RussellHltn wrote:So far no one has shown any policy or official direction that prevents the field from being used as the unit wishes. I wouldn't want to be the dba of that central database, but MLS exists to support the unit - not the other way around.
Can you point to a "policy or official direction' that says they can? Absent such explicit instructions, which would need to be documented in a data dictionary as well as end-user manuals. the common sense interpretation is that a field labeled "Name" should contain only a name, an "Address" field should contain only an address, a "Phone number" field should contain only a phone number, etc.
I am a DBA, and have seen many problems develop in government or business databases because some end-user somewhere adopted that attitude. It is simply poor practice in any organization.
The purpose of enforcing standards in a database is not to make the DBA's life easier, but to build and maintain reliable assets to support the end-users and the central organization both.