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Limits to number of set linked tables?

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  • Limits to number of set linked tables?

    Can AlphaFive be used to develop forms like the attached screen prints at an acceptable level of performance?

    Forum member Tom Cone yesterday noted that my application set SetPerson had 11 tables and suggested that this might be unworkable in a production environment. I followed up on his recommendation and read "Simplified Alpha Five version 4 set and application design".

    My problem is that I'm just getting started and planned to add perhaps another 10 to 15 tables to the set before I was finished.

    This is because in even low-end CRM applications, the linking of multiple objects is taken for granted.

    Can AlphaFive be used to develop screens like the attached at an acceptable level of performance?

    The first screen is from lowest-common-denominator contact manger ACT! 2009, which features 11 tabs each of which is populated by 1:M or M:M relationships with other objects. For example,

    Notes tab:
    1:M -- a Note is linked to a single person. Person_id can be included in the note table (one link)

    Contacts tab:
    M:M -- the two persons are linked in a tblPersonPerson table which in turn is linked to tblPerson to display the related contact's name (two links)

    Does Alpha Five have enough horsepower to do this?

    Or take a look at screen 2, which shows the tabs for another low end CRM package Centerbase.

    This package allows mutiple telephones and addresses. In other words, telephones, address, are yet additional tables and set links.

    I haven't shown a screenprint for Goldmine but it behaves similarly.

    Or realistically, is Alpha going to choke? I believe that both Act! 2009 and Centerbase were developed with Microsoft Visual Studio and Goldmine with a Borland product. I can't find a single commercial CRM package developed with Alpha Five, even though several exist for FileMaker Pro.

    Note that the tabs are used mostly to display links, rather than to maintain the related object.

    For example, the Cases tab displays the cases that are related to the person, but clicking on the record tblPersonCase (intersection record) typically launches a separate form to maintain Case information. One Person may be assigned to many cases and one cases may be assigned to many people.

    Bob McGaffic
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Last edited by rmcgaffic; 05-18-2009, 01:48 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Limits to number of set linked tables?

    Bob,
    I think the overall scenario has to be considered to even know for certain...so many things can cause problems/issues in an application--is it a multi-user app, is it going to be used over a network, a mapped drive, are there a multitude of calculations on the forms/browses (and how are they derived).

    Many here have gone the button route instead of a tabbed object due to Alpha having to refresh all the tab's tables all the time which caused speed issues (the gist of it I believe). Most likely you will hear from a few of these individuals as well.....or do a search on Tabbed objects....maybe with DaveM as part of the search parameters as I know he went from tabs to buttons and now pretty much swears by them.

    My largest set so far is 14 tables....but is only used for reports in which all of these tables pretty much have to be there. That particular app only has 30 tables and 15 sets (Most have 2-4 tables, one has 6).

    I'm fairly certain Tom was alluding to these issues and probably many more when he cautioned you in the other thread about using complex (large) sets.
    Last edited by MikeC; 05-19-2009, 02:23 AM.
    Mike
    __________________________________________
    It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
    It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau
    __________________________________________



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    • #3
      Re: Limits to number of set linked tables?

      bob,

      initially i had a set with 16 tables and the form it was based on was very slow, i then split it down to around 4 tables per set, speed is far better and i just use buttons to navigate from one form to another.

      i didnt have many calculated fields either (around 12).

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