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I am seeking some guidance on working with many-to-many relationship classes thru the ArcGIS Server Javascript API. I am designing a traffic count data management application. Count data locations are stored in a points layer, and there is a non-spatial table of count requests. My plan was to relate the two with a many-to-many relationship class. Count points can be requested any number of times, and each count request can request new data any any number of pre-existing count locations. A many-to-many relationship class seems like the obvious choice here because it enforces data integrity.

There is a complicated process to relate records thru a many-to-many relationship class in ArcGIS Desktop. I had first tried doing this thru adding rows to the relationship class table, but later found out this is not supported. This leads to two questions as I look to implement this functionality in my web application:

  1. Will I be able to access a many-to-many relationship class table thru Javascript and edit/delete records using .applyEdits()?
  2. Is a many-to-many relationship class really necessary in this case? Or is there a more straightforward way to accomplish the same result?
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  1. Yes, you will be able to query and edit related records from Javascript, assuming the Server data has been set up for this of course.
  2. The pros and cons of actually relating tables will depend a lot on how you plan to use and maintain the data beyond GIS. I recommend reading the Esri article on joining and relating tables before deciding if it's the right solution for you.

Sorry I can't give more specific advice; I'm working through similar scenarios with a client right now and haven't figured out the optimal approach yet either.

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