A New Way to Build Many-to-Many Relationships

Databasics

New features are always exciting and Ninox version 3.3.0 is packed with them. But every once in a while, a product enhancement comes along that is more than a feature; it is a completely new way of doing things. And that’s what we have with the new Dynamic Multiple-Choice object in Ninox.

First – a little background. Until now, to create a many-to-many relationship in Ninox, we used a design strategy called Triangulation whereby we created a cross-reference table that effectively controlled the relationship between the two other “many” tables. This triangulation design is shown below:

Using that third point in the triangle (the ‘Employees Cross-Reference Table’ in the Exhibit 1) we are able to construct data models and applications that allow many records in one table to be related to many records in another. So, for example, where a company employed many people and each person could potentially have multiple employers, triangulation was the answer. But now, there is a new way; a simpler way to deliver this sophisticated database construct and it appears in the form of the Dynamic Multiple-Choice field in the new Ninox 3.3.0. Here’s how it works…

Imagine two tables in a database, one named “Employer” and the other named “Employee”. Each table contains multiple records and each record in each respective table may potentially be linked to many records in the other table (A company may have multiple employees and a person may work more than one job for more than one employer).

With the new Dynamic Choice field, we can represent the many options in each of these two tables as a single Multiple-Choice field. This field effectively replaces that third point in the triangle; the cross-reference table that used to be mandatory to affect this type of relationship. Look at Exhibit 2 to see this powerful new table object in action.

As you can see, a Many-to-Many relationship can now exist between two tables, and two tables only!

To learn more about this exciting and game-changing capability in Ninox Version 3.3, check out this week’s training video at the Ninox Learning Channel by Nioxus at YouTube and then join us this Thursday – March 25th – at noon EDT as we explore this and the many other new capabilities in the newest Ninox.

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