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Re: How to turn flat file to SQL

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: dj00302003(at)yahoo(dot)com (Jay Davis), pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: How to turn flat file to SQL
Date: 2004-01-19 01:25:18
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Lists: pgsql-novice

> The question is, can we put this into a SQL database just as a
> flat file, ie as one table, with one column per question, or should
> we break it into several tables, for instance with a table of 
> the "keywords" (the boxes that can be checked).  Is there any
> problem on a typical Linux box with running PostgreSql database
> with one table of 120 columns?

Well, administration with that kind of a structure will be rather a pain.  To 
answer your question in 2 parts:

1) Yes, you can load the flat file with unchanged structure.
2) Yes, you will soon wish to use something better, such as:

(incomplete pseudo-SQL)

table survey_responses (
	key (user_id, response_date)

table survey_questions (

table survey_answers (
	key (user_id, response_date, question_id)

This will make *much* more efficient use of DB resources, but requires you to 
understand relational database design.

Incidentally, among my (many) unfinished projects is to publish the structure 
and code backing the User Survey as an OSS survey-generation 
engine.  Someday ...

-Josh Berkus
 Aglio Database Solutions
 San Francisco

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