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I'm about to run a query in Access 2002 which will make all sorts of changes to the SQL Server 2000 database it's plugged into (the changes are only in the data, not the structure). What I want is to be able to easily compare the state of the database before and after running the query. I used to do this with sqlite3 on linux in the following manner:

$ sqlite3 "SELECT whatIWantToSee FROM theConcernedTables ORDER BY sameRandomOrder;" > beforeFile
$ sqlite3 $theQueryIWantToTest
$ sqlite3 "SELECT whatIWantToSee FROM theConcernedTables ORDER BY sameRandomOrder;" > afterFile
$ xxdiff beforeFile afterFile &

How can I get a similar result with my Access - SQL Server setup on Windows? I can get as far as getting the results of my SELECT query into two Excel files before.xls and after.xls, but how can I easily compare two Excel files? Is there any xxdiff for Excel? My theory is that it may be easier to output the data to text files and find an equivalent to xxdiff for Windows, but I don't know how send the output of an Access query to a text file.

Any ideas?

edit: I should point out that I'm working with Excel 2002 SP3 which doesn't have the Compare tool under File as the newer versions seem to have.

edit: I just tried exporting to Excel, and I get an error message saying I have too many rows to export it to Excel anyways. The reason I tried exporting to Excel was to export to CSV from there and use winmerge to compare... Now I am wondering if Word can tranform a table into a CSV file because I successfully exported to Word in a table. Can Word do this?

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Recommended upgrade to the version with the compare tool? I mean, if this is possible.

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Doesn't look possible for the moment.. Do you think open office could do this? – Shawn Aug 27 '11 at 15:24

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