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Part 1: Learning Access Fundamentals > Entering, Editing, and Validating Data i...

Chapter 5. Entering, Editing, and Validating Data in Tables

Ease of data entry is a primary criterion for an effective database development environment. Most of your Access database applications probably use forms for data entry. In many instances, however, entering data in Table Datasheet view is more expeditious than using a form, especially during the database development cycle. For example, it is a good idea to test your proposed database structure before you commit to designing the forms and reports, because changing table and field names or altering relationships between tables after you create a collection of forms and reports, involves a substantial amount of work.

To test the database design, you often need to enter test data. In this instance, using Table Datasheet view to enter data makes more sense than using a form. Even if you import data from another database type or from a worksheet, you likely need to edit the data to make it compatible with your new application. The first part of this chapter concentrates on data entry and editing methods.

Another important factor in a database development environment is the capability to maintain the domain integrity of your data. Domain integrity rules limit the values you enter in fields to a range or set.

Like Access 95, Access 97 enables you to enforce domain integrity rules (often called business rules) at the field and table levels. You enforce domain integrity by entering expressions as the value of the Validation Rule property of fields and tables. This chapter teaches you how to use simple expressions for domain integrity validation rules. After you master Access operators and expressions (the subject of Chapter 9, "Understanding Operators and Expressions in Access"), you can write complex validation rules that minimize the possibility of erroneous data in your tables.


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