How table relations are structured

Relations between tables are hierarchical. A single parent table is at the top of the hierarchy, and it can be related to multiple child tables. Only one parent table is allowed. Child tables can be related to child tables of their own, which would be grandchild tables to the parent, and so on. A maximum of 18 tables can be related to one another, including the parent table. Once the tables are related, you can access and analyze data from any combination of fields in the related tables as if they existed in a single table. The Relations dialog box (Figure 1) provides a graphical work area, so you can easily manage multiple relations.

In the example below, the tables and key fields are related in the following manner:

Figure 1. Relations dialog box

Guidelines for building relations

Building relations that successfully display the data you want requires a certain amount of planning, especially if the relation involves a number of tables. The following guidelines may help you as you build a relation:

Related concepts
About relating tables
Related tasks
Relating tables
Modifying relations

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