Questions tagged [database-design]

The development of the conceptual schema and/or the logical model and/or the physical settings of a database.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
280
votes
15answers
145k views

Can MySQL reasonably perform queries on billions of rows?

I am planning on storing scans from a mass spectrometer in a MySQL database and would like to know whether storing and analyzing this amount of data is remotely feasible. I know performance varies ...
124
votes
8answers
47k views

Why shouldn't we allow NULLs?

I remember reading this one article about database design and I also remember it said you should have field properties of NOT NULL. I don't remember why this was the case though. All I can seem to ...
118
votes
12answers
55k views

Should binary files be stored in the database?

What is the best place for storing binary files that are related to data in your database? Should you: Store in the database with a blob Store on the filesystem with a link in the database Store in ...
106
votes
3answers
59k views

Advantages and Disadvantages to using ENUM vs Integer types?

Lets say in some random table, you have a column named status. It's real-world values would be either enabled or disabled. Is it better for this column's data type to be an int/bool (1 or zero) or to ...
96
votes
5answers
25k views

Storing vs calculating aggregate values

Are there any guidelines or rules of thumb to determine when to store aggregate values and when to calculate them on the fly? For example, suppose I have widgets which users can rate (see schema ...
84
votes
3answers
29k views

Is a composite index also good for queries on the first field?

Let's say I have a table with fields A and B. I make regular queries on A+B, so I created a composite index on (A,B). Would queries on only A also be fully optimized by the composite index? ...
73
votes
10answers
11k views

What are the arguments against or for putting application logic in the database layer?

NOTE The audience of programmers.se and dba.se is different, and will have different viewpoints, so in this instance I think it's valid to duplicate What are the arguments against or for putting ...
73
votes
3answers
72k views

How can I specify the position for a new column in PostgreSQL?

If I have a table with the columns: id | name | created_date and would like to add a column, I use: alter table my_table add column email varchar(255) Then the column is added after the ...
71
votes
5answers
73k views

Best database and table design for billions of rows of data [closed]

I am writing an application that needs to store and analyze large amounts of electrical and temperature data. Basically I need to store large amounts of hourly electricity usage measurements for the ...
67
votes
5answers
12k views

Is there a name for this database schema of key values?

We process a routine data feed from a client who just refactored their database from a form that seems familiar (one row per entity, one column per attribute) to one that seems unfamiliar to me (one ...
57
votes
9answers
10k views

Should you design the database before the application code is written?

What is the easiest and most efficient way to design a database? From my perspective, there are a couple of options for an application's data store design: Design the database as best as you can ...
56
votes
7answers
51k views

Writing a simple bank schema: How should I keep my balances in sync with their transaction history?

I am writing the schema for a simple bank database. Here are the basic specifications: The database will store transactions against a user and currency. Every user has one balance per currency, so ...
47
votes
6answers
27k views

What problems will I get creating a database per customer?

I remember from the stackoverflow podcasts that Fog Creek use a database per customer for Fogbugz. I assume that means the Fogbugz On Demand servers have 10s of thousands of databases. We are just ...
46
votes
12answers
6k views

How could DBAs be more 'programmer friendly'?

The answers and comments on the dba.se version and programmers.se version of the question "What are the arguments against or for putting application logic in the database layer?" are very revealing ...
44
votes
6answers
59k views

Best practices on common person fields (Name, email, address, gender etc…) [closed]

What are the most common best practices on length and data type on common fields like: First Name Last Name Address Email Sex State City Country Phone Number etc....
44
votes
9answers
5k views

How should deletions be handled in the database?

I'd like to implement an "undelete" feature in a web application such that a user can change her mind and recover a deleted record. Thoughts on how to implement this? Some options I've considered are ...
44
votes
1answer
37k views

How to manage DEFAULT PRIVILEGES for USERs on a DATABASE vs SCHEMA?

I want to migrate a fairly simple, internal, database driven application from SQLite3 to PostgreSQL 9.3 and tighten the permissions in the DB as I go. The application currently consists of a command ...
44
votes
5answers
46k views

When should you denormalize?

I think we are all familiar with database normalization. My question is: What are some guidelines that you use when you want to denormalize the tables?
44
votes
7answers
117k views

In what data type should I store an email address in database?

I understand that an 254 character email address is valid, but implementations I have researched tend to use a varchar(60) to varchar(80) or equivalent. For example: this SQL Server recommendation ...
41
votes
5answers
28k views

Is nested view a good database design?

I have read somewhere long time ago. The book states that we should not allow to having a nested view in SQL Server. I am not sure the reason why we can't do that or I might remember incorrect ...
41
votes
8answers
22k views

Plural vs Singular Table Name

How should I name my Tables when creating a new database? Singular: Client or Plural: Clients?
41
votes
4answers
36k views

How to design a database for storing a sorted list?

I am looking to store a sorted list inside a database. I want to perform the following operations efficiently. Insert(x) - Insert record x into the table Delete(x) - Delete record x from the table ...
39
votes
5answers
41k views

Can I add a unique constraint that ignores existing violations?

I have a table which currently has duplicate values in a column. I cannot remove these erroneous duplicates but I would like to prevent additional non-unique values from being added. Can I create a ...
38
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the best way to store an email address in PostgreSQL?

What would be the right datatype to store email addresses in PostgreSQL? I can use varchar (or even text), but I wonder if there is a more specific data type for emails.
38
votes
2answers
8k views

Is it a bad practice to have several mutually exclusive one-to-one relationships?

Say, a table car has one-to-one relationship to tables electric_car, gas_car, and hybrid_car. If a car is electric_car, it can no longer appear in gas_car or a hybrid_car, etc. Is there anything ...
38
votes
3answers
13k views

Database Design: New Table versus New Columns

(This was suggested to be be repost here from StackOverflow) Currently have a table .. and need to start adding new data columns to it. Not every record (even going forward with new data after adding ...
38
votes
2answers
101k views

Database model with users, roles and rights

I have a database model with a user table and role table. I want to control the access (rights) to up to 10 different elements. The access can be granted to either a role or a single user. Below is ...
37
votes
4answers
120k views

How do I list or search all the column names in my database?

I want to search for a string in the names of the columns present in a database. I’m working on a maintenance project and some of the databases I deal with have more than 150 tables, so I'm looking ...
35
votes
5answers
41k views

Why does a UNIQUE constraint allow only one NULL?

Technically, NULL = NULL is False, by that logic no NULL is equal to any NULL and all NULLs are distinct. Shouldnt this imply that all NULLs are unique and a unique index should allow any number of ...
35
votes
4answers
14k views

Does the order of columns in a table's definition matter?

When defining a table, it's helpful to order the columns in logical groups and the groups themselves by purpose. The logical ordering of columns in a table conveys meaning to the developer and is an ...
34
votes
5answers
7k views

Why is there still a varchar data type?

Many of my databases have fields defined as varchars. This hasn't been much of problem since I live and work in America (where the only language that exists is "American". ahem) After working with ...
34
votes
3answers
18k views

What is the optimal data type for an MD5 field?

We are designing a system that is known to be read-heavy (on the order of tens of thousands of reads per minute). There is a table names that serves as a sort of central registry. Each row has a ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

Should every table have a single-field surrogate/artificial primary key?

I understand one benefit of surrogate/artificial keys in general - they do not change and that can be very convenient. This is true whether they are single or multiple field - as long as they are '...
32
votes
5answers
17k views

What database technologies do big search engines use? [closed]

Does anybody knows how Google or Yahoo perform searches for keywords against very very huge amounts of data? What sort of database or technologies do they employ for this? It takes few milliseconds, ...
31
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it OK to keep a value which updates in a table?

We are developing a platform for prepaid cards, which basically holds data about cards and their balance, payments, etc. Up until now we had a Card entity which has a collection of Account entity, ...
31
votes
3answers
5k views

Is using multiple foreign keys separated by commas wrong, and if so, why?

There are two tables: Deal and DealCategories. One deal can have many deal categories. So the proper way should be to make a table called DealCategories with the following structure: DealCategoryId (...
31
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I know what indexes to create for a table?

Is there a way I can figure out the best way to know which indexes to create for a table?
30
votes
10answers
842 views

What is an effective way of labeling columns in a database?

I used to label columns in my databases like this: user_id user_name user_password_hash To avoid conflicts when joining two tables, but then I learnt some more on how to alias tables, and I stopped ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

At what point does one database per client become unfeasible?

For one of our systems, we have sensitive client data and store each client's data in a separate database. We have about 10-15 clients for that system. However, we're developing a new system that ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Duplicate column for faster queries?

The title doesn't make too much sense, but I couldn't think a better title for this problem. I have the following tables Projects id name Customers id id_project name Payments id id_customer ...
30
votes
1answer
13k views

Designing a platform: one database or multiple databases?

We are building a web platform that incorporates multiple services, each with its own underlying data. These services are being built independently following the principles of Service-Oriented ...
29
votes
5answers
37k views

In SQL, is it composite or compound keys?

About SQL (Computing/Databases): When we have two or more fields in a table that, together, identify its records uniquely, what's the proper way of calling them? Composite or compound keys? I've ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

Do SSDs reduce the usefulness of Databases

I only heard about Robert Martin today, and it seems like he's a notable figure in the software world, so I don't mean for my title to appear as if it's a click bait or me putting words in his mouth, ...
28
votes
3answers
18k views

How Does Table Partitioning Help?

I am having difficulty to grab the idea of pros and cons of table partitioning. I am about to start work on a project which would have 8 tables and one of them will be the main data table which will ...
28
votes
6answers
5k views

Arbitrarily ordering records in a table

A common need when using a database is to access records in order. For example, if I have a blog, I want to be able to reorder my blog posts in arbitrary order. These entries often have lots of ...
28
votes
1answer
23k views

Need for indexes on foreign keys

I'm struggling with indexes, primary keys and foreign keys... And the need of having them all. If I have two tables, both of them have an integer as a primary key. The first table references ...
27
votes
20answers
3k views

How to dive into an ugly database?

I'm sure many of you are/were dealing with a ugly database. You know, that database that isn't normalized at all, that database where you have to do a large painfully query to get the most trivial ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

Can spatial index help a “range - order by - limit” query

Asking this question, specifically for Postgres, as it has good supoort for R-tree/spatial indexes. We have the following table with a tree structure (Nested Set model) of words and their frequencies:...
27
votes
1answer
10k views

JSONB with indexing vs. hstore

I am trying to decide on the database design, with as few assumptions (regarding how the web app actually evolves) as possible at this stage. As a first step, understanding that JOINS are expensive, ...
26
votes
7answers
14k views

How do long columns impact performance and disk usage?

In our current project it just happens too often, that we need to extend columns by a couple of characters. From varchar(20) to varchar(30) and so on. In reality, how much does it really matter? How ...