Creating Many to Many Relationships
You are recommended to read "Understanding Relationships" before this section
if you haven't already.
Recommended video: Creating Relationships
How to Create Many to Many Relationship
Review the displayed information carefully to make sure that the suggested relationship properties reflect what you want to do.
- Click "Design" from main menu, select "Relationships".
- The relationship management window will open. Click "New Relationship" button.
- Select the first catalog you wish to create a new relationship for.
- Select the relationship type as "Many to Many Relationship".
- Select the second catalog.
Note that a Many to Many relationship is symmetric, that means each catalog is each other's "parent" as well as "child".
Interchanging the catalog names would produce exactly the same result.
The example given in the picture above shows a Many to Many relationship between Teacher and Student
catalogs. Each teacher has many related students. Each student also has many related teachers as they may have more than one teacher.
When you open a teacher record, you may display a list of all related students by clicking a menu button. The same is also true for student records.
A 1 to Many relationship alone would not serve this purpose.
Menu Name: The administrative name of the relational records. This name is not shown on record window but used
to easily identify the relationship whenever you modify or review the database design. You are recommended to keep the recommended
Display Name: The displayed title of the menu button which is shown on left side of the record window.
You may change both menu name and display name any time you want.
- You are recommended to avoid creating Many to Many type relationships whenever 1 to Many type serves the purpose.
More info about this
- Keep in mind that every relationship you create adds to the overall complexity of your database which in turn makes it more difficult to
both manage and improve the design of your database.
- You may need to create and experiment with a number of relationships before you achieve the desired functionality.
Delete any unused/experimental relationship as soon as possible.
- The best way to work on a relationship model is to create a separate database dedicated just for experimental purposes. To do this, export
the application template of your production database, create a new database, import that application template and work on that
test database until you get the desired result. After that, you may re-connect to your production database to apply the necessary design changes.
- Creating multiple copies of the same relationship usually indicates a poor design approach. If you are tempted to create many copies
of the same relationship, review your design again or consult a professional.
Displaying Relational Data on Record Windows
When you create a Many to Many relationship, a menu button is automatically added to record
windows of both of the catalogs. Clicking those buttons will display the related records from the parent catalog.
You will also be able to either create new or add an existing record to the related record list.
It is possible to create dedicated views for related record lists.
See Menu Designer for more information.
Modifying a Relationship
Once created, changing the relationship type (1 to N or N to N) or changing any of the catalogs is not allowed.
If you need to change these, you should consider deleting the existing relationship first which will also
remove all the related data information from records.
You may at any time rename menu button titles.
Deleting a relationship deletes both of the relationship menu buttons on record windows of each catalog.
No records are deleted from your database however, you will lose the "related data" information from all records on both catalogs.