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Helper I
Helper I

Related Tables in a View

I have the following related tables:


I want my gallery to show only the projects belonging to the current active user, as per the project owners table.   However I cannot create a view of the project owners table that includes the  Projects.State because it is a lookup to the STATES table.    How do I include the Projects.State in the gallery?   


 I have set up several related tables specifically to avoid delegation issues, as the Projects table has thousands of rows.  (For example to filter the gallery by state, a dropdown is populated by the STATES table and not Sort(Distinct(PROJECTS, State))   .  Additional tables like ProductType,  ProjectStatus, ContractorStatus are also related to the Projects table,    and so lots of essential information has to be left off the gallery view, because the data is in lookup columns.    Is there a workaround?


Helper I
Helper I

The short answer is you have your project-user relationship the wrong way around, and that prevents you from accomplishing what you want, as well as creating a design flaw.  

Firstly, if you store the project id in the PROJECT OWNERS table, then your project owners can only ever own one project. But you state that you want to show the "projects" (plural) belonging to the current active user. You either have to create multiple columns in your user table to hold more project id's, or have multiple rows for the same user, one for each project. Both of those solutions are bad design. Instead put the owning user id in the PROJECTS table, and then a project owner can own multiple projects.


Change your data model to this:



This solves your view problem too, since now you can create your view on the PROJECTS table, and the OWNERS and STATES tables are both related tables so you can add their columns to your view. Then you can do the same for all the other tables that hold project related data.


You are on the right track, you were just looking at it upside down.

Helper I
Helper I

How would I know that Bob worked on project 1234 before Jill?

You just need to add a table to hold that kind of relationship.


Light version:

This table simply has, for a single row

  • the id of the user
  • the id of the project
  • whatever dates you want to capture, if you care about when their ownership period was
  • obviously a primary column of it's own

Then, when you assign an owner to a project

  • you create a new (or update the existing) PROJECTS table row with the user id
  • you check the history table for a row for this user/project combination, that doesn't have an ownerHistoryEnd date assigned, and you assign today's date (this expires their previous ownership)
  • you add the new user/project combination to the history table with no ownerHistoryEnd date, which makes it the current record.

Technically you don't need to store the current record in the history table, since it's already the one in the PROJECTS table. (Or conversely, just use the history table and you don't need to store the user id in the PROJECTS table anymore.) But it depends on how simple you want your reporting for your history, and how you prefer to do your Patch/Lookups. For example if you record the current ownership in the history table, and you want to know the ownership start date, it will be the 'Created Date' field that already exists on the history table.


You could do all this with code behind a button in your App, or build a cloud flow to do the history part, which would be triggered off changes to your projects table.


Heavy version:

A project has one owner, an owner can own many projects. This is a one-to-many relationship, and you implement this as a lookup field. You just need to follow the principle that the projects table should contain project-specific data, and lookups to anything else. Likewise the user table should contain user data, and then lookups. The user table should not contain history i.e. multiple records of the same user, because that's a different relationship...

...if a project can have a relationship with many owners, and an owner can have relationships with many projects, you have a many-to-may relationship, and for this you need a separate relationships table like the ownerHistory table. There really is no other way to do it properly.


Using this method

  • you still get what you originally wanted by creating your view on the PROJECTS table
  • you get ownership history without messing up your users table
  • the first bonus: you have pushed the complexity of managing the relationships into DataVerse, instead of having to manage that using code in your App
  • the second bonus: if you are a Citizen Developer, following good data-modelling principles gives you street-cred with IT. 
Helper I
Helper I

Yes,  I think the key point for me to grasp is that to get the relationship right I need to patch multiple tables.   

Helper I
Helper I

Yes but in your existing model

  • you already have to do multiple Patches on the PROJECT OWNERS table to add a new record and update the isCURRENT flag on the old record. We are adding one Patch, and that is only if you keep the user id in the projects table which is now optional.
  • you can't build the view you want
  • If your app grows (more tables), you're going to hit challenges that are only solvable by bloating your app with more complex code

So then the answer to your question "How do I include the Projects.State in the gallery?" but using your current design? In the gallery's "Items" property, wrap your "PROJECT OWNERS" data source in an AddColumns+Lookup. The PROJECTS table fields are already available in your data source, you just add a lookup to the STATES table and bring in the additional columns.

Then repeat that AddColumns+Lookup wrapping for each of your other tables - ProductType,  ProjectStatus, ContractorStatus.

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