Every object in an Access database will relate to other objects. Either they depend on the records from a table, or they provide input into another object. This web of interactions can become quite complex. In this video, learn how to use the Object Dependencies tool to investigate how objects connect in order to better understand the entire system.
- [Instructor] When you're working with a large database or you need to explore the inner workings of a database that somebody else created, it's important to understand how all of the objects interrelate. We've seen how you can use the relationship tools button available here in the Database Tools tab to get a good look at how all the different tables relate to each other in the database. But this doesn't give us any information about the queries, forms, or report objects. For those, let's go ahead and close that. We're gonna turn to a tool called Object Dependencies that's also in the Database Tools tab. When I click on that, that'll open up a new pane over here on the right called Object Dependencies.
Now, sometimes when you run this tool you'll be prompted to rebuild the dependency information. Press OK and Access will analyze all of your objects to see where they connect. And when that's done, you'll get this dependencies pane on the right. You can go ahead and grab it by the right hand side if you need to expand it open a little bit. Now I always get a laugh out of the fact that the first two options on the top of the pane are written in the first person perspective. They say, objects that depend on me and objects that I depend on. Me and I here refer to the currently selected object over in your navigation pane. Right now, I have the Guest table selected so that's what we're taking a look at that information of.
Objects that depend on the Guest table include the GuestCreditCards table and the RoomAssignments table. All of these queries here and these two forms. If I change this radio button to objects that I depend on, we can see that the Guest table depends on the GuestCreditCards table and the RoomAssignments table. Let's take a look at another object. I'm gonna click the MonthlySummary query here and then come back to the object dependencies and click the refresh button. Now we can see that the MonthlySummary query depends on the RoomAssignments table and the RoomRates table.
And, if we flip over to the objects that depend on that query, we can see that the MonthlySummary report requires information out of that query. Clicking on any of the objects that appear over here in the Object Dependencies window will automatically open them up so you can edit them. So that's a really handy shortcut to getting to these tools. Once you're done exploring the dependencies simply close the pane by clicking on the x in the upper right hand corner. So as your database grows in size you'll have lots of interconnections between all types of objects. If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to alter the underlying structure of an object, say renaming a field on a table, you'll want to go through all of your related objects to ensure that the changes made don't break any functionality down the road.
The Object Dependencies tool is a great one stop location to reminding yourself where all of those connections occur.
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