psqlODBC HOWTO - Access VBA

Author: Mark A. Taff (
Release Date: 12 February 2002
Description: Example based Mini-Howto on using Microsoft Access VBA with PostgreSQL

Here is some VBA code I have written as it can be hard to find answers related to the PostgreSQL ODBC driver. Specifically, how to programmatically link and unlink PostgreSQL relations in a MS Access database. This is tested with Access 2000 on win2k with PostgreSQL 7.1.3 on Red Hat 7.2.

The tricky thing here is the special way to specify the Connection parameters so Access will accept them in the context of an Access table definition object (as opposed to an ADODB connection object). The code is heavily commented to explain it, and consists of two subroutines, one to link a new relation and another to unlink it.

I am making it available for public knowledge WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, but I sure hope it makes someone else's life a bit easier.


Private Sub Link_ODBCTbl(serverConn As String, rstrTblSrc As String, _
                         rstrTblDest As String, db As Database) 
LogEvent "Entering " & APP_NAME & ": Form_Login.Link_ODBCTbbl(" & _
         rstrTblSrc & ")", etDebug 
On Error GoTo Err_Handler

StartWork "Adding relation: " & rstrTblSrc

    Dim tdf As TableDef
    Dim connOptions As String
    Dim myConn As String
    Dim myLen As Integer
    Dim bNoErr As Boolean

    bNoErr = True

    Set tdf = db.CreateTableDef(rstrTblDest)
    ' don't need next line, as only called if doesn't exist locally
    'db.TableDefs.Delete rstrTblDest 
    ' this is 1st error, as doesn't exist locally yet; maybe wrong key

' The length of the connection string allowed is limited such that you can't 
' specify all of the PostgreSQL ODBC driver options as you normally would. 
' For those that want to do it normally, you are limited to somewhere between 
' 269 characters (works) and 274 (doesn't work). Using a dsn is not a workaround. 
' ***WORKAROUND*** Tested Access 2000 on Win2k, PostgreSQL 7.1.3 on Red Hat 7.2 
' The connection string begins as usual, for example: 
'   "ODBC;DRIVER={PostgreSQL};DATABASE=database_name_to_connect_to;" & _
'   "SERVER=ip_address_to_connect_to;PORT=5432;Uid=username_to_connect_as;" & _
'   "Pwd=password_of_user;" & _ 
' For all other parameters, you must code them in the same way Access stores them 
' in the hidden MSysObjects table.  Here is a cross-reference table: 
'   *********************************************
'   READONLY                    A0
'   PROTOCOL                    A1
'   FAKEOIDINDEX                A2  'A2 must be 0 unless A3=1
'   SHOWOIDCOLUMN               A3
'   ROWVERSIONING               A4
'   SHOWSYSTEMTABLES            A5
'   CONNSETTINGS                A6
'   FETCH                       A7
'   SOCKET                      A8
'   UNKNOWNSIZES                A9  ' range [0-2]
'   MAXVARCHARSIZE              B0
'   DEBUG                       B2
'   COMMLOG                     B3
'   OPTIMIZER                   B4  ' note that 1 = _cancel_ generic optimizer...
'   KSQO                        B5
'   USEDECLAREFETCH             B6
'   BOOLSASCHAR                 B9
'   PARSE                       C0
'   CANCELASFREESTMT            C1
' So the parameter part of the connection string might look like: '
'   "A0=0;A1=6.4;A2=0;A3=0;A4=0;A5=0;A6=;A7=100;A8=4096;A9=0;" & _
'   "B0=254;B1=8190;B2=0;B3=0;B4=1;B5=1;B6=0;B7=1;B8=0;B9=1;C0=0;C1=0;C2=dd_"
' Concatenating those four strings together will give you a working connection  
' string (but you may want to change the options specified). 
'   `Disallow Premature` in driver dialog is not stored by Access.
'   string must begin with `ODBC;` or you will get error
'   `3170 Could not find installable ISAM`.

'Debug.Print svr.Conn

myConn = "ODBC;DRIVER={PostgreSQL};" & serverConn & _
            "A0=0;A1=6.4;A2=0;A3=0;A4=0;A5=0;A6=;A7=100;A8=4096;A9=0;" & _
            "B0=254;B1=8190;B2=0;B3=0;B4=1;B5=1;B6=0;B7=1;B8=0;B9=1;" & _

    tdf.Connect = myConn
    tdf.SourceTableName = rstrTblSrc
    db.TableDefs.Append tdf

    ' If we made it this far without errors, table was linked...
    If bNoErr Then
        LogEvent "Form_Login.Link_ODBCTbl: Linked new relation: " & _
                 rstrTblSrc, etDebug
    End If

    'Debug.Print "Linked new relation: " & rstrTblSrc ' Link new relation

    Set tdf = Nothing

Exit Sub

    bNoErr = False
    Debug.Print Err.Number & " : " & Err.Description
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then LogError Err.Number, Err.Description, APP_NAME & _
                                     ": Form_Login.Link_ODBCTbl"
    Resume Next

End Sub

Private Sub UnLink_ODBCTbl(rstrTblName As String, db As Database) 
LogEvent "Entering " & APP_NAME & ": Form_Login.UnLink_ODBCTbbl", etDebug 
On Error GoTo Err_Handler

    StartWork "Removing revoked relation: " & rstrTblName

    ' Delete the revoked relation...that'll teach 'em not to get on my bad side
    ' I only call this sub after verifying the relation exists locally, so I 
    ' don't check if it exists here prior to trying to delete it, however if you 
    ' aren't careful...
    db.TableDefs.Delete rstrTblName

    Debug.Print "Removed revoked relation: " & rstrTblName

Exit Sub

    Debug.Print Err.Number & " : " & Err.Description
    If Err.Number <> 0 Then LogError Err.Number, Err.Description, APP_NAME & _
                                     ": Form_Login.UnLink_ODBCTbl"
    Resume Next

End Sub