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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Unanswered: Design question for survey/questionnaire type application

    I am a developer and I have a problem trying to design a system to
    manage data coming from web surveys. On average each subject will take
    part in more than one survey and each survey may potentially have 100+

    I am focusing here only on the table(s) that will hold the survey

    I'm thinking about having a wide table storing each question in the
    survey(s) as a column against the subjects. My main concerns with this

    - the "yuckiness" and potentially other performance issues(?)
    associated with a table with 100s of columns
    - the 8kb size limit per row (unlikely to touch it, but possible)
    - 1024 column limit (unlikely to touch it, but possible)

    Another approach obviously is to have a single table where we have, in
    a simplified version, 3 columns: person_id, question_id and data/
    answer. The problem with this is that the "data" column will have to
    all types of data, from bits to varchars, and that field validation
    seems now impossible jeopardizing data integrity, and most
    importantly, you can't easily work with the data in filtering/
    reporting etc.

    What do knowledgeable designers come up with in this case? Can someone
    point me in the right direction?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Toronto, Canada

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Thanks for the links, very helpful!

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