Database Wonkery: January 2008 Archives

Database Cleanup Outside In

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I had some free time today, so I decided I would clean up my language database. As it happens, it's a small relational database setup in File Maker with the following table relations.

LanguageTableKey.gif - see description below


As you can see the Language table (more or less the center of the DB universe) has a relation to a script table. The script table in turn has a relation to the script direction table (left-to-right or right-to-left) and to the script type table (alphabet/logographic, etc)


The interesting thing was that even though I had to clean up the Language table, I first had to clean up the script table, and to do that I had to clean up script direction and script type.

Not all clean ups are like this, but I did find that when I'm setting up a database first time (especially configuring drop down menus), I often have to set up the "peripheral tables" first because they will become the contents of the drop down menu. It's a little backwards from the actual design where you usually you begin with one or two central tables, then see which peripheral tables are needed.

Maybe it's a quirk of mine, but it was an interesting insight for me.