Better support for many small records in developer plan

Some kinds of data lend themselves to being represented by many small records. For example, my current client needs a list of companies, where each company is just a short string name. Each name should be unique so it would make sense to create a model. Unfortunately there will be several hundred companies, so modelling it this way would hit the limit on records and require paying for the professional plan.

Instead I’ve modelled the list of companies as a singleton entity with a modular content field, and a Company block. I’ve had to do without unique-name validation. Presumably it wouldn’t actually cost Dato any more to store this data as records rather than blocks?

I feel that this is against the spirit of the developer plan! An app may store a small volume of data in terms of KB, rarely update or query it (because the app has few users), and yet need to pay €1800 per year because the data happens to be split across many small records.

It would be great if the developer plad had some allowance for many small records. For example, making the limit “300 records or 300 KB of record data, whichever is greater”.

Just to fill in the argument, here are a couple of reasonable use cases for creating many small records that would take you beyond the 300 record limit, but it doesn’t seem like the intention of the developer plan is to rule out these use cases:

  1. A “Countries” record type that is pre-populated with a list of all countries (name and iso code) in order to provide a good user experience selecting a country using a link field on other record types.
  2. A “Comment” record type for articles, where each article may have many tens of comments. This could be modelled as a block to bypass the record limit, but then it would not be possible to link comments from other entities, e.g. to have a “featured comments” section.

Basically whenever you use blocks there’s often a good reason for using records instead, but the developer plan prevents it.

hey @bernie looks like you are developing for clients? If you are a freelancer you can apply to our partner program here: Special pricing for agencies - DatoCMS which can help to have a clean solution for that :slight_smile: