Data Array and Data Dictionary Approach


#1

I have been attempting to create a Data Dictionary with several levels of Data Array and more Data Dictionaries. I cant wrap my head around how to combine them.

For example, I have a Data Dictionary for a contact record. It would have Information about the Organization.
Name, Credit Limit, Sales rep assigned etc. Since organizations can have many contacts, I want to add a Data Array for contacts, then another Data Dictionary for the fields FirstName, LastName, Title, email …etc. I then would add a Data Array for the many different phone numbers a Contact has. In the Data Array I would add another Data Dictionary for PhoneNumberDescription, PhoneNumber, Ext.

How would I write the code for that? All the info to populate would come from a database.


#2

I think that you really need to think about what information you want and how and where you want it. You need to consider the result you want, before you decide on the method that you store your data. It really does not look like cramming all your data into one giant dictionary is the best way to go about this. If it were, then the method of doing it would be pretty easy to figure out.

Remember, you do not need to have all your data in one database to display it. Panorama can display data from another database. All it takes is some programming of forms. The new Text Lists can help a lot. That is easier than combining all the data into a ball, and then figuring out how to get it out of the ball.

I mentioned George Polya’s book, How to Solve It, a while ago. While its emphasis on mathematical problems is important in itself, his method of looking at the end result that you want is even more important in database design. You look at that, you look at what you data you start with, and figure out the steps in between.


#3

Hi Bruce

You are absolutely correct about database schema. The example I gave was one I thought most would be able to relate to, it is not the actual data I will be using but it does demonstrate the structure I shooting for.


#4

You would use the setdictionaryvalue statement. The value parameter can be any kind of data – including other dictionaries or data arrays.


#5

Thank you Jim,

I will give it a go.