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Chapter 4. Establishing Relationships > Referential Integrity

Referential Integrity

In an ancient Microsoft Access book whose author was apparently addicted to TV, there is a listing in the index for something called “residential integrity.” So it might be worthwhile to emphasize that the term I'm about to discuss is referential integrity and that it has nothing to do with property maintenance or neighborhood beautification.

Referential Integrity at Work

The Access Help definition of referential integrity is “a system of rules that Microsoft Access uses to ensure that relationships between records in related tables are valid, and that you don't accidentally delete or change related data.” That's a start. But the best way to understand referential integrity is to see it at work, which I hope the following example accomplishes.


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