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Database Design - One Database or Multiple Databases

Posted on 2006-07-13
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Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I'm designing a ASP .NET application where multiple companies will access it.  These companies need to see only thier data and not everyone elses.  Would it be best to create a new database for each company, or create one database with a COMPANYID field in each table?
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Question by:valrog
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Assisted Solution

by:Ved Prakash Agrawal
Ved Prakash Agrawal earned 125 total points
ID: 17099643
it is difficult to maintain mutiple data base for different client.

so i think you should use one database with companyID .


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Expert Comment

by:Ved Prakash Agrawal
ID: 17099657

if use use single database means you can share many master table which have static data for all client.
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devsolns earned 125 total points
ID: 17099664
For this type of design I would not have a different database for each company.  This makes maintenance hard, and schema changes even harder to synchronize.  I would suggest you create a unique id or GUID for each company and reference all of data by that ID.

You could also create a new user (login) for each company and have all references to SUSER_SNAME(), which will return the current logged in user.

Hope this helps.

--DS
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Expert Comment

by:devsolns
ID: 17099679
A link for the row level security is here:

http://vyaskn.tripod.com/row_level_security_in_sql_server_databases.htm

--DS
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Assisted Solution

by:ptjcb
ptjcb earned 125 total points
ID: 17099860
Yes, we are moving from a multiple db setup where all of the database structures are alike to a single db with an id to separate the clients. Trust me, maintaining and trying to keep many databases in sync with exactly the same structure is a pain. Updates have to be applied in a certain order, based on the client, and then some clients will want flexibility. Periodic data updates to the common tables may take a day to do.

Move to one db.
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Assisted Solution

by:RichardCorrie
RichardCorrie earned 125 total points
ID: 17099895
I have done both;

In the long run having a different DB for each client is an "easier" sell. Clients tend not to want to have their data mixed up with other companies.  In multi-db sceanarios I have created a central DB that holds common tables and system values.

I has also allowed for easier "client" modifications.  It is v. strange fact that no 2 companies (event within the same industry) do their business the same way; they all require little tweaks and enhancements.

/Richard
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Author Comment

by:valrog
ID: 17099915
RichardCorrie, If I go with your scenario, how many DB can SQL Server 2005 handle at once?
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Expert Comment

by:devsolns
ID: 17100083
SQL Server max databases per instance is 32,767
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 17101008
If you do go with a database for each client, you should invest in a tool such as the following to keep the databases in sync (it will save you time, hair on your head and maybe even your job):
SQL Compare® Standard
Compares and synchronizes SQL Server database schemas
http://www.red-gate.com/products/sql_compare/index.htm

And optionally:
SQL Data Compare™ Standard
Compares and synchronizes SQL database contents
http://www.red-gate.com/products/SQL_Data_Compare/index.htm
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Author Comment

by:valrog
ID: 17101110
Thanks for the software recommendation acperkins.  It would do me good if I still had much hair.
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