Support » Plugins » Hacks » Multiple tables versus comma separated entries or searlization?

  • So, I am developing a project management plugin that allows for multiple projects, users, apps, etc. I’ve worked out my database schema to do what I need correctly I should really create 7 or more tables in the WordPress database and just use join statements to query the data I need.

    Or, I could do the same thing with about 3 tables if I store a lot of information in comma separated strings that I explode and implode or serialized arrays. Generally, I’ve been told to normalize my databases without regard to how many actual tables I need.

    What is the best practice here for WordPress? Is creating that many tables with a plugin a problem?

    Thanks for the input.

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  • I don’t think there is a real “best practice.” The rule I typically follow is clumping (generally, serializing) together data I will be retrieving at the same time.

    Example: How often do you retrieve first name without last name? Or website address without website name?

    So if the data will <i>in general</i> be retrieved at the same time, then I’d go with serializing. If it won’t be, then make separate tables.

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