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Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Forms and Linked Tables

As you learned in Chapter 5, few tables are truly independent. Most are linked to others in a web of relationships. Forms can take advantage of these relationships to show linked information. You can use a single form to view (and edit) information about customers and their orders. Or, you can look at products and product categories. This freedom just isn’t possible in the Datasheet view.

Note

Enterprising Access developers use join queries (Joining Tables in a Query) to show information from more than one table. However, you can’t edit the linked information in a join query. In a properly designed form, you don’t have this limitation—you can change the information in both the parent and child records.

Table Relationships and Simple Forms

Access is intelligent enough to notice relationships when you create a new form for a parent table. To see what this ability means in practice, select a table that’s the parent of another table. You can use the ProductCategories table in the Boutique Fudge database, because every category is a parent record that’s linked to one or more child records in the Products table. (You can also use the Customers table, because customers are linked to orders, or the Orders table, because orders are linked to order items. To try this, use the Boutique Fudge database that’s included with the downloadable content for this chapter.)

Figure 13-22 shows what happens if you select the ProductCategories table and then choose Create→Forms→Form. ...

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