ACC: Inconsistent Behavior with Multiple-Field Primary Key

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Article ID: 170779 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q170779
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Symptoms

In Microsoft Access version 7.0 or later, you may see inconsistent behavior when you define a relationship that enforces referential integrity, and the "one-side" table contains a multiple-field primary key. You can create a relationship, even though a record in the "many-side" table contains a Null value in one of the foreign key fields. However, after the relationship has been defined, you receive the following error message when you change another record in the "many-side" table so that it also contains a Null value in one of the foreign key fields:
   You can't add or change a record because a related record is required
   in table <table>.
				

In Microsoft Access 7.0, you receive the message:
   Can't add or change record. Referential integrity rules require a
   related record in <table.>
				

Status

Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft Access versions listed at the beginning of this article. This problem no longer occurs in Microsoft Jet Database Engine version 3.51, which is available from the Microsoft Download Center.

For information on how to obtain Microsoft Jet Database Engine 3.51, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

172733 ACC97: Updated Version of Microsoft Jet 3.5 Available for Download

More information

Steps to Reproduce Behavior


  1. Start Microsoft Access and create a new database called Db1.mdb.
  2. Create the following table in Design View:
           Table: Table1
           ------------------
           Field Name: Field1
              Data Type: Text
           Field Name: Field2
              Data Type: Text
    						
  3. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Primary Key to create the multiple-field primary key.
  5. Save the table as Table1.
  6. On the View menu, click Datasheet.
  7. Enter the following records:
           Field1     Field2
           ------     ------
           a          a
           b          b
    						

    Close the table.
  8. Create the following table in Design view:
           Table: Table2
           ------------------
           Field Name: Field1
              Data Type: Text
           Field Name: Field2
              Data Type: Text
           Field Name: Field3
              Data Type: Text
    						
  9. Save the table as Table2 without defining any primary key.
  10. On the View menu, click Datasheet.
  11. Enter the following records:
           Field1     Field2     Field3
           ------     ------     ------
           a          a          x
           b                     y
    						

    Do not enter any data in Field2 of the second record.
  12. Close the table.
  13. On the Tools menu, click Relationships. Add the Table1 table and the Table2 table to the Relationships window, and then click Close.
  14. Select the Field1 field in the Table1 table and drag it to the Field1 field in the Table2 table.
  15. In the Relationships dialog box, click under the Field1 field in the first column of the second row in the Table/Query grid; select Field2 from the list. Then click in the second column of the second row and select Field2.
  16. Click to select the Enforce Referential Integrity check box, and then click Create. Note that Microsoft Access allows you to create the relationship, even though a record in the Table2 table contains a Null value in one of the foreign key fields.
  17. Close the Relationships window and save the changes.
  18. Open the Table2 table in Datasheet view. Try to delete the data in the Field2 field of the first record. Note that you receive one of the errors described in the "Symptoms" section.

References

For more information about referential integrity, ask the Microsoft Access 97 Office Assistant, or search the Help Index for "referential integrity" and select "What is referential integrity?"

Properties

Article ID: 170779 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Access 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug KB170779

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