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UtterAccess Forums _ Access Tutorials _ ACCGeneral Primary Keys - Natural vs Surrogate

Posted by: argeedblu Feb 13 2005, 06:28 PM

Title: ACCGeneral Primary Keys: Surrogate or Natural
Symptom: You want to use a consistent approach to creating primary keys in your databases. You are aware of a debate concerning whether natural keys or surrogates are generally preferable.
Subject: This tutorial discusses the theoretical background that should inform the choice of natural or surrogate keys to be used as primary keys.
Applies to: all versions of Access and databases generally Tested in: n/a
Skill level: basic knowledge for intermediate and advanced users
Author: Glenn Lloyd Date: February 12, 2005
Credits: Utter Access members who have contributed to forum discussions on the topic, (now, and an article by Michelle A. Poolet in SQL Server Magazine (

Keywords: keys, primary keys, surrogate keys, natural keys, candidate keys, database development standards

Edited to correct typo on page 5 of the attachement "may NOT contain null values"

Edited to up date reference to article that first appeared on Article link in the tutorial also changed. (sept '06)

Edited by: argeedblu on Sun Feb 13 20:12:53 EST 2005.
Edited by: argeedblu on Mon Sep 11 6:20:42 EDT 2006. ( 23.33K ): 2396