How To Use RDO and ODBC Text Driver to Open a Delimited Text

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 187670 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q187670
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


RDO may be used with the ODBC Text driver to open and browse a delimited text file.


The Text ODBC driver relies on the Microsoft Jet 32-bit IISAM driver (MSText35.dll) that provides the services required for accessing text files. You can either link/attach to a Microsoft Access database or directly open text files. Because RDO must use Jet to access the text file, you will incur the additional overhead associated with loading Jet.

NOTE: This requires a Schema.ini file in the same path as the delimited text file. You must change the columns in the Schema.ini file to correspond to your delimited file. Also, you must change the path in the connect string to the correct path for your file.

To create a schema.ini file, use a simple text editor such as Notepad. Below are the schema.ini entries for the SAMPLE2.TXT file listed at the bottom of this article:
   ColNameHeader = False
   Format = CSVDelimited
   CharacterSet = ANSI
   Col1=ProductID short
   Col2=ProductName char width 30
   Col3=QuantityPerUnit char width 30
   Col4=UnitPrice currency
   Col5=Discontinued bit

For more information on Schema.ini, see the REFERENCES section of this article.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Open Visual Basic, and create a new Project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Set a reference to Microsoft Remote Data Object 2.0 with the Project-References menu selection.
  3. Paste the following code in the Form-Load event:
          Dim cn As New RDO.rdoConnection
          Dim en As RDO.rdoEnvironment
          Dim rs As RDO.rdoResultset
          Dim fld As RDO.rdoColumn
          Set en = rdoEngine.rdoEnvironments(0)
          With cn
              .CursorDriver = rdUseOdbc
              'The DBQ parameter below, is the path to your
              'Comma Delimited file(s). You may open multiple files
              'on the same connection in this path.
              .Connect = "DRIVER={Microsoft Text Driver (*.txt;" & _
                      " *.csv)};DBQ=E:\Samples\Text\CommaDelimited;"
              .EstablishConnection rdDriverNoPrompt, False
          End With
          'Jet uses '.' internally as an identifier for table names,
          'such as database.table. Jet eliminates ambiguity by mapping '#'
          'as the delimiter for external files.
          Set rs = cn.OpenResultset("select * from [sample2#txt]")
          While Not rs.EOF
              For Each fld In rs.rdoColumns
                  Debug.Print fld.Name & "=" & fld.Value
              Next fld
NOTE: In the example above, DBQ is not a valid parameter of the RemoteData control or the rdoConnection object's Connect property. It is supported by the Microsoft Jet database engine, and not by the ODBC driver.

You could copy and paste the following delimited file example into Notepad and save it as Sample2.txt. You could then modify the DBQ path, above, to point to the comma delimited file Sample2.txt.

1,Chai,10 boxes x 20 bags,$18.00,False
2,Chang,24 - 12 oz bottles,$19.00,False
3,Aniseed Syrup,12 - 550 ml bottles,$10.00,False
4,Chef Anton's Cajun Seasoning,48 - 6 oz jars,$22.00,False
5,Chef Anton's Gumbo Mix,36 boxes,$21.35,True
6,Grandma's Boysenberry Spread,12 - 8 oz jars,$25.00,False
7,Uncle Bob's Organic Dried Pears,12 - 1 lb pkgs.,$30.00,False

(This will give you seven records to test with in the sample code.)

NOTE: Make sure when you paste it in Notepad that you do not leave any blank lines at the top of the file.

You may choose an alternative to the comma delimiter by indicating the delimiter in the Schema.ini file e.g. Format = Delimited(*). You can use any character for the delimiter except the double (") quotation mark.

This same technique can be applied to fixed-width files by indicating 'FixedLength' for the Format, such as Format = FixedLength.


"Working with Text Files", MSDN

"Using DAO to Connect to ODBC Data Sources", MSDN.

"RDO Compared to Microsoft Jet/DAO", MSDN.

"Text Data Source Initialization Settings", MSDN.

"External ISAM Driver Components", MSDN.

"Understanding Schema.ini Files", MSDN.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
155512 : ACC: How to Create a Schema.ini File Programmatically.


Article ID: 187670 - Last Review: July 13, 2004 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
kbhowto KB187670

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from