File Maintenance

The File Maintenance utility doesn't come into play as you're developing a database. Instead, you use it periodically on existing, actively used databaseswith good reason. As people add, remove, and modify records in a database, FileMaker has to go to great lengths to make room for things in the file on your hard drive. For the sake of speed, the program avoids actions that require massive reorganization of the data on disk. As FileMaker shuffles things around, information from one record can spread to different parts of the file, and sections of the file can be wastedtoo small to hold anything useful, but stuck there in the middle of the file anyway.

The Tools images/U2192.jpg border=0> File Maintenance command tidies up such scattered data and frees unused disk space. When you choose it, you see the File Maintenance dialog box (Figure 19-18).

Figure 19-18. The File Maintenance window (File File Maintenance) lets you do two things: Compact and Optimize your files. You get to decide which to do by turning on or off the appropriate checkboxes. Youre free to do either of these, or to do both at once. Each takes quite a bit of time on a large file, so plan ahead.

The Compact File option goes through the file from top to bottom seeking out the wasted space. When it finds some, it moves everything else in the file a little bit so the wasted space is gone. In the end, you have a file that's as small as possible.

The Optimize File option works differently. It goes through the records, layouts, scripts, and other elements of your database and makes sure all the information for each element is together. Instead of searching all over your large file to get the entire Customer list, FileMaker can stay within a consecutive block of information in a small area of the file. Everything in the database works just a little bit faster.


Warning: Running File Maintenance on a damaged file can actually make the problem worse. If you have any doubt about the stability of your file, choose File Save a Copy As images/U2192.jpg border=0> Compressed Copy instead. This command rebuilds the databases internal structure and can fix many minor problems.


Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro

Your First Database

Organizing and Editing Records

Building a New Database

Part II: Layout Basics

Layout Basics

Creating Layouts

Advanced Layouts and Reports

Part III: Multiple Tables and Relationships

Multiple Tables and Relationships

Advanced Relationship Techniques

Part IV: Calculations

Introduction to Calculations

Calculations and Data Types

Advanced Calculations

Extending Calculations

Part V: Scripting

Scripting Basics

Script Steps

Advanced Scripting

Part VI: Security and Integration

Security

Exporting and Importing

Sharing Your Database

Developer Utilities

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A. Getting Help



FileMaker Pro 8. The Missing Manual
FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596005792
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 176

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