Concatenating Databases

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Concatenating Databases

Concatenation is joining together two or more Concordance databases, allowing you to view multiple databases as if they were one database in Concordance.  There could be several reasons to break down larger databases into smaller concatenated databases:

You can separate databases based on document type, or custodian and still search the entire case's record collection together

Attorneys may request that records are separated by category, yet still need to combine the databases during case review

Security is sometimes needed for a smaller set of data, so you can split the database based on security needs

Because one case can contain thousands of records and transcripts, your firm’s Concordance administrator most likely will create several databases and join them together to reduce time indexing a vast amount of information, which can take several hours. Separate databases are also created based on type: emails, transcripts, and non-transcript records, so joining them for search purposes is ideal during review projects. Sometimes attorneys may want subsets of records broken by category, such as all pleading documents and correspondence documents separated by database, and again having the benefit of concatenating them for specific review projects.

As a member of the review team, you must ensure that every pertinent record has been reviewed, sorted and tagged appropriately regardless of the database location. The way to do this efficiently is by concatenating databases and saving appropriate search queries during the discovery process. You will still be able to see every tag and issue, entered by all users, and listed alphabetically.

Concatenating databases is a powerful feature that includes:

Searching up to 128 databases simultaneously and treating them as a single large file, depending on network set up.

Opening transcript and non-transcript databases together.

Using drop-down database lists on field’s with selection functions.

Save indexing time when new records needs to be imported into Concordance, by having a secondary database created and joined with the primary database.

Save maintenance time when indexing databases. With concatenation, you can perform full index updates offline and index multiple databases at the same time.

Automatically display tags from all databases.

Create field groups in INI files so reviewers can search multiple fields under one alias (copy into each .ini file for joined databases).

Things to Know About Concatenated Databases:

Concatenation is not a structural change, records in each database stay the same.

Concatenation is not permanent.

Concatenated databases do not have to have any fields in common.

Saved .cat files are editable text-based files.

If a .cat file is saved in the same folder as the primary database's .dcb file, then the concatenated database launches automatically when the primary database is opened. Packing and database modifications are done in the primary database, indexing and reindexing are done on all the databases in the concatenated set in turn.

Searches search each dictionary file one by one.


Unless you save a .cat file, concatenated databases are merged for only one Concordance session. The next time you open Concordance, you need to rejoin the databases to continue searching in this manner.