Exists function in Access

Posted on 2010-11-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
In SQL server, you can check if a record exists using the EXISTS function (see link:

Is there an equivalent SQL command for Access 2003?

I need to run an update query on a field in one table if a linked record does not exist in another table.
Question by:kittenwhisky
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

peter57r earned 125 total points
ID: 34180383
I guess you can do..

update table1 set somefield = "somevalue"
where not exists (select anyfield from table2 where = table2.matchfield)
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 34180453
Is there an equivalent?

For integer field:

    If DCount("*", "tblToUpdate", "fldToTest=intCriteria") > 0 Then
        'code for field exists
        'code for field not exists
    End If

For string field:

    If DCount("*", "tblToUpdate", "fldToTest='strCriteria'") > 0 Then
        'code for field exists
        'code for field not exists
    End If

LVL 44

Assisted Solution

GRayL earned 75 total points
ID: 34180601
Press Alt+F11 to get to the VB Editor.  Click Help, Microsoft Visual Basic Help, Data Manipulation Language, SQL Sub Queries, and have a good read.  As you can see there is an equivalent command in Access 2003
LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Leigh Purvis
Leigh Purvis earned 50 total points
ID: 34181117
Though the syntax of UPDATE statements does vary somewhat between Jet and Transact SQL - so you might want to bear that in mind too.
You can use a Frustrated Outer Join instead of EXISTS (in either platform).
(Though EXISTS generally optimises every bit as well in T-SQL and sometimes better - in both).

UPDATE Table1 LEFT OUTER JOIN Table2 ON Table1.ID = Table2.ID
SET FieldName = 'Whatever'
WHERE Table2.ID Is Null

That is essentially equivalent to the format you'll have been using:
UPDATE Table1 SET FieldName = 'Whatever'

Though to make the same statement in T-SQL would have been like:
SET FieldName = 'Whatever'
FROM Table1 LEFT JOIN Table2 ON Table1.ID = Table2.ID
WHERE Table2.ID Is Null


Author Comment

ID: 34181476
After reading up on subqueries (thx gray), I used a tweaked version of peter's code:

UPDATE TblToUpdate INNER JOIN TblToCheck ON TblToUpdate.LinkedFld= TblToCheck.LinkedFld SET TblToUpdate.FldToUpdate= True WHERE TblToCheck.FldToCheck = somevalue

hsnar, your method only performs the check for one record, I need to update a whole batch of records, hence the update query method.

LPurvis, tx for your suggestion for working with Nulls. As both methods are equivalent, I preferred using the Exists method.

Featured Post

Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Getting the 7Z zip dll to work with MS Access 8 59
Calculation in a Report 13 42
Microsoft Access 32-bit or 64-bit? 11 59
Export individual report to pdf 2 40
In a multiple monitor setup, if you don't want to use AutoCenter to position your popup forms, you have a problem: where will they appear?  Sometimes you may have an additional problem: where the devil did they go?  If you last had a popup form open…
Overview: This article:       (a) explains one principle method to cross-reference invoice items in Quickbooks®       (b) explores the reasons one might need to cross-reference invoice items       (c) provides a sample process for creating a M…
In Microsoft Access, learn how to use Dlookup and other domain aggregate functions and one method of specifying a string value within a string. Specify the first argument, which is the expression to be returned: Specify the second argument, which …
In Microsoft Access, when working with VBA, learn some techniques for writing readable and easily maintained code.

738 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question