At the outset, I'm a lover of Pick/MV but also have experience with 1NF (mostly mysql/postgresql). Here's my delimma:

For the sake of simplicity, let's say I have two tables with the following data attributes:

PERSON: id, first_name, last_name, email, phone, spouse

DONOR: id, given_amt, pledge_amt

The ID for PERSON and DONOR are same, and spouse is a X-pointer to another PERSON record (if populated). Often our fundraisers write reports out of DONOR and often want spouse info (name, email, phone). This is typically accomplished with I-desc in DONOR such as:

spouse_first:
TRANS('PERSON',TRANS('PERSON',@ID,'spouse','X'),'first_name','X')

spouse_last:
TRANS('PERSON',TRANS('PERSON',@ID,'spouse','X'),'last_name','X')

spouse_email:
TRANS('PERSON',TRANS('PERSON',@ID,'spouse','X'),'email','X')

spouse_phone:
TRANS('PERSON',TRANS('PERSON',@ID,'spouse','X'),'phone','X')

Thus, for each DONOR record in my report if I want the four fields above I've got to perform 8 reads of the PERSON table. Sure, caching will improve this performance - but let's forget that for the moment. So for 80000 DONOR records I'm doing 640000 PERSON reads.

Am I correct about how TRANS is working in these cases?

In an attempt to improve performance, I've taken to replicating the spouse field in the DONOR record by using an update trigger on PERSON to ensure spouse is updated in DONOR as well. By replicating the spouse in DONOR, I eliminate one TRANS in each field and cut my 640000 PERSON reads to 320000 reads.

That said, I'm looking for other means - this is one place where Pick isn't my friend as we often have reports written out of various tables and need to use 32+ TRANS statements to pull in PERSON demographic info. Any insight appreciated.

--
Jeff Butera, PhD
Associate Director for Applications and Web Services
Information Technology
Hampshire College
413-559-5556

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