MDB Viewer Plus
MDB Viewer Plus lets you look at Access files -- but it doesn't always make it easy to work with them.
- Free, allows filtering and sorting
- Some bugs
It's not all bad. MDB Viewer Plus allows for filtering and sorting, which are fairly intuitive, and also for editing, not just viewing, of data, making it a useful tool for simple database maintenance, especially if it's not possible to get to the data file through a more normal front end. Given some of the bugs, though, this is a tool of last resort. Use MDB Viewer Plus when there's nothing else which will get you to your data.
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
MDB is the format used by Microsoft Access, one of the most popular databases in the world. Usually, a front end application of some type is used to - no pun intended - access the data. However, it can sometimes occur that you end up with a "naked" MDB and no way to peek inside it. Enter MDB Viewer Plus (free).
MDB Viewer Plus is a lightweight (no fancy install, just extract the executable) program which can be easily stowed on a USB key. It has a sparse interface, with nothing more than brief guides to filtering and sorting as help or documentation. For most tasks, you must poke around to figure out what to do. Fortunately, the program follows most standard Windows conventions, so it is not difficult to use.
Unfortunately, MDB Viewer Plus has a number of quirks which make it less than useful. Opening an MDB which contains many tables produces a very long tab bar of table names, arranged alphabetically. You cannot rearrange the tabs, or hide specific tables (you can hide columns within a table, however). Thus, if the tables you are most interested in are on opposite sides of the table, you will have a lot of scrolling back and forth to do.
Other features seem to work sporadically. The "Record View" feature, useful for editing data in a table with many columns, works on smaller tables but produces only a blank window on larger ones. At one point in my informal tests, MDB Viewer Plus started throwing up error messages about missing columns, and the only way to restore functionality was to quit and restart. One useful-seeming feature, the ability to create a blank database and begin adding tables to it (making MDB Viewer Plus a quick-and-dirty way to make and populate an Access database) was plagued with bugs.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 3 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 4 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 5 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Hackers target Tor as PlayStation disruption continues
- Connected, self-driving cars in the front seat at CES
- MIT unifies Web development in a single, speedy new language
- Google, Microsoft, Sony make 'The Interview' available online
- Experts: FCC will adopt net neutrality rules in early 2015
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.