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Chapter 8. Managing Relationships > Joining Tables in a Query

Joining Tables in a Query

When you create a query with related tables, Access assumes you want to show records in which a field common to both tables contains the same value. (You can also show parts of records, depending on the fields you choose to show in your query results.) For instance, if you have a table listing book authors, each with his or her own AuthorID value, and you used the AuthorID value in another table (such as a bibliography), you can have Access query the tables and return the records that contain the same AuthorID values in both tables.

On the surface, a relationship and a join seem like the same thing. In a limited sense, they are—both terms imply two tables have a common field. The difference is in how that commonality takes shape in the database. When you establish a relationship between two tables, you create a logical link between the tables via the field they have in common. A join, on the other hand, represents an actual combination of the two tables. That combination (usually created by a query) manifests as a dynaset containing the records you've joined together, but the join can easily produce a permanent table if initiated by a Make Table query.


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