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Database design

KR
Hi All,

I wanted the expert opinion out there in the use of foreign keys as
primary keys in a table. I am not very good at explaining this
concept, but I am going to try -

Let us say you have a parent/master table( Ex: purchase order) that
is generating number (primary key for the main table)using the seed
and increment specified. We need all the records of this table to be
in sequential order - i.e. we need all purchase orders to be in
sequence. Now there are two different types purchase orders different
enough to have entity/tables of their own. So what are the downsides
of using the primary key generated in the main table which would
normally be a foreign key to the child table, as the actual primary
key in the child tables.

Thanks

KR

May 25 '07 #1
4 1773
M
If I am understanding correctly, you want to be able to take the PK
from the master table, and use it as the PK in the detail table as
well? It sounds like from your description that you have two purchase
order tables, correct? So again, if my assumption is correct, you
want to be able to use the PK from either master as the PK in the
detail table right?

If so, I think you'll have a problem with the detail table in that you
can have the same number come up for both master tables, thereby
inserting a row into the detail table that is a duplicate.

Can you concat something onto the insert into the detail? ie:
MasterTbl1 and MasterTbl2 send entries to Detail. MasterTbl1 sends a
3, and since it's from that table, it tacks a M1 onto the beginning or
M2 if it's the other table - M13 or M23

That would set up your detail table like this:
PK
M11
M12
M21
M22
M13
M23

but that doesn't solve your keeping them in order, so maybe you could
tack it on the end?
1M1
1M2
2M1
3M1
2M2
3M2

hth
M@

On May 25, 12:18 pm, KR <kra...@bastyr.eduwrote:
Hi All,

I wanted the expert opinion out there in the use of foreign keys as
primary keys in a table. I am not very good at explaining this
concept, but I am going to try -

Let us say you have a parent/master table( Ex: purchase order) that
is generating number (primary key for the main table)using the seed
and increment specified. We need all the records of this table to be
in sequential order - i.e. we need all purchase orders to be in
sequence. Now there are two different types purchase orders different
enough to have entity/tables of their own. So what are the downsides
of using the primary key generated in the main table which would
normally be a foreign key to the child table, as the actual primary
key in the child tables.

Thanks

KR

May 25 '07 #2
KR (kr****@bastyr.edu) writes:
Let us say you have a parent/master table( Ex: purchase order) that
is generating number (primary key for the main table)using the seed
and increment specified. We need all the records of this table to be
in sequential order - i.e. we need all purchase orders to be in
sequence.
Do you permit gaps in the sequence? Since you talk about seed and
increment, I suspect that you are using IDENTITY. Beware that IDENTITY
is very likely to give you gaps, since if an INSERT fails, an IDENTITY
number is still consumed.
Now there are two different types purchase orders different
enough to have entity/tables of their own. So what are the downsides
of using the primary key generated in the main table which would
normally be a foreign key to the child table, as the actual primary
key in the child tables.
So you would have

CREATE TABLE Orders (OrderID int NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
....
go
CREATE TABLE BlackOrders(OrderID int NOT NULL
PRIMARY KEY REFERENCES Orders(OrderId),
....

go
CREATE TABLE WhiteOrders(OrderID int NOT NULL
PRIMARY KEY REFERENCES Orders(OrderId),
....

That's a perfectly normal design, and quite a common way to address
supertypes and subtypes.

Joe Celko has a twist to this:

CREATE TABLE Orders (OrderID int NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
OrderColour char(3)
CHECK (OrderColour IN ('BLK', 'WHT'))
....
UNIQUE(OrderId, OrderColour
go
CREATE TABLE BlackOrders(OrderID int NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
OrderColour char(3)
DEFAULT 'BLK',
CHECK (OrderColour = 'BLK'),
...
FOREIGN KEY (OrderID, OrderColour)
REFERENCES Orders(OrderId, OrderColour),
....

In this way you also assures that BlackOrders really only have black
orders.

Note: since the hour is later, I'm tired at the end of the week etc,
I have left out constraint names. But I like to stress that best
practice is to name your constraints.
--
Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, es****@sommarskog.se

Books Online for SQL Server 2005 at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/pro...ads/books.mspx
Books Online for SQL Server 2000 at
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinf...ons/books.mspx
May 25 '07 #3
On May 25, 9:18 pm, KR <kra...@bastyr.eduwrote:
Hi All,

I wanted the expert opinion out there in the use of foreign keys as
primary keys in a table. I am not very good at explaining this
concept, but I am going to try -

Let us say you have a parent/master table( Ex: purchase order) that
is generating number (primary key for the main table)using the seed
and increment specified. We need all the records of this table to be
in sequential order - i.e. we need all purchase orders to be in
sequence. Now there are two different types purchase orders different
enough to have entity/tables of their own. So what are the downsides
of using the primary key generated in the main table which would
normally be a foreign key to the child table, as the actual primary
key in the child tables.

Thanks

KR

1. Your PK is increment and seeded . So you are using Identity. Note
that Identity can have gaps .
2. If you have two different Purchase Order tables , what you can do
create another table having a union of PK from two tables and in
detail table FK will be pointing to this union table
3. If you don't want to go through 2, you need to create a trigger on
your detail table to check existence of key
May 26 '07 #4
> We need all the records [sic] of this table to be in sequential order <<

Rows are not records and tables have no ordering. That is physical
and applies to files, which do have records. You are still un-
learning file systems.
>i.e. we need all purchase orders to be in sequence. <<
That is a logical condition that implies you have no gaps in PO
numbers. This sequence can be either numeric or temporal. I would
assume numeric. The constraint for no gaps is that:

(SELECT MAX(order_nbr) - MIN(order_nbr) + 1 FROM PurchaseOrders)
= (SELECT COUNT (order_nbr) FROM PurchaseOrders)

In Standard SQL-92, this would be in a CHECK() constraint; SQL Server
has to use a TRIGGER or stored procedure.
>there are two different types purchase orders different enough to have entity/tables of their own. So what are the downsides of using the primary key generated in the main table [sic: referenced table] which would normally be a foreign key to the child table [sic: referencing table], as the actual primary key in the child tables [sic]. <<
The terms parent and child are from old network databases and imply a
pointer chain. RDBMS uses references rather than points. Subtle but
important differences!

Erland already showed you my trick for doing sub-classes in SQL.
May 27 '07 #5

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