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Cross-reference Library Check List


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I am building a library of documents with the fields: DocID, TempID,SpID, Title(1), Title(2), KeyAuthor, Authors, Organization, EqmtType, ClassType. This part is easy.

The hard part is to organize mutilple tables for each document which has references with varying field information. I could use the same fields above. But the question is how to get started?

The purpose is of the database is to: 1) to check to see if the reference is already in my library, 2) if not make a add-to list for the library, and 3) maintain a cross relationship of references and documents. i.e., know which doc is referenced by which doc.

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Looks to me like, for your stated purpose, you may not need any new tables. You need a text field, let's call it References, which would contain the DocIDs of all other documents that a given document references.


Then you would create a new table occurrence of your existing table and join them in a relationship like so:



YourTable............... References [a new table occurrence of YourTable]


References = DocID



So if you are currently on DocID #23, titled "How to Use the Library Check List", you could add multiple DocIDs to References, each separated by a hard return, like so:








Now your current document is related to those three because it references them.



To facilitate adding them, you could make a global number field, let's call it g.DocID, and then create a value list showing all values of DocID, also showing second field value Title and attach it to g.DocID; so you click on g.DocID and a list pops down for you to select a title to add as a referenced document; then you create a button that does this button function:



Set Field [YourTable::References; YourTable::References & Left ("¶"; Length (YourTable::References)) & YourTable::g.DocID]



(You may find it relevant to read this post if you are not savvy to setting up Set Field and other such button functions and script steps.)



So now you can pick a document from the dropdown list, click the button to add that document to your set of references, and it adds the newly selected document to the growing list of references associated with this document.



The relationship works two ways, so for a given document you can see which other documents reference it as well as which documents it references.



Be all that as it may, you may still wish to have other tables. It looks like a table of Authors would be useful for instance, and, assuming that you have cases where Sue Smith and Joe Jones co-authored "How to Use the Library Check List" and Sue Smith also wrote "1001 Uses for Value Lists", you might want a third table, a so-called "join table" where each record is the intersection of one author and one document. And you might possibly want tables of Organizations, not sure about EqmtTypes and ClassTypes (because I'm not sure what those are, even). Depends on whether they are just fields you fill in with values or if, for each such value, there is a host of other relevant information.



Loose guideline: you want a new TABLE, as opposed to some other element such as a new layout or new report or new field, when for one items (such as a document) you have more than one other "something", such as author (because one document can have multiple authors); or alternatively where there some kind of "something" that may have multiple documents associated with it (such as organization, assuming that one organization would have multiple documents). In any table, the primary information that that table is about should be unique: in Authors, each author appears once and only once, whereas in Documents (your main table) each document appears once adn only once.

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