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Yes. This shouldn’t be an issue if everything is properly indexed.

If what you are saying is right “means that it wont increase server load” then it will be the most appropriate approach and i wouldn’t know how to thank you for that. because even though i will have to do a lot of coding to make it work this way but still it should work smoothly in the future

Is this all managed internally …. customer-facing app

well first it is a web application that is used by operators[our direct customers] and then each operator has thousands of subscribers [the final customers] but 90% of the entries [and load] comes from a HandHeld, API based payment machine connected through GPRS these entries are done from the “operators end

This should be a foreign key to a table that defines each of your variables.

Well, actually it began with only two possible keys and went onto become 6-7 but still as they are quite fixed value i have declared it as an array on top of the pages required and print it something like this$status[$row['status']]

status tinyint(1) NOT NULL DEFAULT ‘0’

well thanks i never noticed it because i made the db through GUI of PHPmyAdmin never noticed that it makes it a string instead on tinyint. Thanks for that

your suggestion seems to be problem solver for me.
Thanks a lots and lots.