Lance, I’m not entirely sure this comment is on point, but bear with me.
Back in the days of VB for DOS I build a DB that had no records, tables or traditional fields which were part of a traditional record.
Each piece of data (a field) was linked to an unlimited number of other pieces of data that were related to it and each of those “fields” were indexed as essentially one entry in one long, alpha-order list.
So, if you searched for “John Smith” in column 1, in alpha order column 2 showed Smith’s employee number, address, date of hire, job title, salary, etc.
If you moved the cursor to Smith’s date of hire in column 2, column 3 showed all other employees who had the same date of hire.
If you moved the cursor to “Mary Jones” in column 3, column 4 showed all of Mary Jones’ fields. If you moved the cursor to Mary Jones’ address in column 4, column 5 showed any other employees who lived at that address. Repeat out to 64 columns.
I built in AND and OR filtering so that you could tag fields in column 1 with AND or OR filters and show the search results in column 2. E.G. all column 1 items that had the first tagged date of hire AND the first tagged Date of Birth OR the second tagged Date of Birth AND the first tagged job tile OR the second tagged Job Title in column 1 would appear in column 2.
Medium will not let me include a link in a comment but if you go to to my profile page and scan through my columns you will find one that discusses this DB in detail [A Database That Links All Fields Together In A Web].
Does a system like that address some of your concerns?
— David Grace