Dynamic Tables and ORM

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  1. Eric
    Eric avatar
    8 posts
    Member since:
    May 2009

    Posted 09 May 2009 Link to this post

    I have an interesting design problem.  Our application supports dynamic forms generation, and the forms get its tabs and field names from a forms designer table. However the main storage table consists of a table that not only has field names consisting of the tab and field name (i.e. [General/Barcode Number] or [Depreciation/Purchase Price:]  - note that the label for the form is also in the field name). In the forms design process, the user can add new tabs and new fields on the form, hence the table is changing, and always have field names added or removed. 

    We want to use this table within ORM, and we have several questions.

    We had thought to contain the field data within a blob and serialize the dynamic data within XML, so a record would consist of the classifying fields (category, site, location, employee IDS) and table ID, and then the dynamic part would fit into the serialized data. But the oroblem with this approach is to use the dynamic fields in searching (which is possible) we would have to read in each record, and then unserialize the data, or specify the search fields in another dictionary with its data, which makes the database far more complicated.

    How do we handle this dynamic table? What is the process if a end user adds a field to the table (or removes the field). I don't see my way around this issue using ORM (I can use traditional DB access). But we want the Open access part because we want to support MySQL and support a non-windows environment (as the UI is being written in silverlight and/or ajax).

    I am looking for an approach with this table so that I can use ORM and open access. How do we do new mappings at runtime?

  2. Peter Brunner
    Peter Brunner avatar
    89 posts

    Posted 11 May 2009 Link to this post

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you for contacting us.

    We are currently implementing "Runtime Schema Changes", which would satisfy your requirement. Since it is  scheduled for our Q3 release later in the year, we ask you for your patience.

    If you would be interested in a pre-release version, we might be able and consider to provide you something in Summer. In this case, please submit a support ticket asking for such.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further question.

    Peter Brunner
    the Telerik team

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