Access 2007-2019
Access 2000-2003
Access Seminars
TechHelp Support
Tips & Tricks
Access Forum
Course Index
Topic Glossary
Insider Circle
 
Home   Courses   Seminars   Templates   Help   TechHelp   Forums   Contact   Join   Order   Logon  
 
Home > TechHelp > Directory > Access > AutoNumber Good Bad < Sync Remote | Odd or Even >
 
AutoNumbers Good or Bad?
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   16 months ago

Are AutoNumbers Good or Bad as Primary Keys in Access?


 S  M  L  XL  FS  Join Now

I hear a lot of criticisms and arguments against using AutoNumbers as the primary key field in Microsoft Access databases. In this video, I will examine exactly what AutoNumbers are, when they should be used, when you might not want to use them, what those arguments against them are, and of course, my counters to those arguments. 

Craig asks, "I'm taking a college course and the instructor gave us a homework assignment. He wants us to create a table to store vehicles where the Primary Key is the VIN. I thought you said to always use AutoNumbers. Who's right here?"

Members

There is no Extended Cut for this video

Topics Covered

  • What is a Key Field
  • What is a Primary Key Field
  • Primary and Foreign Key Fields
  • Types of Keys: Natural vs. Synthetic (Surrogate)
  • What is an AutoNumber
  • Why Use AutoNumbers
  • When NOT To Use AutoNumbers
  • The German Tank Problem
  • Arguments Against AutoNumbers (and my counters)
  • Random AutoNumbers and GUIDs

Conclusion

AutoNumbers are easier to use than natural keys or text. Access maintains them automatically and they provide a more stable database than Natural Keys. Generally, AutoNumbers save disk space and increase database performance. They decrease total cost of ownership. Other options are available to provide the user with visible identifiers for records, such as order numbers, so as not to give up business intelligence, however an Autonumber should be the primary key for MOST tables you build, with few exceptions.

Side Videos

References and Research

Learn More

FREE Access Beginner Level 1
Access Level 2 for $1.00

Free Templates

TechHelp Free Templates
Blank Template
Contact Management
Order Entry & Invoicing
More Access Templates

Resources

Mailing List - Get Emails When New Videos Released!
Consulting - Need Help with Your Database?

Questions?

Please feel free to post your questions or comments below or submit them via the TechHelp page.

 

Start a NEW Conversation
 
Only students may post right now. Click here for more information on how you can set up an account. If you are a student, please LOG ON first.
 
Subscribe
 

You may want to read these articles from the 599CD News:

12/4/2021Hangman!
12/3/2021Access Beginner 2
12/3/2021Access Beginner 2 Lessons
12/3/2021Access Beginner 2
11/30/2021Import Multiline Cells
11/30/2021Adam's Access Games
11/29/2021Prevent Close
11/28/2021Random
11/22/2021Currency Symbols
11/13/2021Access Developer 36
 

Learn
 
Access - index
Excel - index
Word - index
Windows - index
PowerPoint - index
Photoshop - index
Visual Basic - index
ASP - index
Seminars
More...
Customers
 
Account Login
Online Theater
Downloads
Lost Password
Memberships
Student Databases
Change Email
Info
 
Latest News
New Releases
User Forums
Topic Glossary
Tips & Tricks
Search The Site
Code Vault
Collapse Menus
Help
 
Customer Support
Web Site Tour
FAQs
TechHelp
Consulting Services
About
 
Background
Testimonials
Jobs
Affiliate Program
Richard Rost
Free Lessons
Mailing List
Order
 
Video Tutorials
Handbooks
Memberships
Learning Connection
Idiot's Guide to Excel
Volume Discounts
Payment Info
Shipping
Terms of Sale
Contact
 
Contact Info
Support Policy
Email Richard
Mailing Address
Phone Number
Fax Number
Course Survey
Blog RSS Feed    Twitter

YouTube Channel    LinkedIn
Keywords: TechHelp Access AutoNumbers Good or Bad Surrogate Key Primary Key Synthetic Key  PermaLink