MDB (.mdb)

Background & Context

    • MIME types: application/mdb, application/msaccess, application/vnd.msaccess
    • MDB database file.
    • Native format of the Microsoft Access database application.
    • Used in conjunction with the Access relational database management system and as an exchange format.
    • Binary format.
    • Stores numerical and textual information as sets of tables.
    • Developed by Microsoft in 1992.


  • Import["file.mdb"] imports an MDB database, returning a list of arrays.
  • Import["file.mdb"] returns a list of two-dimensional arrays, each representing a database table.
  • MDB data is represented in the Wolfram Language by real or integer numbers, strings, Boolean values True and False, and DateList specifications.
  • Import["file.mdb",elem] imports the specified element from an MDB file.
  • Import["file.mdb",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.mdb",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","MDB"] or Import["file",{"MDB",elem,}].
  • See the following reference pages for full general information:
  • Importimport from a file
    CloudImportimport from a cloud object
    ImportStringimport from a string
    ImportByteArrayimport from a byte array

Import Elements

  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements" list of elements and options available in this file
    "Summary"summary of the file
    "Rules"list of rules for all available elements
  • Specifying and selecting datasets:
  • "Data"all datasets given as a list of arrays
    "Datasets"names of all datasets
    "Datasets",nthe n^(th) dataset given as an array
    "Datasets",namedataset name given as an array
    "Datasets",name,"Labels"list of strings, representing the column labels of dataset name
    "Datasets",name,"LabeledData"dataset name using rules for each column
  • Import uses the "Data" element by default.


  • Import option:
  • "EmptyField"""how empty cells are represented in the Wolfram Language


Basic Examples  (1)

Show the Import elements available in an MDB sample file:

Import the names of all datasets stored in the file:

Import the data labels available for this dataset:

Import data associated with three labels:

Import an entire dataset as a list of rules:

Import all data from an MDB database: