GeneXus for SAP Systems Data Model changes

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Let’s create a transaction for countries (we call it Country): 


Here we create a country identifier attribute, and we can see that GeneXus has assigned it the Id domain.

We create an attribute to store the name of the country, CountryName, which takes the Name domain. 


We Save.

Note that just as it did with Customer, GeneXus has automatically created the form to add, edit and delete countries.

Let’s go back to the Attraction transaction. We want to assign a country to each attraction. Note that typing the letter C displays the list of attributes existing in the Knowledge Base that begin with this letter.


We select CountryId, and its entire definition is displayed. 

In this transaction, we will also include the CountryName attribute because when we execute this transaction and select a country identifier, we will want to see the corresponding country name. 

Let’s focus on these two attributes included in more than one transaction.


We will find out what role they play here, in Attraction.

Let’s remember that CountryId is the identifier or key in the Country transaction:


To be more precise, from now on we will say that CountryId is the primary key of the Country transaction and when a primary key is included in another transaction, it has the role of a foreign key.


Including an attribute that is a transaction primary key in another transaction allows us to relate both transactions. This means that when executing the Attraction transaction, for this attribute we will have to enter a value that has been previously recorded through the Country transaction.


Let’s see it at runtime.

Remember that if we don't have the tunnel open to connect to our schema in the HANA database, you must open it. 

Now we press F5. 

GeneXus analyzes the impact caused by the new definitions made on the Knowledge Base


and informs us that a new table called Country will have to be created in the database with the CountryId and CountryName fields. 


In addition, a new table called Attraction will also be created with the fields AttractionId, AttractionName and CountryId.


Note that in the Attraction physical table that will be created by GeneXus, the CountryName attribute is not included even though we had included it in the Attraction transaction structure. This happens because the TRANSACTION concept is not the same as the physical TABLE concept. Remember that TRANSACTION is the GX object that we created in the Knowledge Base to represent an object or actor of reality... and examining it GeneXus creates a PHYSICAL TABLE in the database, to store the data that will be entered when executing the transaction.


We must be aware that not all the attributes included in a transaction structure will later be stored in the physical table created based on this transaction.


Storing the country name in several physical tables would mean storing duplicate data.


Instead, the country name can be retrieved from a single location where it is stored, that is to say, from the country table.


We go back to the development environment and click on Reorganize. The term Reorganize means to reorganize the database, that is to say, it refers to the task of making changes to it.

GeneXus creates the programs to change the database and executes them, making the necessary changes. Next, it generates the necessary programs corresponding to the application itself. For example, for each new transaction that we have defined, programs are being generated in the selected programming language to enter, change and delete countries and tourist attractions.

Note that we quickly have our application running again in a web browser.


Now we have links to work not only with clients but also with attractions and countries.

Let's add data about some countries.
Since the CountryId attribute was previously defined as belonging to the Id domain and this domain has the Autonumber property set to True... we don’t have to enter a value for the identifier because it will be numbered automatically.
We add Brazil...France and China…
We browse the data to confirm that they have been numbered.




And we execute the Attraction transaction.

We add the tourist attraction “Louvre Museum”. Here again, we don’t have to enter a value for the identifier, so we type the name “Louvre Museum”.


Now we have to indicate that the Louvre Museum is in France.

If we remember the identifier number of France, we can enter it, but another option is to select it from a list by clicking on this arrow.


Note that this list displays all the countries that we have entered. We click on the link... or on the green check mark of the line on which France is located.


Note that the country identifier two has been loaded. We press the Tab key, and the country name is displayed.


Note that we can’t change the country name from here, because it is displayed only for reading purposes.

Remember that a selection arrow was automatically displayed next to CountryId

and provided a list of available countries

The arrow was displayed next to this attribute in particular because, as we've said before, here CountryId is a foreign key.


So, here the user will have to enter a value that has been previously registered as primary key value through the Country transaction... Therefore, GeneXus collaborates by generating and offering a list of countries available.

Here we can see, in GeneXus, the object implemented by that list. 


Now we will see at runtime, how the Country and Attraction transactions check that the values entered for the CountryId attribute are consistent. 

We will enter a new attraction such as the “Pyramids of Egypt”. In the country field, we enter the value four because we think it corresponds to Egypt, but an error message is displayed because country four doesn’t exist! 


We check the registered countries and see that we had only entered country 1, 2 and 3, but not 4. 


Likewise, if we want to change an attraction that has already been entered and try to replace its country with another country that doesn't exist —4 again— we get the same error message:


That is to say, when we enter or change data through transactions, the associated data is automatically checked for consistency. Also, when we try to delete data through transactions, the necessary controls are made to maintain the consistency of the stored data. 

Now, for instance, if we try to delete the country France:


We see a message informing us that the deletion cannot be performed because related data exists in Attraction (remember that we entered the Louvre Museum that belongs to France). 

Something very important to learn is that attributes must be named using exactly the same name when they are related to the same concept.

For example, if in the Attraction transaction instead of entering the CountryId attribute we had typed CountryIdentifier for GeneXus, CountryId, and CountryIdentifier would be different attributes.


And for this reason, in Attraction, it wouldn’t have checked if the value entered the country identifier exists in the country table. 


and it wouldn’t have offered the country selection list in the Attraction transaction.


Also, it wouldn't be possible to retrieve the name of the corresponding country.


because CountryName could be referenced in the Attraction transaction due to the fact that CountryId plays the role of foreign key and retrieves its corresponding CountryName, but CountryIdentifier is not a foreign key because it isn’t the primary key of any transaction, so it isn’t possible to retrieve data associated with this attribute.

Let’s continue to represent more features of the travel agency's reality. We have been told that every attraction has an associated category to indicate if it is a monument, museum, park, and so on.

And here we have the same situation that we saw with countries. We will create a Categories transaction and assign the attractions’ categories.
Let’s do it now. We create the Category transaction with CategoryId and CategoryName.


Now we add the CategoryId and the CategoryName attributes to the Attraction transaction.


Before trying this at runtime, we can allow the category not to be set, for example, because we don't know its value at the time of entering the attraction. 
This is done by changing the value of the Nullable property of the CategoryId attribute. We set it to Yes:


This only makes sense for foreign keys that reference values from another table.

Let’s implement another request of the travel agency: For each attraction, they want to enter its photo. So, in the Attraction transaction, we enter an attribute called AttractionPhoto.
It will be of Image type because this type makes it possible to store images. 


Now we press F5 to apply the changes to the database and programs and run the application.
Note that a new table will be created in the database to store the categories.


If we click on Attraction:


We are told that the Attraction table has to be converted, l which means that the CategoryId and AttractionPhoto attributes have to be added.

This element is added to store the file and to give the option to only reference an URL to it.


We press the REORGANIZE button. The browser is opened, and we start to enter some categories.


We enter these categories: Museum and Monument.



Now we execute the Attraction transaction. We see that it allows us to enter a category and a photo.


We search for the Louvre Museum and we assign it the Museum category and a photo.


We confirm.

A special feature of GeneXus for SAP Systems is that SAP HANA makes it possible to use table row storage instead of column storage.

We will explain this but, to do so, first note that when we open View/Tables. 


Here, GeneXus shows all the tables of the corresponding database. 


If we click on one of the tables, we can see that its properties include one property that is related to the type of storage in a SAP Hana database.  


If we're trying to create a table and the percentage of transactional operations (that is to say, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE operations) is very high, using row storage is recommended because it is the default value. Also, it is how traditional relational DBMSs work.

For SAP Hana we have the option to use column storage, which is useful when the table being designed has a very high percentage of reading operations (SELECT). 
If this were the case of ATTRACTION, we would change this value.