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Chapter 9. Creating Relationships Betwee... > Enforcing Referential Integrity

Enforcing Referential Integrity

In the Edit Relationships box is a check box called Enforce Referential Integrity. What does this mean? Referential integrity means that data entered in a field that is used to link two tables must match from one table to another. Actually, the data entered in the table where the field does not serve as the primary key must match the entries that are in the table where the field serves as the primary key. This means that the table containing the primary key dictates what data can go into the foreign key field in the other table. If you don't have the data in the primary key field, it can't be entered in the foreign key field because it can't be referenced (and its integrity is in doubt).

Referential Integrity When you enter data into the foreign key field used in the table relationship it must match data that is already contained in the primary key field in the other table. If the data differs, Access returns an error message.



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