Relational Database Management Software, Subforms, DBMS - An Overview

A database generally consists of many tables. Each table contains information about a specific module. Sometimes, while collecting elaborate data, in order to easily access and understand data, it is wiser to store the data in multiple tables and establish a relationship between the tables. In such relationships, a common field that is present in both the tables links the data contained in both the tables. Such databases with relationships between tables are called relational databases.

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What is RDBMS? RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management Sofware. It is database management software used to group and manage relational databases. It is essentially a database management system which not only stores the data, but also groups relevant data and also stores the information about the relationship between the different tables in the database.

Is a Zoho Creator application like a relational database? A business application is built out of forms, workflows, schedulers and more. Forms are the visual representation of the underlying table structure of the application. So yes, a Zoho Creator is a database management software that can be used to build business application is like a relational database with the added power of workflows and business rules. The different tables in the business applications can make sense individually or be related to one another. The tables that are related to each other are the relational database aspect of the application. The data contained in these tables is related in such a way that it is organized and easier to understand. With Zoho Creator, you can build business applications that are as robust as relational databases.

What is data modeling? In any database management software, the first step to building a relational database is data modeling. Data modeling defines the structure in which the data collected through the application is going to be stored. When the data is organized in a logical structure, it is easier to pull out relevant data. Data modeling defines the relationships between the different tables in the relational database. The relationships between the different tables in the relational database are stored in a separate table.

Is data modeling available in Zoho Creator? In Zoho Creator, the application itself is the relational database and the different forms are the tables. The process of building the form is the same as that of designing the table structure. Thus building the different forms in the application and defining the relationships between the different forms in the application amounts to data modeling in Zoho Creator.

How are the tables involved in a relational database referred to? In a database management software having a relational database, a relationship is defined between any two tables. The tables involved are called the parent and child tables. The parent table contains the main information pertaining to the record and the child table contains the additional information about the record. A child table in one relationship can be the parent table in another relationship and vice versa. Each table can be involved in multiple relationships. The more the number of relationships, the more complex the relational database.

What are the different types of relationships in a relational database? There are two types of relationships in a relational database. A one-to-one relationship and a one-to-many relationship. In a one-to-one relationship, a parent record is associated with one and one only child record. I.e, Each record from the parent table is associated with one record in the child table. In a one-to-many relationship, each record from the parent table in the relational database can be associated with multiple records in the child table.

How does one establish a one to one relationship in Zoho Creator? The Look up field is an advanced field available in Zoho Creator. Using this field, users can define a one-to-one relationship between the forms in their applications.

How does one establish a one-to-many relationship in Zoho Creator? One-to-many relationships can be defined in Zoho Creator applications using a Subform. A Subform is child form that can be inserted into a parent form. A subform can collect multiple child records in one shot.

What is a Subform? Subform is like a normal form. It is included as a child from in another from to collect the multiple child records. Subforms are used to build a relational database application in Zoho Creator. Subforms are available as a field in Zoho Creator. To include a subform in your application, you simply need to add the Subform field in the parent form. A subform can be a form from the same application or from a different application.

Is a Zoho Creator Subform similar to a MS Access Subform? Yes Zoho Creator's subform is just like a MS Access' subform. Only difference is that its a lot more powerful than a MS access subform. A Zoho Creator Subform is scriptable. Business rules and workflows can be added to a Zoho Creator Subform to make it a lot more robust and powerful.

Can we add workflow and business rules to Subforms? Yes you can add all the workflow and business rules to your subforms. Deluge Script offers two tasks dedicated to Subforms. These tasks can be executed whenever a new child row is added or when a child row is deleted. Apart from these subform specific tasks, regular tasks can also be exectued for the different feilds in the subform.

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Features » Subforms

One-to-Many Relationships in your applications: Use Subforms

Setting up a one to one relationship is pretty straightforward. All you need is a Lookup field. Here's something that can help you set up one to many relationships in a flash. In one to many relationships, there is a parent form which represents the one side of the relationship and there is a child form which represents the many side of the relationship. The child form is included as a part of the main form and is called a SubForm.

Adding Subforms

Adding another form into your form, just like adding a field

Adding Child Records

Mulitple rows of child records can be added, all at once

Viewing Child Records

A combined view that displays both the parent and child records in one place

Deluge events for Subforms

Other that the regular tasks, there are 2 new tasks, specifically for subforms.

Adding Subforms to your application:

While building your customized business applications, you are faced with the need of using a parent child relationship in many cases. Subforms solve this need in minutes. First, build your child form like any other regular form and add all the fields. Then proceed to build the main form. In the main form, just like adding the fields, you can add the subform too. From the left pane, drag and drop the subform field into the form builder area. You can choose a child from from within the same application or from another application.

Adding Child Records:

Subforms are inserted into the parent form itself. You can add multiple child records to the subform in one shot. In the access mode, the sub form is displayed in a tabular layout. You can add records to it one after the other by clicking on the "Add New" link. Each record adds a new row in the table. Even while adding the records, you can remove row that you do not wish to add. Not just in the form, even while editing a record, you can add child records to the Subform.

Viewing Child Records:

The child records are displayed along with their corresponding parent record in a combined view. In each row, along with the parent records, all the child records associated with it are displayed as links. Clicking the link opens up the child record details in a pop up window. The record summary of the parent record displays all the details of the parent record, as well as that of the child record. Form the view's design mode, users can choose which field from the Subform needs to be displayed in the combined view.

Deluge events for Subforms:

Subforms have 2 new dedicated events - On Add Row and On Delete Row. The On Add row event is triggered each time a new child record is added to the parent form. Likewise the On Delete row is triggered each time a child record is deleted from the parent form. Apart from specifying business rules under these events for the subform itself, you can also include workflow for the fields present in the subform. The actions to be executed when a user inputs values in the child form's fields can be specified in the parent form itself.