A summary field is a field in a one table record whose value is based on data in related-many table records. Summary fields eliminate repetitive and time-consuming cross-table calculations and make calculated results directly available for end-user queries, sorts, and reports without new programming. One-table fields that summarize values in multiple related records are a powerful optimization tool. Imagine tracking invoices without maintaining the invoice total! Summary fields like this do not violate the rules of normalization. Normalization is often misconceived as forbidding the storage of calculated values, leading people to avoid appropriate summary fields.


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