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Tables vs seperate files


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One of the projects that I am working on currently is re-designing my company's invoicing system from the ground up. The current system is made up of 3 main databases: Quotes, Sales Orders, and Invoices.


The quotes are basically proposals on sales that we give to the customers.

Sales orders are confirmed orders that are in the process of being stocked.

Invoices are orders with all of the stock present that are ready for payment.


Each database is (or will be) built with a main layout showing the customer information that contains a portal showing the line items for the order. So at a very minimum each database is made up of two tables.


I'm re-designing each database piece by piece starting with the quote database. I'm almost done with quotes and my question is this; would it be a better idea to put all three databases into one file or keep them as separate files?


My first reaction is to have them all in one file with the idea that it will make interactions between the three databases faster and less cumbersome. At the same time it may be better to have them separate so that the size of the databases is spread across three files instead of one.


Really when it comes down to it I don't know what would be best as far as design and I'd like a more experienced opinion on the subject. Any suggestions?

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Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, I'd strongly recommend keeping your solution in a single file. It makes things like security and scripting considerably simpler. This would be my recommendation for most small and medium size solutions (say under 20 tables).


If you anticipate your solution growing larger, or you're dealing with millions of records, then there's a good argument for separate files.

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quotes > sales orders > invoices; are all aspects of the one same file


(just as sales leads > prospects > customers = one file)


your three databases are liable to be(come); invoices, customers and inventory

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