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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Lookup fields: Why the bad rap? (XP)

    I'm just wondering why some developers bad-mouth the lookup field? I confess I've used lookup fields myself, and not always with happy results. Some of the books I read just tell you how to create them, but some authors raise caution flags. Then there's this line from The Access Web's "Ten Commandments": "...thou shalt abhor the use of "Lookup Fields" which art the creation of the Evil One."

    So I'm wondering, why should a developer avoid lookup fields? Furthermore, what's the alternative? Let's say I'm building a linking table to create a many-to-many relationship. It's so easy to create the two fields that form the combined Primary Key by using the the Lookup Wizard. What sort of pitfalls lie ahead? And what's the better way to create these fields? I'd just like to hear some philosophy from the seasoned veterans here on the forum. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Lookup fields: Why the bad rap? (XP)

    I was recently involved in an argument on this subject in another forum, where the "discussion" got very intense pro and con. I've been bitten by them when renaming tables, etc., and since you should always use forms to populate the tables, what is the purpose of the lookup fields in the tables themselves, except to prebuld you comboboxes when you drop them onto a form? Since building a combobox isn't exactly heavy lifting, I've never seen much point in table lookup fields.
    Charlotte

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Lookup fields: Why the bad rap? (XP)

    Since end users should never work with tables or queries directly, lookup fields (combo boxes) in tables and queries are an unnecessary overhead. You only need the combo boxes in forms. If you have designed the data structure for your database carefully, you can create the necessary relationships manually.

    However, in medium sized databases, there is no noticeable performance hit, and the lookup wizard can be very handy, so don't feel guilty about using it. If you like, you can always change the display of a field back to text box in the design of the table or query (not on a form based on it, combo boxes are very useful there!)

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