Wednesday, September 17, 2008

[GENERAL] Design question

Hi all,

I've got a design question that I need to ask before I go too far down what
might be the wrong road.

I've got a customer, who has multiple customers, who need to be able to upload
an excel spreadsheet into Postgres. Then they want to be able to slice and
dice that data.

The problem is that probably none of these spreadsheets will have the same
fields in them.

There are two ways to do this, that I can think of...

1. Create a table for each spreadsheet, using column headings as field names.
Every field would be a char/varchar. We might have a table to track which
client owns which table. This could amount to 10's of tables being added to
the db.

2. Create a table in which we store individual cells and associate them with
an owner. Then each client would essentially have one (huge?) table that
they can work with.

Design #1 is easy to implement, but might make management more difficult.
Design #2 is easy to manage, but the SQL needed to generate reports would
be "tricky." I'm intending to provide a report generator, so the complexity
of the reporting SQL can be mitigated.

So, which road should I travel down?


Mike Diehl

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