I am designing database for an web application, I have designed the product and specification details database as follows,

create table pr_size
    size_id             int not null auto_increment,
    value               varchar(256) not null default 'No Size Specified',
    is_active           bit(1) default 1,
    primary key (size_id)

create table pr_color
    color_id            int not null auto_increment,
    color_value         varchar(256) not null default 'No color specified',
    is_active           bit(1) default 1,
    primary key(color_id)

create table pr_measurement_unit
    mes_unit_id         int not null auto_increment,
    unit                varchar(10),
    is_active           bit(1) default 1,
    primary key (mes_unit_id)

create table pr_dimension
    dimension_id        int not null auto_increment,
    mes_unit_id         int not null default 0,
    dimension_value     char(10) not null default 'No Value',
    is_active           bit(1) default 1,
    primary key (dimension_id),
    foreign key (mes_unit_id) references pr_measurement_unit (mes_unit_id)

create table pr_product_features
   product_features_id  int not null auto_increment,
   brand_id             int not null default 0,
   color_id             int not null default 0,
   size_id              int not null default 0,
   dimension_id         int not null default 0,
   is_active            bit(1)  default 1,
   primary key (product_features_id),
   foreign key (brand_id)   references pr_brands(brand_id),
   foreign key (color_id)   references pr_color(color_id),
   foreign key (size_id)    references pr_size(size_id),
   foreign key (dimension_id)   references pr_dimension(dimension_id)

create table product
   product_id           int not null auto_increment,
   product_name         varchar(256) not null default 'No product name specified',
   is_active            bit(1) default 1,
   primary key (product_id)

create table pr_product_feature_applicability 
   product_feature_applicability_id int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
   product_id int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
   product_feature_id int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
   dated_thru datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT '9999-12-30 00:00:00',
   is_active bit(1) NOT NULL DEFAULT b'1',
   primary key (product_feature_applicability_id),
   key product_id (product_id),
   key pr_product_feature_idx (product_feature_id),
   constraint pr_product_feature FOREIGN KEY (product_feature_id) REFERENCES           pr_product_features (product_features_id) ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE,
   constraint pr_product_feature_applicability_ibfk_1 FOREIGN KEY (product_id)  REFERENCES product (Product_id)

This design seems good to me (I understood this design from some internet materials), but I am facing some issues.

Consider the following table values,

Brand Color Size Unit Dimension Feature Product Product Feature enter image description here

In front end we are confused because,

  1. For a size there are option for multiple colors and brands.
  2. For a color there are option for multiple sizes and brands.

Developers do understand the logic but it is confusing to write sql query to insert values to the pr_product_feature_applicability table. Since while we choosing multiple colors there are different possible ids for a single size, how to insert multiple color id's in a pr_product_feature_applicability table with a single insert statement.

  • why dont you want to use eav ? Sep 22, 2016 at 10:08
  • This question is years old. Any objection to closing it @rathishDBA? Oct 10, 2017 at 21:07
  • I implemented it with some work around. No objection to close this question. If I get an answer at SQL level, it will be great!! Thanks. Oct 11, 2017 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


SQL is not my strong point, but this was an interesting question with no answers for such a long period of time.

I would use HTML arrays to set the extra detail:

<input type="text" name="model"> //say AA-1501
<input type="text" name="color[]"> //say red
<input type="text" name="color[]"> //say green
<input type="text" name="color[]"> //say black

<input type="text" name="size[]"> //say 15
<input type="text" name="size[]"> //say 16
<input type="text" name="size[]"> //say 17

On the back end in PHP this will come across as:

$model = 'AA-1501';
$color = array(red,green,black);
$size  = array(15,16,17);

Then use your SQL to insert the correct data into the fields you want.

PHP implode, array_walk will help you a bit :)

I understand this won't help you now, but I'm sure someone might find it useful.

  • dont you suggest eav ? Sep 22, 2016 at 10:08
  • 1
    what even makes you think he's using PHP? Oct 10, 2017 at 21:06

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