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Design Troubles


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Hi guys.

I am working on a database project and I seem to be going around in circles, so I'm looking for some help/suggestions.

Our organisation keeps data (basically contact information) on companies and individual people, and there needs to be a many-to-many relationship between those two.

The companies and individuals can also be members of our organisation. We need to keep track of additional info for members (member fees etc).

I know how to set up a many to many relationship between companies and individuals, with a table for 'Companies', table for 'Individuals', and then a 'Join' table.

I just have no idea how to handle the members situation. Do I create a single 'Members' table and somehow link it to the other tables? Or do I create separate 'Members - Companies' and 'Members - Individuals' tables? Or something completely different?

Thanks in advance

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I would start with a single Members table unless you have a good reason to separate company members vs. individual members. Think about your reporting needs and your data entry needs.

Keep in mind that the relationship graph is not an ERD. You can have separate instances of the same table (a Table Occurrence or TO, and a group of TOs is a TOG).

So you might have one layout for individuals based on this TOG:

Members >- Individuals -< Join >- Companies

and one on this:

Members >- Companies -< Join >- Individuals

Hope that helps.

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