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Microsoft Access Object Dependencies

Provided by: FMS Development Team

Microsoft Access has a feature to help you determine which objects require another object, or whether the object is needed for another object. This is what is known as a dependency. For example a report is dependent on a query for it's data, or a Main form may have a subform dependent.

To see an example of this new feature try the following:

  1. Open the Northwind Database
  2. Click on the Forms tab
  3. Click one time on the "Customer Orders" form to highlight it
  4. From the Main Menu, choose View, Object Dependencies...

This action will open a task pane titled 'Object dependencies', and gives you two options:

  • Objects that depend on me
  • Objects that I depend on

A Treeview of different categories for the object allows you to navigate easily to see the dependencies. The categories are Tables, Queries, Forms, and Reports. This can visually give you a better idea of how any object is used throughout a database. There is nothing worse than deleting an needed object that you thought was no longer used.

Requires Name AutoCorrect to be On

Microsoft Access generates the dependency information by searching the name maps. These maps are maintained by the Name AutoCorrect feature. If tracking name AutoCorrect information is turned off, you cannot view dependency information. This setting is found on the General Tab of the Tools/Options menu choice.

Limitations

Even if AutoCorrect is on, the object dependencies are not complete. If objects are referenced in VBA code, none of those dependencies are detected. Without knowing these references, you'll still need to be very careful when renaming or deleting objects

Additional Resource

Microsoft Access Documentation with Total Access AnalyzerFor comprehensive cross-reference documentation of your Access databases, check out our Total Access Analyzer program. This award winning product is the most popular Access add-in and provides detailed cross-references (including VBA code) for all your Access objects and code. From tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, procedures, variables, constants, classes, and much more.

Application Flow Diagram for Microsoft Access DatabasesIt also includes three hierarchical diagrams to show Application Flow, Data Flow, and Objects. Here's more information on the product: