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Chapter 42. Linking Multiple Tables > Defining Relationships Between Tables

Defining Relationships Between Tables

A well-designed Access database typically contains many interrelated tables, with each table containing a specific, narrowly defined set of data, without any duplicate information. This type of design is crucial to maintaining referential integrity— when you change a name, address, or other piece of data in one record, your change automatically appears in all related tables.

Imagine a database application that tracks customer purchases based on invoices. An inexperienced database designer might decide to store all data in a single large table, with each row including all the details for a single invoice, including the date, the customer's name and address, details about each product purchased, and a total price. This sort of design (often called a flat-file database) typically results in two serious problems:


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