4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2009 5:37 PM by RickWhitelaw

    Repeating fields

    olso2180

      Title

      Repeating fields

      Post

      I have always heard that you should try not/ limit yourself on the number of repeating fields in your database. Does anyone know of a logical time to put a repeating field in, or an example where they have used repeating fields? 

       

       

        • 1. Re: Repeating fields
          philmodjunk
             We had an interesting discussion on this on another thread, click Repeating fields: to repeat or not to repeat, to read it.
          • 2. Re: Repeating fields
            RickWhitelaw
               Many stay away from repeating fields because they're awkward to deal with in calculations. I generally use them sparingly and mostly to display data that remains static in a given record. (schedule for the week, for example, in a weekly record).That said, I've recently been using repeating fields in calculations. The GetRepetition and GetCalculationRepetitionNumber and GetRepetitionNumber functions are extremely useful when you get used to them. This approach allows the data in repeated fields to be dynamic.
            • 3. Re: Repeating fields
              philmodjunk
                

              RickWhitelaw wrote: 
              The GetRepetition and GetCalculationRepetitionNumber and GetRepetitionNumber functions are extremely useful when you get used to them. This approach allows the data in repeated fields to be dynamic.

              Yeah but you're still trapping yourself inside a tiny little phone booth when it comes to working with data stored in repetitions when they should be stored in a related table. Even your weekly schedule might be easier to work with if it were stored that way.

               

              Don't get me wrong, I do use repeating fields. It's just that a related table almost always turns out to be the more flexible implementation.


              • 4. Re: Repeating fields
                RickWhitelaw
                   I agree. The related table approach is almost always preferable. However, occasionally a repeating field is the perfect choice . . . not often, but often enough to make me glad they're available. At first repeating fields seem like an easy simple way to store data but we know that's not often the case. In a situation where display is the primary function, and the utility of the data won't be compromised by the very narrow limitations of repeating fields, they work fine. I work with orchestra schedules in the musical theatre field. On a number of distributed reports I have two repeating fields one on top of the other. Each has ten reps. The first displays Service Date (e.g. June 9) the other Service Time (e.g. 2:00 P.M.). They're often, but not always, the same week to week. So I use auto-fill. But . . . I also use these fields on layouts that use a lot of calculations and they work. You actually replied to a question I had on this subject. As so many here have said, every situation has its own appropriate solution. I used to find that sort of thing frustrating but now see it as absolutely correct!