I have been asked to create a database in MS Access, which must contain Word and Excel Documents. I think I will do as described in this site (http://www.databasedev.co.uk/open_word_doc.html): each record contains a document name and a full file path to where the document is stored, and then Visual Basic will be used to launch the appropriate program.
a)Do you think this is the best way to solve the problem?
b)Because I am not familiar with MS products, i wonder if there is an alternative, and how would one store such documents in other database systems (e.g. in MySQL)
I would certainly store the path to the documents rather than trying to store the documents themselves within Access (or any other product). Since you have a mix of documents, I'd use Shell or FollowHyperlink to open, rather than the Word specific method described in the link.
This completely depends on what your intended purpose is for the dbase. IF it is for document control, i.e. once recorded you don't want changes to occur or version control, then you would store the document within the dbase. Access does this quite well with Word and Excel documents. IT will with Outlook emails as well but a bit fiddly. The way to do it is to create a ole_Object field in your table. THen insert a bound object frame in your form with its control source pointed at the ole_object field. This will create a VERY large DBase very quickly but Access can handle it I would recommend splitting the database.
If you don't want document control, then do as advised above and only store the hyperlink.
Forgot to add, if it is to be a document repository then I would use Access as the front end (if that is what your familiar with) and an SQL backend which would handle the data storage a lot better.