I am designing a MySQL db for a forms program we use for tracking the steps our techs take when working on a machine. Currently I use integers to store the answers to the questions. We have the question and then they hit complete or hit see notes and enter notes below. The issue is that the forms change constantly. Sometimes they add tasks, and take them away. Which messes with the order because the column headers are like Question 1 through question however many. What is the best way to approach designing this especially if we need to be able to see and create reports based off of these entries.

1 Answer 1


Based on what you provided: generic form with drop downs. Have predefined spaces to fill in. A dropdown with the question that can be chosen and then a box for text. Then include a "Add another section". Which will simply add another section to the bottom. This allows the form to expand and contract based on what they did. It is endlessly expandable. You don't have to keep redesigning the whole each time. Not sure that will work for you but it is one possibility.

  • I don't believe that will work. As the mangers would not like that. For simplicity I think I have a solution where I will just add a revision number at the end of the records and then have the questions reflect that same revision number. A little hacky but I think that may work for what I'm doing.
    – George
    Feb 16, 2018 at 15:50

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