I am a bit new to relational DB design and seek your opinion on the following:
I am working on an application in which I want to build models which are definable by a user. A model will consist of a number of parameters.
I want to create a table (let's call it parm_table) which has a record for each for each parameter; parm_table will contain columns like: parameter_name; parameter_type; min_value; max_value; default_value; display_format; and possibly more.
Each parameter will be assigned values over time. I want to store these values in another table (value_table) which has a one to many relationship with the parm_table (a parameter can have many values; a value belongs to one parameter).
I don't know how to do this most efficiently. Because a parameter has a type which could be various number formats or a string, the value table would have to hold values of different types. I guess one could save all values as an Ascii string and convert back and forth whenever used, but that does not seem very easy to me. I might also have more value tables, one for each type, but then the code needs to access different tables depending on the type. Not sure that's easy either.