I need to search an entire table for a value, and then report back what field it was found in... how on earth do I do that?[snip]
I've a list of departments, as field names.
whenever a user interacts with that Dpet, I wanna add thier id No to the appropriate field.
So I wanna input an user ID no, and then get told what Dpets have been accessed...
I need to learn this, as I know it's simple, but I've never had to do it before!
You'll be better off storing a single row for each user/department interaction. In fact, break them straight out into id's and just have it as a linking table
user_department_interactions | user_id | department_id |
then have a table for the departments information
departments | department_id | department_name | more fields... |
a simple join in your query will tell you the department name
select distinct department_name from user_department_interactions where user_id=3 AND user_department_interactions.department_id = departments.department_id;
the above will return a list of department names that user_id 3 interacted with. Whenever they interact with a department you just insert a single row into the user_department_interactions table, if you only ever want to store whether they interacted at all, you can set constraints and catch the error on insert, or search before inserting.
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