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Raw Data / MS Access Format

Here are some tips for you to handle raw data format of our directories/databases. Queries can be converted to other platforms such as MS SQL Sever, mySQL, Oracle.

Raw Data format are provided without support and the user are assumed to be of necessary skills on MS Access or similar database environment. This article is only to provide some basic ideas and you may need consult your computer assistant for further help.

MS Access 2003 or Later Required

You need MS Access (part of MS Office) 2003 or later versions installed on your Windows computer.

If you don't have MS Access installed, you can install a free version of MS SQL Server (Express edition) with Windows SQL Server Studio, and import data to SQL Server from the MDB files.

Contents and relationships

Usually the MDB file contains of following files (tables):

a) comps (dbo_comps): list of company entries
b) paths (dbo_paths): list of categories 
c) dirs (dbo_dirs): hierarchical list of the categories
d) links (dbo_links): list of category_company relationships
e) fielddefs (dbo_fielddefs): a list of fields in the comps table 

The relationship between those tables can be described by following diagram:

* The keys in each table are shown in Bold, all keys are of integer type
** dbo_paths, dbo_paths_1 are the same table

Basic operations & samples

Here are some basic operations and sample code

1) list specified companies 

You can just query against the comps (dbo_comps) table to get such a list:

select * from dbo_comps where title like 'ABC*'  
-- starting with "ABC"

select * from dbo_comps where state='TX' and fax>''
--companies from Taxes with fax numbers 

2) list companies in a certain category
You need join the "path" table , the "link" table and "comps" table to generate such a result.

select * from dbo_paths where title='Restaurant'
-- list category of "Restaurant"

select c.* from dbo_comps  c, dbo_links l, dbo_paths p
where and and p.title='Restaurant'
--list all companies under the category "Restaurant"

3)list all companies in a certain category and its sub categories (may take long time to proceed)

select c.* from dbo_comps  c, dbo_links l, dbo_paths p
where and and p.path like '/Restaurant/*'
-- list all companies under the category "Restaurant" and its sub categories such as "Restaurant / Chinese", "Restaurant / French", ...

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