Chapter 5, "Relational Database Design," laid a heavy dose of abstract database theory on you. This chapter shows you how to take those ideas and use them to build FileMaker database systems. You'll learn how to use FileMaker to create database systems that model the types of relationships covered in Chapter 5. In general, we don't like to prescribe a linear path through this book, but for this chapter (and really the one following, as well), we're going to assume that you either have read Chapter 5 or have a reasonable familiarity with the terms and concepts of relational database design. If terms such as entity-relationship diagram, primary key, foreign key, and one-to-many relationship are unfamiliar to you, we recommend that you review Chapter 5 before proceeding here.
Chapter 5 laid out a set of design concepts that centered around the ideas of entities, their attributes, and the relationships between entities. In FileMaker Pro, you'll generally represent a database entity ("student," for example) as a table. You'll generally represent an entity's attributes ("first name," "year of graduation," for example) by the fields of that table. And you'll create relationships among tables with FileMaker's Relationships Graph, a tool we'll be showing you in this chapter.
Before you get into the meat of this chapter, it's a good idea to review FileMaker's default behavior when you create a new database. When you create a new database, FileMaker creates a database with just one table in it, and that table initially has the same name as the name you gave the database as a whole. This is a sensible default behavior if you only ever intend to work with one table in the given database.
But FileMaker also has facilities for adding more tables to a system, adding different fields to each table, and creating many kinds of relationships between tables. We explore these tools in the context of some of the fundamental relationship types discussed in Chapter 5.
Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8
Using FileMaker Pro
Defining and Working with Fields
Working with Layouts
Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker
Relational Database Design
Working with Multiple Tables
Working with Relationships
Getting Started with Calculations
Getting Started with Scripting
Getting Started with Reporting
Part III: Developer Techniques
Developing for Multiuser Deployment
Advanced Interface Techniques
Advanced Calculation Techniques
Advanced Scripting Techniques
Advanced Portal Techniques
Debugging and Troubleshooting
Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro
Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing
Importing Data into FileMaker Pro
Exporting Data from FileMaker
Instant Web Publishing
FileMaker and Web Services
Custom Web Publishing
Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution
Deploying and Extending FileMaker
FileMaker Server and Server Advanced
Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions