We have a base table that defines parts and holds information like part number, description, price, weight, etc. We also have approximately 400 tables that reference the base table and provide additional information about the parts based on their type / category.
We started by using foreign key constraints so that a part cannot be deleted from the base table if it is being referenced in one of the 400 part specific tables but we quickly reached the maximum 253 recommended foreign keys for SQL Server 2005.
Are there any alternatives to foreign keys in this situation that will ensure data integrity? We haven't seen performance issues when accessing the data but updating an existing part in the base table will fail as the query plan is too complex.