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Subject: database design for storing questions/?answers for multiple applicatio?ns.
Question: I work for a small insurance company who is starting to accept insurance applications on line.
We are very small and only have about 200-300 people and so our IT departement is just me and one other.
We setup a custom portal to accept applications and designed a schema for the portal.
We initially implemented using XML Database columns, for the answers, knowing that this gave us great
flexibility in the database.
Now we find out that this structure is not what we need.
Now we are running into limitations of reporting, performance, updating, and multi-user concerns with the XML data.
As a result, we are considering moving this out of XML and into a generic database structure that will allow us to
meet some of the newer requirements.
We have a need to store multiple types of applications (or forms) from the users into a SQL Server database.
Each type of application can have 30-100 questions, and some of the answers are long or are tables of information.
While we want to have the ability to add/remove questions from the applicaton, we do not to keep changing the database model.
It will become a huge nighmare.
For the basic questions, the model is easy.
The problem comes when an answer can take the form of a table.
For example, one question is to list all of the sub-companies, their date of operation and the premium volume.
That is where we get messed up trying to make a generic database.
I was wondering if you know of or had something along those lines?
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