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Need Help With Structure of Database

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  • Need Help With Structure of Database

    I am creating a database (actually, restructuring a pre-existing one from Alpha 4) that holds contacts for fundraising purposes. Obviously, in the old database, information like the name, addresses, and contact numbers are stored. Right now there are two sets of fields for addresses and contact numbers for each record.

    I was thinking that I should take the address fields (primary and secondary address) and make them into a child table with each address as a record (rather than a bunch of fields) so I can accommodate more than two addresses and make it more efficient in general. I am also planning to add a field in the address child table that would denote whether the address is primary, secondary, etc., and perhaps another field that would say the kind of address (e.g. home, work, etc.). The parent table would have, among other fields, their name and their firm/company.

    A major function of the database is to print out labels and/or letters to the contacts in the database. I would want the letter or label to only print out the address record that is marked "Primary." But how would I get the firm name (since it is in the parent table) to be included in the address, if the primary address is the firm address? How would I get the firm name to not show up if the primary address is the home address? And how would I show the mailing address (whether it is the firm address or home address) to be properly displayed in a form. What's the best way to do all this?

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

  • #2
    RE: Need Help With Structure of Database

    "I would want the letter or label to only print out the address record that is marked "Primary."" - Are you sure? Would you never want to make a mailing to home addresses of persons whose primary address was work related? You might want to filter on all work addresses, all home addresses, certain zip codes.......

    "But how would I get the firm name (since it is in the parent table) to be included in the address, if the primary address is the firm address?" - I would put the firm name in the firm (work) address for use only if that address was used. But more to your point, if you can't get the firm name from the parent table, how will you get the name? I hope you plan to link the tables by some id number rather than by name. Just design the label based on the set rather than the child table.

    "How would I get the firm name to not show up if the primary address is the home address?" - Won't happen if it's attached to the child work address and not in the parent.

    "And how would I show the mailing address (whether it is the firm address or home address) to be properly displayed in a form." - Don't understand the question unless you're looking for expression help like

    total_name defined as trim(first_name) + " " + trim(mid_init) + " " + trim(last_name)

    st_address defined as trim(str_number) + " " + trim(str_name

    cty_st_zip defined as trim(city) + ", " + trim(state) + " " + trim(zip)

    assuming fields named as indicated, or your variations thereof substituted.

    There can be only one.


    • #3
      RE: Need Help With Structure of Database


      Consider using a conditional object on the label that is based on where it is the home address or not. Then you can have one object have the firm name (if it's not the home address) and the other object not have the firm name.

      Have your record selection of the set that has the parent and child select only the child record that is the primary address.

      Should work really well.
      Al Buchholz
      Bookwood Systems, LTD
      Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

      Occam's Razor - KISS
      Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
      Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
      When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.


      • #4
        RE: Need Help With Structure of Database

        Thanks for replying and in such a detailed manner. Let me answer some of your points and clarify my questions.

        You're right, there may be a time when I only want work addresses or only home addresses. But mostly, people just want there stuff (from us, at least) sent to one address, which we call primary. Usually it would be the firm address.

        The tables are indeed linked by an id number; that's not the problem. I was thinking that if I had a label template with a filter that it would only print out records marked "Primary" in the address type field, it would print out the address information but the firm name (if the primary address is the work address) would not be included in the address (because it is in the primary table, and is not in a field in the address child table).

        I guess I would have to put expressions or, as the Al suggested, a conditional object, in the layout itself. What's the best way to do that you think? And, in the same manner, how would I show the mailing address in, for example, a subform on the main form (i.e. a form would show the name and firm name on top, and below would be a subform or embedded browse with addresses).

        Hope I made myself a little clearer. Thanks again.


        • #5
          RE: Need Help With Structure of Database

          Thanks for the advice.


          • #6
            RE: Need Help With Structure of Database


            If you have listings (people) linked 1:N to addresses in a set I would consider printing labels from an inverted set in which addresses are linked 1:1 to listings. This makes it simple to
            -filter the addresses to print, and
            -access the header information which goes with an address.

            Organizing address book and contact applications in this fashion has served me well.

            Bill Hanigsberg


            • #7
              RE: Need Help With Structure of Database

              Old Bill probably has the best advice. You might also consider having a field in the parent table that designates which type of address is "primary" for each name, restricting entry to certain allowable types.

              Then you could build a (separate) one-to-one set linked on id + primary_addr_type (in the parent) to id + addr_type (in the child) and print your labels based on this set.
              There can be only one.