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Bonus TIPS for Successful Posting

Try a Search First
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Summary Operation or Posting by field rules?

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  • Summary Operation or Posting by field rules?


    I am interested to hear everyones comments on the above question?!

    I have been an Alpha user since A4v2 using a variety of different databases for my own business use. Virtually all of the databases have now migrated to A5V4.5 except for my "flagship" which I use to provide a sports statistics service to a professional sports league. This has been developed over many, many days and nights, often by trial and error and certainly without any formal training beforehand.

    Because I have to produce a very complex set of weekly reports and even more complicated end of season reports. I have developed a system which utilises a whole series of scripts to create the necessary segments of the reports which are then exported into word, where a further series of macros is used to create the reports. (I have not even tried to create these reports in A4!)

    I have attached a pdf file which contains a sample of a weekly reports from which you will be able to see that there are many, many sections to them!

    I know now from my growing knowledge of database design that, the current structure has limitations and is full of redundant data. This fact coupled with the reporting requirements has until now persuaded me not to switch to A5.

    But now I have decided to take the plunge and am in the process of re-designing the database from the ground up. I have gone right back to basics and am trying not to be influenced by the way I currently process data.

    At present I use a series of "storage" databases into which date entered for the various statistical categories are posted via field rules (there are 8 storage dbf's!) from here various sets have been created to produce the various reports. There is a whole bunch of calculated fields which presently lie in these tables, which I think I should remove and create in the reporting functions instead.

    I am considering as an alternative to this approach using summary tables instead of posting rules and here in lies my question (at last!) I am trying to figure out which method would be easier to establish, give me greater data integrity, and perhaps most importantly provide a better chance to create the necessary reports, or export files! Would there be any difference?

    I hope the above makes sense and I eagerly await your thoughts.

    Glen Schild
    Glen Schild

    My Blog

  • #2
    RE: Summary Operation or Posting by field rules?


    The posting field rules will update the 'storage' tables as records are added to the primary tables. This occurs individually, as each record is added. The 'storage' tables are always up to date.

    A summary operation is more akin to a batch operation. It would be run periodically to transfer or update the 'storage' table all at once. The storage table is current only until new records begin to be added to the primary tables.

    Reminds me of the oil filter commercials. "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later..."

    The design choice will probably turn on things like:

    1) how important is keeping the 'storage' tables current at all times?

    2) how long will it take to run the batch update before useful reports can be produced?

    3) do the posting field rules slow down data entry too much?

    -- tom


    • #3
      RE: Summary Operation or Posting by field rules?


      Thanks for the response.

      It is important that the cumulative stats are available reasonably quickly which is why I have used the posting field rules but I guess the 2 concerns I have surround the issue of making sure ALL players are represented in the "storage" tables as there is room for errors not immediately surfacing ie: some entries not posting due to no linking field in one or more of the storage tables.

      The other concern is that while most of the posting field rules involve addition/subtraction there are some fields which are "maximums" in a category and I have not figured out how to successfully post (and if needed subsequently amend) such fields. Again at present I run a separate operation to update this field in the storage tables before running reports, hence this got me thinking about an alternative method.


      Glen Schild

      My Blog