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Relationships Explained

If you want to connect information from different tables in your database together then you need to use relationships.  One-to-many relationships are commonly used where several items in one table (e.g. orders) are connected to a single record in another table (e.g. customer).  In order for a relationship like this to work successfully it is essential that the related field on the 'one' side of the relationship is a primary key so that Access does not try to relate two different items in one table (e.g. two customers with the surname 'Smith') to several items in the other table.

Before creating relationships you should think about the data you are going to store and the ways in which you are going to use it and work out the most efficient way to store the information in tables.  Relationships should be used to avoid repetition (e.g. storing a customer's invoicing address in every single order created for them) and to help you link records together when running queries and reports.

As well as creating relationships between tables it is also possible to create relationships between queries, this can be useful when building forms based on data combined from several tables using queries.