Jeffrey Tenny <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> What are the performance tradeoffs (storage space, query speed) of using 
> a NULL enabled column versus a NOT-NULL column with a sentinel integer 
> value?
> Not that it matters, but in the event where the column values matter,
> the numberic value is a foreign key.  Advice on that welcome too.

In that case you want to use NULL, because the foreign key mechanism
will understand that there's no reference implied.  With a sentinel
value you'd have to have a dummy row in the master table --- which will
cause you enough semantic headaches that you don't want to go there.

The performance difference could go either way depending on a lot of
other details, but it will be insignificant in any case.  Don't screw up
your database semantics for it.

                        regards, tom lane

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