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A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

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  • A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

    Hi

    New to A5. When I 'join' two tables in Lotus Approach (broadly equivalent to creating a set in A5) I have the option to define the relationship by linking any number of common fields, not just a single key field as in A5.

    This means that any new child record created (say in an embedded browse)already has the common fields filled in (even if those fields are not displayed in the browse).

    How do I achieve the same effect in A5?

  • #2
    RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

    Hi Alan,

    When you enter a new record in the child table the link field is automatically filled. The link must be unique for the parent and child to maintain integraty. All other fields can then be displayed in the child browse. It is not necesary to duplicate data from one table to another when you have created a Set. Hope this helps.

    Keith Hubert
    London.
    Regards
    Keith Hubert
    Alpha Guild Member
    London.
    KHDB Management Systems
    Skype = keith.hubert


    For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

    Comment


    • #3
      RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

      Keith

      I don't have a problem with the relationship's integrity.

      I have a parent table with information contained in a number of fields that are common to the child table. If the JOIN is on more than one field, Lotus Approach will simply copy this information automatically on creation of a child record. The result is a child table that can be viewed or exported independently - without reference to any other table.

      Think of the child table as an audit trail - the information in each record is common to another table but stored independently of it.

      But how can I acheive this in A5??

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

        Alan,

        I don't think Alpha Five will do this for you automatically. Perhaps I'm mistaken but I think the automatic 'fill in' of the link field value in newly entered child table records is limited to set designs employing a single field link.

        There are a number of ways you can supply this functionality yourself, but I don't believe it's built in to Alpha Five at the present time.

        One approach would be to create field rules in the child table which use a lookup() function to retrieve the corresponding values from the primary table.

        -- tom

        Comment


        • #5
          RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

          Hi Alan

          Records can be exported from a Set to an ASC text file which can be used where ever you want. There is no need to duplicate data with Alpha. If you realey want to then you could Append the records you want to another table.

          Keith Hubert
          London.
          Regards
          Keith Hubert
          Alpha Guild Member
          London.
          KHDB Management Systems
          Skype = keith.hubert


          For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

            Alan:

            When creating the link involving multiple fields. The fileds must be together and in the same sequence in both the parent and child records. Once the link is established the linking fileds should be populated for each new child record.

            I hope this helps.

            bob adler

            Comment


            • #7
              RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

              Hi Robert,

              Just so I understand what you have described, create a set with multiple links to the same child table but only in the order you specifed? Not multiple fields linked together once?

              Keith Hubert
              London.
              Regards
              Keith Hubert
              Alpha Guild Member
              London.
              KHDB Management Systems
              Skype = keith.hubert


              For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

                Hi Bob Adler

                Like Keith, I'm not clear what you're explaining. Can you please explain again - bearing in mind I'm new to A5 !!

                Many thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

                  Alan

                  The rule to maintain referential integrity with a linking field is a single field or multiple concurrent fields. A second possibility is a calculated field composed of multiple concatinated fields (this fools the concurrent rule. e.g.
                  Parent table

                  Field 1 - System C3
                  Field 2 - Floor C2
                  Field 3 - Door C4
                  Field 4 - DHI C6
                  Link_key = (System + Floor + DHI) CALCULATED, Linking Field

                  Child Table

                  Field 1 - System (Link_Key,1,3) Calculated
                  Field 2 - Floor (Link_Key,3,2) "
                  Field 3 - DHI (Link_Key,9,6) "
                  Field 4 - Whatever
                  ......
                  Field 20- Link_Key (Defined as your single link field)
                  Link_Key is a single field used to link parent & child, the individual fields in the child record are the extracted from it.

                  Use it all the time as a parent may be linked to different children by different criteria.

                  Cheers, John

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

                    Jumping in to clarify matters, I hope. Bob uses the term "fileds (fields) must be together" and later John indicates they should be "concurrent".

                    Perhaps a more descriptive terminology would be that the fields used in the linking key should be "physically adjacent" or "contiguous" in the table structure.
                    There can be only one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

                      Hello Alan,

                      Just to clarify, there are three ways that come to mind to get what you want.

                      1) when you define your link, at the parent level, instead of choosing a linking field, choose 'Expression'. Then define the expression as a concatenation of the desired fields. Make sure that the child link field is large enough to hold the concatenation. Now at the child level, the desired fields are concatenated in the link field. You can extract the individual fields by putting calculated fields in the child table with an expression such as: substr(link_Field,1,4).

                      2) Create a calculated field in the parent, the expression being the concatenation of the desired fields. Now link on this calculated field in the parent, and use the same technique for extracting in the child table fields.

                      3) Create field rules in the child table to 'get' the data from the parent. Alpha Five has limited support for set level field rules that will work fine for this.

                      Now time for me to get on my soap box. Never use the first two techniques except for very specific limited situations. Doing this in a networked environment with any decent level of data entry is a recipe for disaster. IMHO linking values should NEVER be related to real data. The autoincrement field rule is what should be used. Use the third technique if you really need to do this. However, you really should not need to do this. I understand what you are saying, but a simple reverse set one-to-one will accomplish what you want with no data duplication and little overhead. Make the child table the parent, and make the current parent table the one-to-one child, now all is available in a virtual 'flat' table.

                      There are a couple of other approaches you could use if you had to have the data in the child, and didn't want to add the overhead of a child level field rule. I'm thinking here of a batch operation to update the child fields before you ran your reports, etc.

                      Good luck,
                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: A5v5 equivalent of JOIN in Approach

                        Amen to what Jim has just said.
                        I've not used Approach but what you wished to accomplish may have been the best or only way in Approach. That is not the case with Alpha. Setting up a link from a parent to child records using multiple, changeable field values from the parent is a bad idea.

                        Comment

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