I'm not sure if I'm using the right terms, but I was wondering the proper way to design a database/application where the application needs to create additional attribute fields in a table based on user needs? Not all possible fields are determined at sale time, but the customer may need additional fields based on needs. How can this be accomplished without resorting to EAV design issues, etc...
Let me check my understanding of this... is this an application your company is selling to third party customers and you want for the customer to have the ability to add "fields" to it?
Shall I also assume the "customer" has no access to the actual code?
If my two assumptions are correct, you can rely on some solution like Oracle Apps does, the famous "flex fields". each table has a set of "flex fields" columns that can be customized thru a catalog table where you define the name and attributes of a particular "flex field" like...
Needless to say, the application code has to be smart enough to interpret such definitions, include those "flex fields" on forms, reports, etc.
Pablo (Paul) Berzukov
Author of Understanding Database Administration
available at Amazon and other bookstores.Disclaimer: Advice is provided to the best of my knowledge but no implicit or explicit warranties are provided. Since the advisor explicitly encourages testing any and all suggestions on a test non-production environment advisor should not held liable or responsible for any actions taken based on the given advice.