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I have noticed that there is a column additional_data in the table sales_order_item. What is the purpose of this column? Can I put some data into it? If I can do that, how can I assure my data will not be overridden by some other module? Has anyone have any knowledge about this column?

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Yes, you can use it. Before modification, you need to JSON decode if data already exist. It will return you an array. Now add your data and JSON encoded that array and save it.

If you worry about third party module, then they should use that way.

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