1. Type, sub-type, and sub-sub-type database design
I am trying to figure out the best way to design part of a database that
includes a type of material, a sub-type of that material, and a sub-type of
the sub-type of material. For example one type of material is Hardwood,
which could have Oak as a sub-type, which could then have Red Oak, White
Oak, etc. as sub-types of the subtype. I am struggling to figure out the
best way to go about this.
The way it will be used is through a web interface where users will first
select the main material type and based on that selection will then select
the sub-material type and then finally the detailed material type.
One option would be to have a Material table and then for each material
have a Sub-Material table, i.e. Sub-Hardwood, Sub-Softwood, etc. This
wouldn't be bad at two levels but because of the third level requirements,
I could end up needed hundreds of tables to describe each material. This
seems to be way too massive and a maintenance nightmare.
Other than that I am at a lose as to a simple solution to this problem. I
am sure this has been done many times as I have seen applications like this
on the Internet before. Anybody have any ideas on easy way to go about
Thank you for any responses,
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