MS Access for the Business Environment: MS Access as a Documentation Tool: Display Object Dependencies - Page 5

September 7, 2004


Our mission is to determine the dependencies of the objects in the database, assuming we have assembled an inventory of those objects already. As we have discussed already, MS Office Access 2003, with the Name AutoCorrect feature enabled, allows us to see a list of objects that depend upon a selected object, as well as objects upon which the selectee itself depends.

5.  Click the Products table in the Database window to select it.

6.  Select View --> Object Dependencies from the main menu, as depicted in Illustration 6.

NOTE: We can also right-click an object and select Object Dependencies from the context menu that appears to achieve the same objective.

Illustration 6: Select View --> Object Dependencies ...

The Object Dependencies task pane appears, as shown in Illustration 7. Atop the pane is the name of the object under examination (circled in red in the illustration).

Illustration 7: The Object Dependencies Task Pane - Selected for the Product Table

The Object Dependencies pane initially shows the list of objects that rely upon the Product table. (The radio button to the left of Objects that depend on me is selected at first, atop the pane).

We can click the expand icon (+) to the immediate left of each object listed in the pane to expose the associated dependency details.

7.  Expand the Order Details Extended query, listed in the Queries section in the Dependencies pane, by clicking the "+" sign to its left.

The Order Details Extended query listing expands, as depicted in Illustration 8.

Illustration 8: The Order Details Query Object - Expanded View

We can see that, within the Order Details Extended query, the Sales by Category query, together with the Sales by Category report and subreport, are identified as dependent upon the Products table.

Once we have collected the information surrounding the objects that are dependent upon the Products table, we can easily switch to a view of objects upon which the Products table is, in turn, dependent, by clicking the radio button to the left of Objects that I depend on at the top of the pane.

8.  Select the Objects that I depend on option, by clicking the radio button to its left, atop the Object Dependencies pane.

The Object Dependencies pane shifts to present the objects upon which the Products table is dependent, as shown in Illustration 9.

Illustration 9: Selecting Objects that I Depend On Atop the Object Dependencies Pane