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Locator is the connection, the relation, between data. Dédalo use a NoSQL model to store data in database, but we want to have relation data as classical SQL has, relation data is great, you have only 1 record with the information and is called by lots of other records. One change in the related data is automatically update in the caller. No duplicate data make than your catalogue could be maintainable in the time. Dédalo use the best of this two wolds the flexibility of NoSQL and the relations of SQL, why we need to choose?

locator definition


locator object

Locators are the way to connect data in Dédalo, besides locators are the own data for multiple components; selects, portals, check boxes, etc. These components uses locators to point and resolve his data.

Locator is an extensible object, it depends of the data pointed and his properties could be extended by specific uses.

Function and structure

To understand how locator works, keep in mind that Dédalo use few tables with lots of sections named "matrix_XXX" and all of these tables has the same schema:

    matrix {
        int id PK
        int section_id
        string section_tipo
        jsonb datos
    matrix_hierarchy {
        int id PK
        int section_id
        string section_tipo
        jsonb datos
     matrix_users {
        int id PK
        int section_id
        string section_tipo
        jsonb datos
    matrix_XX {
        int id PK
        int section_id
        string section_tipo
        jsonb datos

The column datos contain all data of the section in json format.

JSON storage

We use the JSONB (binary json) definition of PostgreSQL instead string json format.

The columns section_id and section_tipo are the most basic format of locator:

    "section_id": 1,
    "section_tipo": "oh1"

When a component need to call to other section and get his data will use a locator.

Locator has a direction, the basic format is a unidirectional pointer; point to data (to).

    graph LR
    A((Oral History 1 :: Informants)) --locator--> B((People under study 88))

The component "Informants" (oh24) of "Oral History" section (oh1) with section_id = 1 point to "People under study" section (rsc197) amb section_id = 88. In these case the locator is store into "Informants" component and the data of this component_portal will be:

    "section_id": 88,
    "section_tipo": "rsc197"

Every time that the Oral history 1 will load the component informants will use the locator to call to People under study 88 to get his data.

The locator resolution will use the columns section_id and section_tipo in matrix tables to locate the specific row of the database.

See it as tables:

Table: matrix

id section_id section_tipo datos
345 1 oh1 [{"oh24":[{"section_id": 88, "section_tipo": "rsc97"}]}]

table: matrix

id section_id section_tipo datos
654 88 rsc197 [{"rsc85":["Adela"]},{"rsc86":["García"]}]

When ask to informants field it will answer with the data in People under study 88, with the name (rsc85) and surname (rsc86) of the informant.

Then the result will be:

id section_id section_tipo datos
345 1 oh1 Adela García

Locators can point to:

  • sections : with section_id and section_tipo
  • components : with component_tipo
  • tags (part of components) : with tag_id

Locator reference the source with the prefix from:

from_section_tipo: the section that has the component that store the locator, the source.


  • section_id : string destination section_id Mandatory | ex : 1
  • section_tipo : string destination section_tipo Mandatory | ex : rsc197
  • component_tipo : string destination component tipo | ex : rsc85
  • from_section_tipo : string source section_tipo, used as from section_tipo | ex : oh1
  • from_section_id : string source section_id, used as from section_id | ex : a
  • from_component_tipo : string source component tipo | ex : oh25
  • tag_id : string destination tag inside component_tipo | ex : 1
  • tag_component_tipo : string component that has the tag in the same section | ex : rsc36
  • type : string defines the locator relation type (link, external link, parent, child, related, model ) | ex : dd151
  • section_id_key : int data-frame index array number of the data that reference | ex : 1
  • section_top_tipo : string source section_tipo Deprecated use from_section_tipo | ex : oh1
  • section_top_id : string source section_id Deprecated use from_section_id | ex : 1

Flat version

Normal locator is a object, but, in some cases, is useful a string version of the locator, for example to be used as filename of images, pdf or audiovisual files. The flat version of the locator is a chained plain locator string without the properties name.

Example; the section_id 3 of an image could pointed in this way:

    "section_id": 3,
    "section_tipo": "rsc170",
    "component_tipo": "rsc29"

The locator says: get the record 3 (section_id) section image (section_tipo rsc170) and give me the field of the image (component_tipo rsc29)

Flat version only uses the values of the locator and always has this structure:


The '_' character is use to separate the values, and the result of previous locator in his flat version will be: rsc29_rsc170_3

As the flat version is used to named the media files, the image is stored as: rsc29_rsc170_3.jpg in the server.

It's possible to get flat version calling to the get_flat() function of the locator class.