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  1. #1
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    Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    In another question someone made the following comment
    access not relational, the Jet engine is an inverted list db

    For many years I have been happily creating relationships between tables in Access under the belief it was a relational database. I would appreciate hearing from a number of experts out here in Access land. I intend to provide a link to the answers here for the person that made the above comment (should he be incorrect that is).

    My question is simple to answer - yes or no, but if it does require qualification please do so.
    Is Access a relational database?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    I just use Access to create databases, I don't consider myself an expert in the general theory of databases. Still, here is my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>:

    Whether Access is a relational database or not is the subject of very heated discussions; I hope we're not going to get into one of them in the Lounge.

    In a strict sense, it isn't, since it doesn't enforce all the "rules" for relational databases as originally formulated by Codd (and much expanded later). But then, purists claim that *none* of the existing database management systems is relational.

    Access adheres to many requirements for a relational database system, so I would say that in a practical sense, the anwer is yes. But it allows you to break the rules if you so wish.

    Inverted lists are a technique for indexing tables; I don't think that Access should be called an "inverted list database" as opposed to a relational database because it uses this technique.

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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    Access lets you create relationships between tables and to enforce referential integrity between these tables. What other measure do you need? Is Access as robust as SQL Server? NO. Is Access a relational database? YES!
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    That someone probably only considers database servers like SQL Server, Oracle, etc, to be. "relational" database systems. I suspect they're confusing the issues between file server and database server products with relational questions. As Hans pointed out, none of the products currently available meet all Dr. Codd's relational criteria. Oddly enough, they still work just fine and all the database servers mentioned are classified as RDBMS products. NO "relational" product is automatically relational anyhow. A developer has to understand the basics of relational design and implement that in the schema. Since Access doesn't support triggers, some relational features have to be implemented in code. What is frequently overlooked is that the triggers in a database server product are also a form of code. In short, the answer is that the question of "relational" depends on the skills of the developer.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    I don't claim to be an expert in this, but I would make the observation that it is not relationships that make a database relational.

    A relation is just a mathematical name for a table. At its heart a relational database is one that consists of tables, with a defined structure (our familiar field and record structure), and where each value is atomic. (.i.e. you can't have repeating values within a field for a record.)

    Access is relational in this sense.
    Regards
    John



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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    Thanks to all who have responded.

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    Re: Is Acces a realtional database (all versions)

    I completely concur. It is not the db system, but the developer that determines if a database is truly a relational database.

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