File extension MDB is most commonly associated with a Microsoft Access Database. Though less common, the MDB file extension is also used by Mono, a software platform which allows developers to build cross-platform compatible applications, to store debugging information, as well as Mediator to store multimedia project data.
MDB files which represent Microsoft Access databases store data in one or more tables. These may also be relational, meaning that a key field in one table is also used in another and hence the tables are linked. Data within a table is stored in fields, which each have a name and data type which can be set to ensure the correct type and format. As well as storing tables, MDB files may also contain queries which are used to perform searches on data within tables, forms which can be used to provide a user interface to input data and reports which are generated to output data in a specific format. Developers can also create their own macros using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) which can also be embedded within an MDB file.
MDB files may also contain links to external data sources such as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, SharePoint Lists, text files or ODBC-compatible sources such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL.
As MDB files can contain macros or scripts, it is possible that they contain malicious content and so should be scanned using an up to date virus checker, particularly if the file is from an unknown source, or prompts the user to enable macros once it is opened.
Microsoft Access Database MDB files are a proprietary format, and can only be reliably opened using an appropriate version of Microsoft Access, which is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. MDB files which refer to Mono or Mediator are also application specific, and can only be opened using the program which originally created them.
For more general information about files, file extensions and registry you can read one of the following articles:
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