I have a form that has rather a lot of fields. 81 in total. And they need to be uploaded to a database. The form is a new car order form so it contains information such as customer details, dealer details, car details etc. As this info needs to be kept potentially forever, I need to have the dealer details in this database (I thought of refering to the dealer database for their addresses etc) but then this wouldn't work if the addresses changed.
I just wondered if having such a huge table is a problem. I did do database design at Uni but I don't ever remember them saying there was a limit to the number of fields.
There is a limit on the number of columns in a table, but I can't think of any database engine that would have trouble with 81 columns. You might want to think about normalizing the data, since that will make things much easier to manage later, but you shouldn't need to do it just to reduce the number of columns in a table.
Columns in table: 2599, 1024, 1000 for MySQL, MS SQL Server, and Oracle, respectively. This is taken from www.mysql.com (from their feature comparison page)
I took a quick look, but couldn't find their feature comparison page. I'd like to see what else they compare, and whether this is supposed to be a selling point ("forget those 1000-column limitation blues! Get twice the columns with MySQL!!!")
"I did do database design at Uni but I don't ever remember them saying there was a limit to the number of fields."
Back when Codd designed the relational model he underestimated the future power of computers. He said, "640 is enough for anybody." So now we're stuck: you can't have more than 640 fields in a table, and that's why the industry is moving to modern technologies like XML.