About merging tables

Merging allows you to combine two sorted ACL tables into a new third table that uses the same sort order as the original tables (Figure 1). You can use multiple iterations of the merge operation to perform useful tasks such as combining monthly or quarterly tables into a sorted annual table.

Figure 1. Merging tables

The tables and key fields in the merge operation are identified as primary and secondary based on the order in which you open the tables:

You are free to choose whatever primary and secondary tables and key fields you want. (For more information, see About key fields.) However, the merge will succeed only if the tables and fields meet the requirements for merging.

Requirements when merging tables

To successfully merge tables, you must fulfill the following requirements:

If you want to merge two tables using more than one primary and secondary key field (that is, more than one common key), these additional requirements apply:

If a difference in data structure at the field level is preventing successfully merging tables, you may be able to harmonize the corresponding fields. For tables with different record structures (that is, data elements are not identical), use joining or relating.


In some instances it may be easier or more practical to combine data outside ACL. If you have difficulty merging data in ACL because of inconsistencies between fields, see Combining data outside ACL.

Additional information about merging

The list below provides additional information about merging.

Related concepts
About extracting and appending data
Extracting and appending versus merging
About key fields
Combining data
Data structure and data format requirements
Harmonizing fields
Related tasks
Merging tables

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