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?
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_id  |  department_id  |

then have a table for the departments information

|  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.

- Martin Norland, Sys Admin / Database / Web Developer, International Outreach x3257
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