Types of Hyperlink Protocols Supported in an Access Database

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Hyperlinks have become so common in our everyday language that we rarely stop to think about what they are and what they allow us to do. Typically shortened to “link,” a hyperlink is a method of making some kind of connection to another file, webpage, directory, or newsgroup. You can hyperlink to local files and directories and you can link to remote resources over private networks or over the Internet.

Many of us take linking for granted, not really understanding the technologies and protocols behind this powerful feature of many networks. Access 2007 supports linking to files and other resources over private and public networks making it a powerful feature of any database. In this first article in a series of four, learn which hyperlink protocols are supported in Access 2007.

The first type of hyperlink protocol supported in Access 2007 is the file hyperlink. These types of links are preceded by the familiar file:// prefix. For example, the following file hyperlink links to a specific executable file over the Internet:


Notice that to link to a file, you must explicitly specify the file in the properly formed link. File hyperlinks are often used for local files or files located on a private network. However, the file protocol can be used for public networks and the Internet as long as you are certain that the owner of the file is not likely to delete the file or change its location.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a popular network protocol that is used to access, exchange, and change files over a TCP/IP network. This, of course, includes the Internet and is one of the major transfer protocols used to upload and download web pages and web content.

The power of FTP can be ascertained when you realize that FTP is supported in most web browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and file managers found in the most popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS, and various Linux distributions.

Forming FTP hyperlinks follows the standard protocol of most hyperlinks with the tell-tale prefix of ftp://. For example, the ftp hyperlink:


would allow an FTP connection to “directory2” which resides within “directory1” which itself is hosted within the “somedomain.com” website.

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), with a prefix of https://, is the most common hyperlink protocol of the Internet. HTTP hyperlinks allow you to make connections to a multitude of destinations such as web pages, directories, files, etc., although it is mainly used to make a connection to a web page.

The HTTP protocol is what gave rise to the World Wide Web (WWW), the most popular public network in the world. The HTTP protocol is so prevalent that many people forget that the proper formation of an HTTP hyperlink must begin with the https:// prefix. For example, the hyperlink:


links directly to an index.html web page which resides in directory1 which itself resides in directory2, all of which are located at the www.somedomain.com website.

HTTP hyperlinks are very common in Access 2007 database, especially those used for e-commerce purposes.

E-mail is another technology we take for granted in the information age. You can store hyperlinks in Access 2007 that make connections to e-mail clients, both local and remote. Using the MAILTO hyperlink protocol, you can invite users of your web page or database to send e-mail. The proper format for using the MAILTO protocol is:

mailto:[email protected]

This hyperlink would open a main client and place the [email protected] e-mail address into the “TO” field of the client. Notice that lack of the two slashes (//) present in most other hyperlink protocols.

News Groups are many-to-many repositories for leaving and reading messages posted about the topic to which the news group is dedicated. News Groups exist for just about every subject imaginable, many of which revolve around technology and troubleshooting computers. Gaming News Groups are also quite popular.

Forming a New Group hyperlink is not unlike previous hyperlinks already discussed. For example, the following news Group hyperlink:


would link to the some.newsgroup located within directory2 within directory1, which is host at the www.somedomain.com website. News Groups have declined in popularity in recent years giving way to full-featured electronic bulletin boards hosted on the World Wide Web. Still, news groups are quick, easy, and use up few resources to maintain and administer.


The five hyperlink protocols discussed in this article are the most common links available and are the ones most likely to reside within an Access 2007 database. Luckily, adding, formatting, and editing these types of hyperlinks are quite simple in an Access 2007 database. You simply need to learn how to properly form the hyperlinks so Access 2007 will know what to do when a user clicks one. The remainder of this series will discuss adding, formatting, and editing hyperlinks within an Access 2007 data table. In addition, continue reading this series to learn how to test your hyperlinks in an Access 2007 database to avoid linking errors.

This post is part of the series: Adding, Formatting, Editing, and Testing Hyperlinks in an Access 2007 Database

The first article explores the different types of hyperlinks you can store in an Access 2007 database. The second article shows you how to add hyperlinks to Access 2007. The third article discusses formatting the hyperlinks. The fourth article shows you how to edit and test the hyperlinks.

  1. Types of Hyperlinks You Can Add to an Access 2007
  2. How to Add Hyperlinks to an Access 2007 Database
  3. Formatting Hyperlinks in an Access 2007 Database
  4. Make Sure Your Hyperlinks are Working in an Access 2007 Data Table