Now the above sure is flexible in the sence that a type of automobile can be added without affecting the database schema, but was if some attributes do not take a numeric value? How do you handle computations on attributes specific attributes? Why would I use this structure as opposed to the super type - sub type as shown below?
Now, adding new sub types probably isn't very flexible but, now you can specify data types for each attribute instead of using sql_variant, which by the documentation cannot be used in aggregate functions and may render poor result when used with ADO.
Regardless of the method used, alot of back end coding is required for computations, what table to send the attributes, etc...
Can anyone please help me clarify. What method is best and why. So far I am leaning for option 2. More work but seems to be more flexible in the sence of customization of each datatype.
E.G., what if you wanted to specify attributes about the cap that can be supplied to trucks?