Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions: M-Files
Access ODBC driver not supported - Solution available
Posted by Sakari Heinonen (M-Files) on 15 March 2019 09:09 AM

1     Overview

Use of Microsoft Access Database Engine Redistributables is not recommended with M-Files (i.e. importing value lists or objet types from an Excel file). These redistributables are typically used to transfer data to or from Microsoft Access or Excel files.

Quoting the details section of the below download links: It is stated, at the time of the writing of this article, that those redistributables are not intended to be used, among other scenarios, "by a system service or server-side program where the code will run under a system account, or will deal with multiple users identities concurrently, or is highly reentrant and expects stateless behavior."

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13255
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54920

Use of these components may lead to M-Files server failures.

2     Workaround

There is a workaround for this problem, which is the use of an intermediate SQL table. For example, if you need to import data from an Excel file to M-Files, you need to first implement a tool to read data from the Excel file and store this data into an intermediate SQL database. Then you need to configure M-Files to connect into this intermediate database instead of the original source. If you need two-way data import, you need to implement also a tool which will update the Excel file based on this intermediate table. The intermediate database can be hosted on any Microsoft SQL server (for example the free MS SQL Express version).

Please note that the intermediate database must use transactions, because it is possible that M-Files reads the database at the same time your tool is writing into it. This will not work if the tool clears the intermediate database table(s) completely and then rewrites the data from the Excel file - M-Files may read the table while it is being rewritten and consider that data has been removed from there and remove the same data from M-Files.

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