With ArcGIS is it possible to secure connections to an Access 2007+ format database tables?

At Connecting to a 2007 Microsoft Access database (.accdb) in ArcGIS it says "if the database has a password, enter that information in section two" so the database can be secured, but what about a table? And in the event table-level security is not needed, where are the credentials stored? Is that OLE connection just for the logged in user or does it apply to the whole machine?

If you have the requirement that Jonah Whale be allowed to read table Big_Fish_Tall_Tales while Captain Ahab can not, and ArcGIS and Access 2007+ is your toolset, what is the required and/or recommended setup?


1 Answer 1


According to the Microsoft support page Which Access File Format should I use?, the .accdb format doesn't support user-level security, which means there's no way to control which users can access particular tables.

A related question on StackOverflow (MS Access: securing tables from unauthorized access) also has an answer with a comment providing anecdotal confirmation that reads:

Database passwords have nothing to do with Jet User-Level Security, which is substantially more complex that simple database passwords (all that's available with ACCDB files).

The question and other answers, as well as the support page, go also discuss how some of this security is still available in the .mdb format, which can be managed from later versions of Access. Some of that gets into workgroups and Windows account security, which is over my head. But heading down that road may be your only choice on the Access side.

I can't address the ArcGIS side. My meager Googling seems to indicate credentials are stored as part of the connection and/or embedded in an mxd with some encryption. I would interpret this to mean if it's stored there, anyone who opens/uses it will access things using the stored credentials, even if it's a different user. I found a Geonet thread on this but it was specific to SDE connections.

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