I am designing a small database that will be used to produce a table of contents for different types of manuals. One table will contain topics and their meta data. Another table will contain manuals. Each manual will consist of multiple topics. A given topic will have a level and order within a manual. So the "help" topic might be the first topic at the third level in one document but the second topic at the first level in another document.
One design that comes to mind is to make the Manuals table a series of triplets of an: ID (that points back to a topic ID in the Topics table), a level, and an order. So each manual would have a title, ID, and multiple triplets.
Somehow I need to setup the relationship between a manual, it's topics, and at what level and in what order those topics appear in that manual.
Is there a better design than what I'm considering?