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How to Enforce Referential Integrity on Access Relationships

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crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, Access
Love empowering people by teaching and helping them develop applications.
The Relationships Diagram is a good way to get an overall view of what a database is keeping track of. It is also where relationships are defined. A relationship specifies how two tables connect to each other.

As you build tables in Microsoft Access, or link to tables that are in SQL Server, Excel range, or other database, put them on the Relationships Diagram

Stretch or shrink fieldlists so everything shows

To create a relationship in Access, click on the Primary Key in the main table, drag to the Foreign Key in the related table, and let go.

In the dialog box that pops up,
check: Enforce Referential Integrity

This is important so that there are not values that don't match up to anything.

Error creating relationship?

If there is bad data, a relationship with referential integrity cannot be created. Fix the bad data and try again.

If the table is linked, you can show it on the diagram but you cannot create a real relationship that is not already there. If relationships are not defined, you can drag lines without enforcing  referential integrity to show what is supposed to match.

Define relationships and arrange the diagram as you build your tables.
Enforce Referencial Integrity unless you have a specific reason not to.

have an awesome day,
crystal
 ~ connect to me, let's build it together
http://www.msAccessGurus.com

Video Steps

1. To create a relationship in Access, open the Relationships Diagram

2. click on the Primary Key in the main table

3. drag to the Foreign Key in the related table

4. and let go of the mouse.

5. When the dialog box pops up, check: Enforce Referential Integrity

6. and click Create

7. Rearrange the Relationships Diagram so everything shows and flows

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Audit trails are very important in any system to hold people responsible for certain transactions and hold them to take ownership of their actions. This article is dedicated to all novice "Microsoft Access" developers.

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