Back by popular demand—dBASE file support in Access

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Microsoft Access has been embraced by millions of professional database developers and passionate hobbyists alike for the past twenty years. Office customers around the globe use Access-based solutions to support mission-critical business processes across all types and sizes of organizations.

We recognize the value that Access provides to so many of our customers and we are committed to continuing development of the product. A few months ago, we invited customers to the Access UserVoice to provide and rate ideas and suggestions to help make Access better.

We want to thank those of you who took the time to submit and review the UserVoice suggestions. We regularly review your suggestions and requests, as it’s one of the key touchpoints we have with our millions of users. One of the leading requests for Access was to see renewed support for dBASE (.dbf), and quite a few of you—particularly those in the Geographic Information System (GIS) community—made a compelling case to do so.

Today, we are pleased to let you know that we are re-introducing dBASE file support (.dbf) in Access for Office 365 customers.

dbase file support in access image 1

You can now import or link to data stored in dBASE databases in Access.

Currently, support for dBASE in Access 2016 is available to Office 365 subscribers. This feature will first roll out to Office Insider participants and later to consumer and commercial Office 365 subscribers. If you have an Office 365 subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Office.

Please continue to share your suggestions on the Access UserVoice. Your feedback is important and can directly impact what we deliver to our customers.

—The Access team

  1. I bet more people are excited about this than are excited about iWork.

  2. What level of dBASE file support is available? All the way to version 7?

    • Hi Paul,
      We brought back dBASE support exactly as it was before it was removed.

      – Michal.

      • can you please provide the version number this dBASE support is available on and moving forward?

  3. Great news. Can’t wait for it to come down. Thanks for listening.

  4. What about all the folks WITHOUT Office365? When / how will we see this?

  5. I have mixed feelings on this — very glad to see it return, yet frustrated that this so-called “new” feature will only be available to 365 subscriptions. A someone who had JUST unwittingly “upgraded” from 2010 Pro to 2016 Pro, only to find this crucial feature missing, I see this as a potential “scam” of sorts — arbitrarily remove existing features, then arbitrarily reestablish them, branding them as “new” as a means to force 365 subscriptions. Would rather this were offered as an upgrade to 2016 Pro customers that request it (because this very-old “new” feature should never have been removed in the first place). I’ve already written off the $400 2016 Pro as wasted money for a broken product, and am again working with 2010 — guess I’ll be sitting there for a few more years til “2018 Pro” finally brings it back again into a non-subscription product.

    • Hi Dave,
      Only one thing to do. Post it like I did. I will vote for you all I can.

      I agree to your complaint. It should be even for all…..maybe it is on the way? I hope it is just a “little mess-up” from MS’s side.

      Let’s go MS – all the way please 🙂

      • It’s up to MS to say officially, but I would think that non-Office 365 users of Access will get this at some point. I would think it is just a matter of how they roll out the updates.

        Might be wrong though.

      • Thank you for your comment Dave,
        Please refer to my answer to Derek below.

  6. Thank you 🙂 I will promptly tell the guy that has taken over after me. He should be thrilled as well.

    Mostly though, I am very pleased to experienced, we DO have a say as customers and that, at MS, you understand and listen.
    That it took about a year to get this far…..well….. good things take time 😉

    Thanks for listening 🙂

    Michael (now selling MS products)

  7. Thank you Microsoft Access Team! Sincerely.

    But…what about Access 2013? Will there be an upgrade/patch available to enable dbf support there. I’d venture to guess that most enterprise level & government agencies are running 2013. And it is the version that prompted the outcry.

    Please, don’t get me wrong…I’m thrilled that dbf is back! Thrilled & Relieved!

    • Thank you for your comment Derek,

      Currently, support for dBASE in Access 2016 is available to Office 365 subscribers and will first roll out to Office Insider participants and then to the remainder of Office 365 subscribers. We are also working to deliver the update to customers running single license installs of Access 2016 and will share that update when it becomes available.

      • Thank you for the reply Michal, But…to the actual question…what about 2013?? THAT’s the version that prompted all of this…and it’s the version widely in use at the enterprise level…particularly government level. And it could easily be years before the shift to 365 at that level. Certainly Microsoft’s internal version/usage statistics bear this out?

        Again…absolutely thrilled that it’s back (Seriously…I can’t say that enough…Thank You)…we just need a solution for 2013 too! Please!! Otherwise some of us are stuck in the even more frustrating position of having to work with the ONE version of Access that doesn’t have the ONE key feature we need.

        • I doubt they will go back and retrofit old versions of software with features they are delivering in 2016 and Office365.

  8. Frist off thanks for putting this capability back into Access. I am one of the GIS people who has had to find workarounds to make Access do what it has always done up to Office 2013.

    I have two versions of Office, one on my laptop and one on my server. On my laptop I have Office 2013 which I have upgraded to the latest version 15.0.4859.1002. It does not have the dbf support yet. On the Server I have Office 365 Pro Plus up to the latest version 16.0.6741.2071 and I do not have support for the dbf format there either. Is this supposed to be there? If not when do you expect it to be in place?

  9. Good to know this is coming back. Is there anywhere we can monitor the progress of Microsoft rolling this out to non-365 Office 2016 editions?

  10. I am an Office 365 subscriber, yet I cannot see this item in the drop down as depicted. I have everything up to “Outlook Folder”, but not dBase file.

    Can someone offer a suggestion? Thanks.

    • Oh, goit it working now… had to manually force an update. I didn’t realise I had to check for updates manually. I just forced a Windows software update previously, but this was not included?…

  11. Please…any response to the 2013 question would be GREATLY appreciated!

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