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Re: Another constant in foreign key problem.

From: Philip Couling <phil(at)pedal(dot)me(dot)uk>
To: Gary Stainburn <gary(dot)stainburn(at)ringways(dot)co(dot)uk>
Cc: pgsql-sql(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Another constant in foreign key problem.
Date: 2012-02-22 12:04:41
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-sql
Hi Gary

In short you can't have a foreign key here because foreign keys are just
that: a *key* from another table.  fl_level is not a key, it is not
unique and requires fl_f_id to be unique.

If you want a foreign key between these two tables then you must add the
facility id to the document library and use a composite key (fl_f_id ,
fl_level) as the foreign key.  This may be advantageous as the same
structure could be re-used across other facilities (even though it would
not be applicable to all).

There are a couple of alternatives to this.  One is to add a separate
column to facility_levels.  The sole purpose of this column would be to
proved a unique key on every row in the table.  Foreign keys (such as on
library_document_user_level) would reference this and not fl_level.
There would be no constraint here to prevent a row in
library_document_user_level from referencing the wrong facility.

Another possible alternative which is very PostgreSQL specific is to use
inheritance.  Create a child table storing only facility_levels for
fl_f_id 22.  The foreign key would reference the child table and not
facility_levels.  Everything in the child table would also exist in
facility_levels.  As this is so specific to PostgreSQL and is not hugely
common as a technique, read this as a *possible* solution not a
recommended one.

Hope this helps

On 22/02/2012 10:35, Gary Stainburn wrote:
> I have three tables,
> users - all users of my web site
> facilities - facilities available on my web site
> facility_levels - access levels per user/facility.
> One of my facilities is a document library (f_id = 22)
> For this facility I have the levels
> select * from facility_levels where fl_f_id=22 order by fl_level;
> fl_f_id | fl_level |   fl_desc    
> ---------+----------+--------------
>       22 |        1 | Read Only
>       22 |        2 | Add Versions
>       22 |        3 | Amend
> (3 rows)
> This sets the global access level for the Document Library per user.
> I now want to add authentication control on a document or folder level. For 
> this I need to create a table library_document_user_level
> u_id - user id
> ld_id - library document id
> fl_level - level
> The foreign key constraint on fl_level needs to check facility_levels for
> fl_f_id = 22 as well as fl_level existing.
> I've googled this but can't find a suitable solution. Can anyone help please.

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Subject: Re: Another constant in foreign key problem.
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