OK on the confirmation message to confirm.

    If the operation runs successfully, no message is displayed. If the operation fails, Access displays a message explaining the likely cause of the error. Try troubleshooting the error the same way you would if you were using the wizard.

    Tip: If the message does not pinpoint the cause of the failure, try starting the import or export wizard and stepping through the dialog boxes to perform the same operation.

What else should I know?

  • For information on how to schedule specifications to run at specific times, see the article Schedule an import or export operation.

  • For information on how to change a specification name, delete specifications, or update the names of source files in specifications, see the article Manage Data Tasks.

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