The first Observation table is for registered or public user access as determined appropriate from time to time. Settings for that table allow controlling user level access to meet those display needs. This table is not automatically updated when reference tables are updated as it is not set-up as a relational database. It is derived from a periodic text export of label data from the "Obs Management" table. This allows several benefits like:
- Verification of data and relationships to occur in Obs Management table by special users
- It takes advantage of database software auto-generation of search filters using selection by drop-down or auto-complete which solely relate to data in the table and not relational lists from reference tables where list names may not all have data in the table
- By inclusion of just this table in the site database it then becomes available for various Joomla extensions that allow Joomla Administrator constructed additional database searches which are not available in the primary database software. Usually these additional extensions do not allow connection to the second MySQL database where the primary observations and reference data is stored.
The Obs Management table is for Special users to keep a relational database of observations updated for reference table data changes. Special users can also choose to use this table for their observation searches once they feel comfortable with it variance of use of search filters. Some points on its use:
- The Search filters may only allow a text field for typing the user's search term or part thereof. It does not always allow auto-creation of drop-down or auto-complete filters due to an issue with there function on relational data mentioned in the thread Search Filters and Relational Data Drop-Down Selection
- The relational data based on reference table ids does allow some field data to be automatically linked to the record in the reference table such as for a location or species name record
- This table pre-dates a system glitch (may already be resolved) that stopped Google maps displaying in Form views for a record
Please note that both tables limit display of Google Maps to the Form or Map Visualization sub-menu. Also Visualizations limit to 200 place markers on a map. There is a daily limit allowed by Google for map generation and this practice helps us stay within those limits.
Also using the 2 table system allows for simpler database software settings so that future web managers may better understand and adapt to managing the database. It avoids inserting of far more complex SQL commands that would take substantial extra learning by them.