I'm writing a PHP website for some clients which parses excel, stores the value in a database and then retrieves them.

Some fields are only integers, but the clients can't make up their minds, they keep making changes to excel, so I don't really know what they would do.

I made everything varchar, anticipating them to screw things up and then update it later when they realize what they did. I'm overnighting the database each time they upload new file so they only have to fix it from the client side. The website isn't going to scale in my life time.

Isn't that better than throwing errors at them from a practical point of view, if they change the excel, I only have to change the PHP, rather than fixing the database too. Is it that bad or not?

  • the shift keys on my laptop are both broken and haven't remapped them to other keys yet, i guess you noticed me writing in lower case and not putting a question. if i could i would
    – Lynob
    Jun 1, 2015 at 0:54
  • 2
    Depends on what you want to do with columns that should be int but you made them varchar. If you just display those values on some website and never do anything with them, they can stay as varchar. But if you ever need to do some calculations, comparisons, joins, indexing etc on those fields then you should give them the proper datatype (int).
    – zgguy
    Jun 1, 2015 at 7:37


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