Originally Posted by guelphdad
3 No Frills
lookup table store_merchandise:
allows you to look up the items each store has in stock.
Actually, I have a different understanding. In the above example, I would call "store_merchandise" a "relational table" because it represents the relationships bewteen different objects. I would call both "merchandise" and "stores" lookup tables in their current form.
However, let's say the "stores" table looked like this:
and we had a "status" table:
5, On Fire
and the values in the "stores" table in the column "status" were constrained by a foreign key to be only values in the "id" column of the "status" table, then I would call the "status" table a lookup table, as you're looking something up. Without the look up table, your application functions in exactly the same way, except you can't "lookup" the text labels that make the data more user friendly.
This is my understanding, and I may completely wrong, and I urge others to help shed light on the issue.