Steve Mong (3/13/2009)
Certain classes of apps can't anticipate the data types they'll be required to store, manipulate, etc.
Master Data Management apps have always been prominent examples (wherein Oracle's product uses its own version of sql_variant). Microsoft's CRM product is another case in point...they elected to go with XML 'property bags', but that has its own strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is basically the same, and variants offered the way out.
Further, I believe this challenge is shaping up to be a central modeling issue for the future of IT: highly configurable SaaS offerings. In a nutshell, experience with variant data types will grow to be a necessity for archs, modelers and developers.
Heh... yep... just like the folks that use VARCHAR(MAX) for everything...
is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for R
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code: Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair
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