Extend Your Schema With A Property Bag Table

(Ben Taylor) Any database design is enhanced and extended by using a generic data structure. The use of a generic data structure works no matter what your philosophy of normalization may be. It works in both a data warehouse as well as a transaction database. This article explores the implementation of a generic data structure through the use of a Property Bag table. This method works with any relational data engine on the market today. This article reviews the purpose of Generic Data Structures, provides an example of a Generic Data Structure, provides guidelines for use of a Generic Data Structure and demonstrates implementation of a Generic Data Structure through the use of a Property Bag table.

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Ben Taylor

As a daily editor for the SSWUG newsletter, Ben is is a Relational Database veteran, starting in the early '80s on DEC Vax database systems such as Bloom and Harvest. He has specialized in SQL engines for more than two decades, with a primary focus on Microsoft SQL Server.

Ben has worked with small and large databases for both OLAP and OLTP working on systems for many industries such as Medical (Medical Claims and Eligibility Warehouse, HMO Provider Management, Enrollment), Financial (credit card processing, mortgage, stock portfolio management), Manufacturing (Assembly Line and Product Assemblies), Sales, Auto Auctions and more.

In addition to practical database designs and query tuning, Ben emphasizes the processes surrounding database development. "It's not just about writing code; it's about writing the right code at the right time and getting it to the right place."

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