A database for agroecological research data. II. A relational implementation

Frits K. Van Evert, Egbert J.A. Spaans, Scott D. Krieger, John V. Carlis, John M. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


With the goal of creating a generally applicable database for agroecological research data, we developed and described a data model. The objective of the present work as to determine the practical usefulness of a database implemented from the data model. We used a commercially available relational database management system and mapped the entities of the logical data structure to tables, entity attributes to table columns, and entity relationships for foreign keys. The attributes of the entity representing measurement values were distributed over two tables, both to reduce the size of the database and to reduce the response time of queries involving this entity. We found that loading data into the database was the most significant hurdle to its use, and so developed a set of stored procedures that function as a data input language. The input language and other methods were used to load the data from an intensively monitored, multisite, multilayer experiment into the database. The database was used to manage, explore, and analyze the data from these experiments, as well as to share the data between collaborators and with others in an effective way. We conclude that a database implemented from the previously designed data model is a practical and extremely useful tool for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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