I am working to link spatial data in ArcGIS 10.3.1 (parcels with many attributes) to an Access database of customers.

Initially all I need is to identify which parcels are in my database and append the landowner names to the attribute table.

I think I can accomplish this a single time with a join.

However, I am constantly adding new customers to Access.

My desired end result is to be able to sort the parcels that are customers at any given time without having to re-join the tables.

So my larger question is:

Can (and should) I keep that link live so that it updates my parcel attributes when I have a new customer?

I would only be editing one way - data entered in Access and sent to Arc. I have no need to use the spatial data in Access.

Is there a good solution for this?

  • I was able to connect my database using the Add OLE DB Connection. From there I was able to use the connected DB's tables to create the product that I needed through model builder. I am still trying to write a script to automate and fine tune this, but that's another topic.
    – Ben
    Feb 1, 2017 at 0:44
  • To enable automation, I was able to connect to the database through Python script using (abbr. for char limit): def estcnxn(): dbPath = 'X:\somedatabase.mdb' accessProvider = 'Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=' + dbPath cnxn = adodbapi.connect(accessProvider) return cnxn def readingdb(): cnxn = estcnxn() c = cnxn.cursor() query = """SELECT * FROM aTable;""" sourceData = pandas.read_sql(query, cnxn) #uses pandas to read data and put it in a "dataview" cnxn.close() return (sourceData)
    – Ben
    Feb 1, 2017 at 2:17
  • Haha, can't edit. You'll have to figure out the white space.
    – Ben
    Feb 1, 2017 at 2:24

1 Answer 1


Personally, I'm not sure without any script you can update features attributes automatically, but if you want create a connection between ArcGIS and Access you should read this instruction

"Connecting to a Microsoft Access database in ArcGIS"


"Understanding how to use Microsoft Access files in ArcGIS"

and get help from

"Link Excel Table to Access/Arcmap Personal Geodatabase Table"


"Arcgis table and Excel sheet dynamic linking"

I believe these references would be helpful. I hope so. Excel and Accese are approximately same.

  • I think dynamic linking is what I am looking for. As usual, knowing the right word makes finding the solution so much easier. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.
    – Ben
    Dec 5, 2016 at 18:55

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