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Apr
17
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@DavidWallace It's great advice. You will note in my question: "I don't necessarily want to advocate going back and changing the schema..." which is shorthand for yes, I do want to advocate for that, but I ain't no Don Quixote. I worked for the Florida legislature for a year and a half. I learned a lot there, but most importantly I learned the need to STFU when people more powerful than you don't want to hear it. All of that, though, is orthogonal to my original question: how do I convincingly argue against duplicating database columns? I'll handle the organizational politics.
Apr
17
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@DavidWallace Admittedly, this is all orthogonal to whether or not rocking the boat will be well received, or whether I should say anything. And it sucks to come into a situation and be the guy who says "this could be done better", but sometimes, you actually do know better.
Apr
17
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@DavidWallace There is wisdom to that advice. Who the hell is this guy. Conversations I've had, though: the designer of this database adamantly asserting null foreign keys are impossible. The designer of this database adamantly asserting that including two clearly distinct entities on one table was more normalized than my design moving them to separate tables. The designer of this database arguing that the best way to track history of a table is to create an identical history table, duplicating 15 columns.
Apr
14
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@Ian at this point, no. But it's biting us - we ended up with multiple MRNs for some patients and don't have a good way to clear it out, and it's complicated by the fact that they're sprinkled around throughout the database.
Apr
13
awarded  Good Question
Apr
13
awarded  Notable Question
Apr
13
awarded  Yearling
Apr
12
awarded  Popular Question
Apr
12
accepted How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
Apr
12
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@KaspervandenBerg very on point, but not true in this case.
Apr
12
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
There have been two votes to close based on the question being too broad. Accepting your premise: how can it be improved? People have converged on some pretty cogent answers (justify using database normalization theory, offer alternative means of easier querying [views and materialized views]). Communicating well is hard, and you do questioners a favor by explaining how we can do better in the future!
Apr
12
awarded  Nice Question
Apr
12
awarded  Curious
Apr
11
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
Excellent point.
Apr
11
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@NathanTuggy I pulled out my database modeling and design textbook but thought, you know, there must be a more succinct source of information on this subject, and decided to solicit advice from those more knowledgable.
Apr
11
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@RobertHarvey no, I'm on a 6 month contract, and they manage the projects I work on without being in charge of me. Responsibility for the database is ambiguous. I don't necessarily care about being rehired and I feel some professional responsibility to push for better practices.
Apr
11
awarded  Commentator
Apr
11
comment How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
@scriptin "Well, we put in those MRN fields [because it's duplicated multiple times] so that it's easier to query. When we query the Registration table we don't want to have to join against the MedicalRecordNumber table." The discomfort is an inference I'm making.
Apr
11
asked How can I argue convincingly against duplicating database columns?
Nov
12
awarded  Nice Question