I'm creating a database that includes so-called sites. Those sites have an address and a shipment address; the addresses include phone numbers, but the postal part is the most important.

On the other hand there are service people you can call on the cellphone. They don't necessarily have any relation to the site, in particular not with the main address or the shipment address.

To keep my database lean, I want to have three fields of the same general type: "Main Address," "Shipment Address," and "Service Guy Address."

What would be a better word in this context? I thought about "contact," but "Shipment contact" doesn't make much sense for the delivery people as they have their own database with much more extensive contact information.

  • 1
    Wait, you have the entire address one field, and a phone number? This doesn't sound very lean.
    – Sam
    Apr 21, 2011 at 13:26
  • Lean in the sense of "having as few types/tables as possible". Having to many tables can make database maintenance, at least from a developer's point of view, a nightmare. Having not too many fields is a good thing, but within this address type I don't care. These address table is at the end of the periphery and will therefore not cause any trouble.
    – user7652
    Apr 21, 2011 at 14:08
  • I recently worked on a Web app that collected residence address (where you live), mailing address (where you get mail), and billing address (where your credit card thinks you live). Believe it or not, many people have different addresses for all three.
    – HaL
    Apr 21, 2011 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


Main Address, Shipment Address, and Service Address. I won't even get into the whole database design issue.

  • I know you're just repeating OP's title but "Main Address" is much too vague for me. Depending on the context, Corporate Address, Billing Address, or Physical Address might be more apt. Dec 12, 2014 at 1:07

Following up on my comment, you should probably have separate fields for each part of the address and also for the phone number, so you'd have things like, site address, site city, site state, site ZIP, site phone, all as separate rows. Then you'd have shipping address, shipping city, etc. And finally service contact. or whatever.

If all this information is in one field it makes parsing it much more difficult, so while the database may have fewer fields, getting that information out or manipulating it in any useful way will be much more involved. But that's a question for stackoverflow maybe.

  • I very much finished my decision about the design. Having 3 fields in site linking one address/contact table is the best solution in my opinion. The reason I am so concerned is that there are cases that stuff that needs to be delivered to Site B or C always needs to go through Site A. Or that shipment to Site D is only available out of working hours at some Office in the city. Actually it even happens that a Site may become renamed or shut down such that the main address is the only real identifier for a site.
    – user7652
    Apr 21, 2011 at 14:15
  • I realized after I wrote this, that I wasn't really answering your question. I was trying to redesign your database, which isn't really the purview of this site.
    – Sam
    Apr 21, 2011 at 15:17

I'm a wee bit concerned you're trying to distill concepts too much, but if you were to go down this road, how does "Notification Address" sound?

  • Need to think about it. ;-)
    – user7652
    Apr 21, 2011 at 14:09

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