3.2. Database Structure and Management Tools for Developers

As developers, we are always seeking ways to improve and leverage our skills. And, Access 2003 has many new tools that are specifically designed to help efficiently develop powerful applications.

3.2.1. Find Object Dependencies

As a database grows it can be difficult to keep track of object dependencies. For example, several forms could be relying on one query, or a subform could be associated with more than one form. After a while, a developer can become wary of changing or deleting objects, even if he or she is the only developer associated with that database. Things can be even worse if you inherit an application. Talk about proceeding with trepidation. You can now shelve those fears; Viewing Object Dependencies has come to the rescue.

Viewing object dependencies allows you to view what the object depends on as well as what objects depend on it. For example, by selecting a query, you could see what forms and reports are using it and you could also see if it was relying on a form or other queries. The tree view will show tables, queries, forms, and reports that are in the database. However, it will not show macros, VBA code, Data pages, SQL-specific queries, and Access projects. Figure 3-1 shows how to select a table to view the objects that depend on it. By selecting the other option, it will list the objects that it depends on. So, with a couple of clicks, you can look at both types of object dependencies.


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