[Valid for v1.3]
One of the key aspects of CollectiveAccess is its ability to create relationships between records. As you build a record, you will probably want to include important relationships. To accomplish this, choose "Relationships" from the side navigation after you have completed your Basic Info page in any type of record. Common relationships can include: Entity related to a Work, Objects related to an Event or Occurrence, and so on. You will not always need to fill in every possible relationship field, of course, and you should limit yourself to the most direct and important relationships.
Describe Relationships between the records for Objects, Entities, and Occurrences, and others, under the Relationships screen. A type-ahead field appears for each kind of record that can be linked to the record in which you are working. In order to state a relationship, the records with which you wish to work must already exist in the database. In other words, if you wish to relate an object record to an Entity (the person depicted in a photograph, for example) there must already be a separate record for that Entity. To relate an existing record, type at least three characters of its title in the appropriate type-ahead field. In a few seconds, a list of matching records will appear. Select the relevant record. Once you have selected a record, a dropdown menu will appear. This menu contains types that help to specify the relationship between your two records (for example, a photo (Object) may depict an individual such as a performer (Entity), or an individual (Entity) may be the creator of a Work). You can use the + button beneath each relationship field to add more relationships if necessary.
You can create hierarchical relationships between records using the Add Another Under Control feature from the inspector (if configured on your system. This optional feature may work for you if, for example, all objects belong to a specific Lot or Collection.
Records in CollectiveAccess can be linked to each other with qualified relationships. This is done with the help of the Relationship Bundle. A Relationship Bundle appears for each record type that can be linked to your record (Related Objects, Related Entities, etc). Each bundle is comprised of a lookup text field and a relationship type qualifier.
- Creating Relationships
The relationship bundle appears as below. To create a relationship, type the first few characters of your desired record into the lookup field (you must type at least 3 characters). A list of available records that match your phrase will appear below the text field. Select your desired record. Please note that you may only create relationships to records that already exist in your CA system, unless you have "quick-add" capability enabled (See Preferences for more on quick-add controls). If quick-add is enabled, then you will have the option to create a new related record. In addition to the list of possible matches, or instead of them if there are none, you will see the words "[x] does not exist. Create?" You can click on that to open a pop-up that contains fields necessary for creating a simple record. You may want to visit quick-add records at a later date to flesh them out.
After you have selected the appropriate record, a relationship type drop-down menu will appear, as below. This dropdown menu describes the type of relationship these records have. For example, if you are linking a writer to a text, you might select "is written by." You can edit the Relationship Types by using the online user interface or by defining them in your Installation_profile.
Once you have created the relationship, you must save the record to commit the changes. The new relationship will automatically be reflected in the second (related) record. You can quickly navigate to your related record by clicking the green arrow icon. To remove the relationship, click the gray X. You can create as many relationships to a single record as are necessary. Click "Add Relationship" to create additional relationships between your records.
- Relationship Types in the Installation Profile
When specifying relationship types in a profile, you must assign them to their respective Primary Types. Each relationship has a unique name that refers to the different tables in the CA database. Relationship names follow a simple pattern: the names of the related record types connected by “_x_” and prefixed with “ca_”. Thus the name of the object to entity relationship is ca_objects_x_entities.
The following is a list of all of the relationships currently supported by the CA system: