Relationships Versus Joins

To work with Access queries effectively, it's helpful to distinguish between relationships and joins. It's not a concept that's easily grasped. First I quickly define both terms; then I talk about the difference in a touchy-feely sort of way, and then I tell you “what you need to know.”


As you've seen, a relationship is an association established between common fields in two tables. A join is also an association between a field in one table and a field in another table, but within the context of a specific query. The join makes it possible to combine data from different tables and execute a multitable query.

Touchy-Feely Explanation

When you establish a relationship in Access between two tables, you've essentially ...

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