4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2012 8:58 AM by BrianClemens

    Table versus Value List



      Table versus Value List


      I currently use both...I'm just wondering how much my file size will grow based on usage of each.

      In using a table (at least what I remember from the one Access class I took) the data is simply "redisplayed" for each record.  Does a value table physically store the data in that record?

      For example: Let's say I have an inventory listing for widgets and there are 4 colors for each widget.  If I use a table for the colors, does the data just display in each record, not actually adding anything to the file size?  If I have that data in a value list...is it physically getting put into each record, thus increasing the file size?

      Value List: If I have 100 widgets and each color is a byte.  Does the file grow 100 bytes (for each time a color is listed)

      Table: If I have 100 widgets and each color is a byte, then it only adds (4) bytes, since it is just redisplaying the data?

      It may not even matter since my file size will never really be that big...I just want to make sure over the years it stays that way.  It is speedy right now and I don't want it to ever lose that speed.

        • 1. Re: Table versus Value List

          I don't think it will make much difference which method you use and unless you plan to load your file on an iPad or iPhone, current hard drive capacities have grown to a point where such a small difference in file size that might occur between the two approaches is completely negligible.

          Either way, you are storing a list of values in a single location: either a table or the definition of a value list--which could be seen as just a special kind of table. When you select a value, only the selected value is stored in the field of the table where you set up your field to use that value list. The exception is if you select multiple values--such as clicking multiple checkboxes, but then only the selected values are stored in the individual records of your table.

          The more important distinctions between the two options have nothing to do with file size.

          • 2. Re: Table versus Value List

            I use it for my inventories, so I do use it on my iPhone while traveling.  It is not my primary method...but one I use nonetheless.

            The value list seemed to work a little easier for the things I use it for.

            • 3. Re: Table versus Value List

              I suggest a test.

              Make a copy of your file and set up a table with the needed values.

              Clear the custom values from your value list and then save your value list. Then re-open and use the use values from a field option to refer to the table.

              Use save a copy as to save compressed copies of both copies of your file. Note the difference in file size. Then keep in mind that, as far as I know, the difference in size between the two files due to the two value list options should not change as the number of records increases.

              • 4. Re: Table versus Value List

                I didn't notice a big difference, but in hindsite, there are several spots where I use a value list based off of a table anyway...so not sure I can get around it.

                Worse case, I can always archive older years if it gets too big.  I rarely need to go back more than 3-4 years anyway.

                Thanks again for all the help.