[AccessD] A Design Opinion, Please

jwcolby jwcolby at colbyconsulting.com
Tue Feb 24 06:38:22 CST 2009

They are definitely a mixed blessing.  On the one hand they automatically design combo boxes for you 
as you drag and drop a FK out onto a form.  Thus they can make said combo consistent throughout your 
application, including sort fields and orders.

Likewise you can see the FK text values in a query without pulling in the FK table and specifically 
using that text field.

OTOH it is now difficult to see the actual PK values of that FK table without specifically including 
the table in the query.  And if the FK table ever goes away or changes field names the application 
starts to break.

I think they are of more use to the neophyte and more a pain to the experienced developer.

John W. Colby

Stuart McLachlan wrote:
> I've just been bitten by Lookup fields in a table.
> I've got an old application, originally written in Access 97 and subsequently 
> upgraded to Ak2. 
> Using A2K3, I was trying to clean out all of the data to set up a new clean 
> version. Every time I tried to open one particular table to delete the 
> records, Access froze solid. 
> I finally opened the table in Design view and found that a couple of fields 
> had lookups defined.  Once I removed the lookups and saved the table, I 
> could open it and delete the data.  
> Cheers,
> Stuart
> On 22 Feb 2009 at 12:19, Tina Norris Fields wrote:
>> William, you said you learned the hard way never to set a lookup field 
>> in a table.  Please tell me why - that sounds like just exactly the 
>> lesson I need.

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