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Chapter 22. Exploring Relational Databas... > Enforcing Database Integrity

Enforcing Database Integrity

The integrity of a database is composed of two elements: entity and referential integrity. Entity integrity requires that all primary keys must be unique within a table, and referential integrity dictates that all foreign keys must have corresponding values within a base table's primary key. Although the normalization process creates entity and referential integrity, either the RDBMS itself or your application must maintain that integrity during the data-entry process. Failure to maintain database integrity can result in erroneous data values and, ultimately, widespread corruption of the entire database.

Ensuring Entity Integrity and Auditability

Enforcing entity integrity within the table itself, the process used by Access, is more reliable than using application programming code to create unique primary key values. Access provides the following two built-in methods of ensuring entity integrity:


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