Best Practices for Database Naming Conventions

Best Practices for Database Naming Conventions


Defining naming conventions for your database can help keep your database organized and allow you to quickly filter and identify your Ingredients and Recipes.

This post walks through best practices and tips for creating your own naming convention.

Getting Started

  • Your naming convention should be understood by everyone in your organization.
  • Avoid a huge overhaul project by simply archiving older data. We suggest creating Groups called “Archived Ingredients” and “Archived Recipes.” Groups can then be hidden from future search results.
  • Add a unique identifier in the User Code field for both ingredients and recipes.
  • Consistency is always the best policy. Pick a naming convention, document it, and stick to it!

Naming Convention Do's

Naturally Ordered: Consider ordering elements from general to specific detail of importance as much as possible, i.e. Latte Nonfat Vanilla (Small 12 oz).

Location: If your ingredient/recipe is intended for a specific region, be sure to include a region code or abbreviation in your naming convention.

Numbering: When including numbers in a file name always use at least two-digits rather than one in order to maintain the numeric order. Specifically, it is important to include the zero for numbers 0-9 (i.e. 01, 02, 03 instead of 1, 2, 3).

Version Control: Some records go through many versions before being finalized and it is important to be able to differentiate between version drafts and the final version by giving them each their own number and designation. Examples: RecipeA-v01, RecipeA-v02, RecipeA-v03).

Dates: If your ingredient/recipe is season- or date-specific, you can list the date in the name or product field. As a best practice, state the date "back to front" with the year first. Examples: YYYYMMDD, YYYYMM, or YYYYQ1.

Naming Convention Don'ts

Abbreviations: Avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, initials, and codes that are not commonly understood whenever possible.

Special Characters/Punctuation: Using special characters (such as * : \ / < > | " ? ! [ ] ; = + & £ $) is not recommended.

Take it Up a Notch

For further organization, we suggest assigning ingredients and recipes to specific groups.  Check out our blog post: Using Groups for Organization, Exporting, and Access Control.

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