I have some related tables:

Application - stores a list of applications ApplicationInstall - for each application, multiple installations are present (I have a foreign key ApplicationUid) SecurityPrincipal - for each ApplicationInstall I have many principals (I have a foreign key ApplicationInstallUid).

I have also a table SecurityPrincipalType, linked to Application through a 1-to-many.

I would like to have a rule that guarantees that when I insert a record in SecurityPrincipal its Type comes from a SecurityPrincipalType linked to the correct Application.

I didn't rename the tables because I usually prefer to have names to think about. But I think the following scenario is equivalent:

Table A n..1 Table B 1..n Table C

And I want to enforce that a column in C contains only values coming from A, but linked via B.

I'm considering:

  • triggers
  • foreign keys?
  • application level checks (but I would prefer to have some check at the db level)

What should I do?


You can use a Foreign Key for this if you add a unique constraint on Application(Id,SecurityPrinicpalType), something like this:

--drop table if exists ApplicationInstallSecurityPrinicpal
--drop table if exists ApplicationInstall
--drop table if exists Application


create table Application
  Id int identity not null, 
  SecurityPrincipalType int,
  constraint pk_Apppliction
    primary key (Id),
  constraint ak_Application

create table ApplicationInstall
  ApplicationId int not null,
  Id int identity not null,
  constraint pk_ApplicationInstall
    primary key (ApplicationId,Id),
  constraint fk_ApplicationInstall_Application
    foreign key (ApplicationID) 
    references Application(Id)

create table ApplicationInstallSecurityPrinicpal
  ApplicationId int not null,
  ApplicationInstallId int not null,
  Id int identity not null, 
  SecurityPrincipalType int,
  constraint pk_ApplicationInstallSecurityPrinicpal
    primary key (ApplicationId,ApplicationInstallId,Id),
  constraint fk_ApplicationInstallSecurityPrinicpal_ApplictionInstall
    foreign key (ApplicationId,ApplicationInstallId)
    references Application(ApplicationId,Id)
  constraint fk_ApplicationInstallSecurityPrinicpal_Appliction
    foreign key (ApplicationId,SecurityPrincipalType)
    references Application(Id,SecurityPrincipalType)
  • 1
    I think this is close to what I need, but I don't have ApplicationId on the SecurityPrincipal table, and I have multiple PrincipalTypes is a table linked to Application, but I can use the same technique using composite foreign keys. Paying 8 bytes for each row should be acceptable. Many, many thanks for the pointer! – A. Chiesa Feb 21 at 21:51

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