You don't need a degree in database management to be a SAM admin, but it is helpful to understand the basics of your database. In this lesson, we'll learn the difference between tables and fields and how to view your site's structure.
- It's helpful to have a basic understanding of SAM structure. Knowing how the entities, tables, and fields work together will let you use SAM like a pro!
- Your SAM database is like a complex, interconnected series of spreadsheets (but much prettier to look at).
- Fields collect information which is stored on a table, like leaves on trees.
- Understanding the tables that fields belong to will be helpful when creating forms, reports, and auto actions down the road.
What are tables?
Think of a table like a drawer in a filing cabinet dedicated to one thing, such as Child Records. The tables in your SAM site are the big groups of information your organization uses to do your work. Each entity, or record type, has a main table that holds their basic information: name, age, address, etc.
Under this main table are many other tables with grouped information, such as "Parent 1 Details," "Home Studies," and "Education Records."
You can see your tables via Settings > Tables & Fields.An example of the different tables under the Family entity:
Fields are the individual pieces of information in your SAM site that feed into the table they live on. For example, "First Name" is a field on the Child table, and "Licensing Date" is a field on the Foster Family Licensing Table.
An example of fields on an Edit Form:
Navigate to Settings > Tables and Fields and take a look at the overall structure of your SAM site.