converting files Lotus to Microsoft

Lotus Approach
Microsoft Access
Our church office has used Lotus Approach 97 for the mailing list. We have about 600 names. Now we are converting to MS office 2007 and using Access. My question is, can I convert the Approch files to Access - my secretary really does not want to retype all of the address unless necessary. Thanks for any one who can help. Larry

Answer Wiki

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I don’t have any specific understanding of Lotus Approach 97, but can tell you what technologists do to extract data from one system and import to another, if that will help.

In Lotus Approach, in a screen that shows all the information you want extract, look for an export function (in Lotus Notes, this is on the File pull down menu). Review the “Save File As” options. one of them is probably .csv (comma separated values).

If there is an option for .wks or .wk3, use that, otherwise, use .csv. Whatever file type you pick, give the export file the proper extension (this old program probably won’t do it for you). So, if you pick .csv, then your file name could be Export.csv.

If .wk3 is an option, that would be better, as it will handle commas in your data elements better than .csv will.

In Access, add a couple contacts so you have test data. Find the table that has the data. Select All (Ctrl + A). Open Excel. Paste (Ctrl + V).

You now have an Excel table with sample data and the column headers that need to be matched in order to import the Lotus data.

Open the .wks or .csv file in Excel.

Examine the column headers and the information extracted. Make a new copy of the file and save it as an Excel file. Don’t make anymore change to the original extract file in case you need to go back a step at some point in the process.

In the new Excel copy of the extracted data, change column headers to match the column headers in the sample Access data. If you have information in columns that don’t match in Access, you will have to delete them and will probably have to reenter that data in Access, if it has a way to store it.

Once you have the format of the excel table correct, matching the Access sample data, save the excel file.

In access, import the formatted data into the access table you worked in originally. If you have formatting of datatype errors, you will need to address them and try again.

This is the general idea. If you are successful, you will save the time of re-typing all the data and not lose too much due to differences in the types of data the two systems track. Hope this helps.

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  • Meesha
    I use both Approach and Access. I use Access's File Import for a .dbf file from Approach. Traditionally, using Lotus 1-2-3 or Excel to open and massage .txt files or csv files was used in the early days of database to database record conversion. But now both these products have their own capabilities. If you create a file in Access save as .dbf and then you can open in Approach. However, although Access can save as .dbf it can't read it directly so therefore needs to be "imported" for the conversion.
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