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Chapter 4. Establishing Relationships > Overriding Referential Integrity

Overriding Referential Integrity

As you can see, the rules of referential integrity are extremely strict. Although they do help ensure the maintenance of data integrity, they can make it difficult to manage your database. For example, as the exercise you just did illustrates, you cannot delete a record in a primary table that has related records in a foreign table. But what if you want to delete such a record? Under what circumstances can it be deleted, and what are the consequences of taking this action?

Two options mitigate the strict rules of referential integrity: Cascade Update Related Fields and Cascade Delete Related Records. These choices are available from the Edit Relationships dialog box, and I describe them shortly. But let me emphasize at this point that it is by no means certain that you will want or need to implement either option.


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