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Special Edition Using Microsoft® Office XP by Woody Leonhard, Ed Bott

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Defining Relationships Between Tables

A well-designed Access database typically contains many interrelated tables, with each table containing a specific, narrowly defined set of data, without any duplicate information. This type of design is crucial to maintaining referential integrity—when you change a name, address, or other piece of data in one record, your change automatically appears in all related tables.

Imagine a database application that tracks customer purchases based on invoices. A proper design stores this information in four separate tables, as shown in Figure 34.2:

Figure 34.2. Note that each of the relationships between these four tables is tied to the primary key in one of the tables, shown in bold in the field list.
  • The Customers ...

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