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Microsoft Accesss 2010 : Enhancing the Queries That You Build - Creating Calculated Fields

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11/16/2014 7:51:52 PM

One of the rules of data normalization is that you shouldn’t include the results of calculations in a database. You can output the results of calculations by building those calculations into queries, and you can display the results of the calculations on forms and reports by making the query the foundation for a form or report. You can also add to forms and reports controls that contain the calculations you want. In certain cases, this can improve performance.

The columns of a query result can hold the result of any valid expression. This makes queries extremely powerful. For example, you could enter the following expression:

Left([First Name],1) & "." & Left([Last Name],1) & "."

This expression would give you the first character of the first name, followed by a period, the first character of the last name, and another period. An even simpler expression would be this one:

[Unit Price]*[Quantity]

This calculation would simply multiply the Unit Price field by the Quantity field. In both cases, Access would automatically name the resulting expression. For example, Figure 1 shows the calculation that results from concatenating the first and last initials. Notice in the figure that Access gives the expression a name (often referred to as an alias). To give the expression a name, such as Initials, you must enter it as follows:

Initials:Left([First Name],1) & "." & Left([Last Name],1) & "."

Figure 1. The result of using the expression Left([First Name],1) & “.” & Left([Last Name],1) & “.” in a query.

The text preceding the colon is the name of the expression—in this case, Initials. If you don’t explicitly give an expression a name, the name defaults to Expr1.

You can enter any valid expression in the Field row of the query design grid. Notice that Access automatically surrounds field names that are included in an expression with square brackets, unless the field name has spaces. If the field name includes any spaces, you must enclose the field name in brackets; otherwise, the query won’t run properly. This is just one of the many reasons field and table names shouldn’t contain spaces.

 
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