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When to use a category field, when to use a seperate table

Question asked by haarbol on Dec 27, 2013
Latest reply on Dec 27, 2013 by haarbol



Imagine i have a few types of biological species, for instance insects, mammals, birds and plants - and i want to categorize all subtypes in a database,

to see where they occur. Imagine they share most properties (English names, Latin names, habitats), though not all.


Do you create new tables for every category? Or two, one for the animals, one for the plants -

or do you keep them all in the same table and just use a category to select what kind of entity it is?


It feels to me like i can put them in one table and if i want to look only at the plants, it would be easy to display a filtered version of that table
with only the entries that are tagged as 'plant'. But i got this nagging feeling that that might not be the best solution.

What are the drawbacks and advantages of both methods?