Stupid people, itchy fingers, simple questions and database explosions
Probably the most vague title in SO, but it is basically what I am up against (and by up against I only mean this thought in my head) I have a webform (form A) takes data puts it in the database makes reports the world goes round and people are happy.
Now I am tasked with taking a similar form that has all of the original forms inputs, but it is for a different section of people.
Form A - For Foos, Form B - For Bars
Now Form A and Form B are VERY similar Form A has more information than form B so this statement can be made.
All necessary information needed for form B can be obtained from a completed form A.
Now here is where it gets tricky. Foos and Bars data cannot be stored together in the same databases.
So (and here is where database explosions and my general lack of experience in web design and dealing with end users comes into play) if i give users the option of a checkbox to decide wether or not this report is for a Foo or a Bar how many support calls am I going to take because stupid people and itchy fingers couldnt answer simple questions. Oviously this is not an exact answer more of a generalization, but I am more curious as to learn from the experience of others.
I will more than likely just end up making a new webform for the second report, but this question got stuck in my head the moment i realized how similar they were to each other.
Thank you for your time and shared experiences.
* Edit and thanks to ashray for a great answer. This data is not input by foos or bars, but by someone trained to insert their information from written reports. A slightly different set of circumstances but ones that change the dynamic of the user.
In web development and infact anywhere that you deal with end users, you cannot possibly imagine the twisted/unintuitive ways that users will find to use your system. Just yesterday a guy wanted to show me a picture on his iPhone, here's what he did:
- Click on the Camera app.
- Click a picture
- Click on the new picture thumbnail.
- Click on Camera Roll
- Found the picture he wanted and opened it up to show me.
As you can see, this is probably not the way Apple intended it to work ;) However, what this highlights is the fact that you cannot realistically rely on Foos to identify themselves as such and Bars to do so as well, via a web form.