SQL and Databases

MinistryPlatform is built on Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL), a Relational Database. Although there are other types of databases, the Relational Database Model is a widely used and well-established method of organizing and retrieving data. 

Best Practices

The following are tried and true techniques for extending MinistryPlatform. The advice here is tailored toward use with the platform—it may vary from advice you find elsewhere.
Table and Column Names
  • Avoid any names that appear on the Reserved Keywords List for MSSQL.
  • Name Primary Keys with singular name of table plus "_ID"
  • Do not use spaces in names. Use an underscore.
Primary Keys
  • Name Primary Keys with singular name of table plus "_ID"
  • Use the int data type with IDENTITY specification


Transact SQL (TSQL)
The variant of SQL used by Microsoft SQL Server is Transact SQL, also referred to as TSQL.
SQL Server (General)

Tips & Tricks

  • When searching the web for answers to your SQL questions, include the keyword "mssql" or "tsql" in your search. This helps you get results more specific to Microsoft SQL. There are many other variants (dialects) of SQL.
  • The Advanced Search Tool generates an extended form of SQL which uses the Table Lookup Convention. This is an extension to TSQL specifically used by MinistryPlatform. It can be identified by its use of "_Table" appended to field names.