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in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

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  • in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

    Having been a dbf guy for the past 20 years, I am on thin ice in the world of enterprise databases.
    So my question is (at the risk of what Mark Twain said):
    Is a foreign key necessary in the tables where it may be appropriate?
    Doesn't the grid relationship and lookup criteria do what a foreign key does?
    Or am I missing something?

    Mark Twain: It's better to keep you mouth shut and have people wonder if you are stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    Jay Talbott
    Lexington, KY

  • #2
    Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

    I'm not sure what you mean by "grid relationship and lookup criteria", but you don't have to denote anything as a foreign key, even when it's applicable.


    • #3
      Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

      Thanks, Chris.
      By "grid relationship and lookup criteria" I meant that you can force the user to select from a list which in effect would have the constraint of a foreign key.
      Jay Talbott
      Lexington, KY


      • #4
        Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

        That makes sense.


        • #5
          Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

          I think it is necessary if you want to make sure of the database integrity at the database level.

          You're right, the grid relationship and lookup criteria do what a foreign key does but what happens when the database is connected to many applications, i don;t tink that the integrity of the database will be enforced in this case.


          • #6
            Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

            Lookup Properties/Dynamic Filter
            should select/filter the Lookup Fields to match the parent.
            Setting Foreign Keys up in SQL is a bit tortuous - Error 150 etc - and I try to avoid them and handle matters in the Alpha side. But I'm still learning too.
            I suspect that you will ultimately be responsible for managing the integrity in any event.
            Ted Giles
            Example Consulting - UK

            See our site for Alpha Support, Conversion and Upgrade.


            • #7
              Re: in MS SQL Server, is a foreign key necessary

              Yes that's how it is enforced using alpha5 ... I am sorry though maybe i wasn't specific; what i meant was in case the MS SQL database allows connections to other users/apps; lets say that another app built in .NET can connect to the same database that alpha5 uses, in that case if the foreign keys constraints are not enforced at the database level there is a chance that duplicate records be inserted from the .net interface.

              If you re-create a table that was dropped, it must have a definition that conforms to the foreign key constraints referencing it. It must have the right column names and types, and it must have indexes on the referenced keys. If these are not satisfied, MSSQL returns error 150 in the error message.

              I think it would be worth it to learn more about this: W3Schools offers great tutorials about sql foreign keys constraints

              I am still learning too more about WAS events and javascript ...