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FileMaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Chapter 3. Building a New Database

In Chapter 1, you jump-started your first database using one of FileMaker Pro's built-in templates. All FileMaker templates started out as blank databases. Some diligent FileMaker employees set up the fields and the formatting to get you started quickly, but there's no magic involved. With just a little knowledge and experience, you can create a database with all the power and fancy features of any FileMaker template. This chapter shows you how to build a contact management database from the ground up.

You really get FileMaker to work for you when you build your own databases. Lots of programs out there can help you keep track of one thing or another, but when you build your own database, it "thinks" the way you think and works the way your business works. You can design it to capture, organize, and display the information you need to know, when you need to know it—rather than bending your business (or life) to fit the software. It's time to learn how to custom-craft a database just for you.

Tables and Fields

So you're getting tired of your job, and you decide it would be exciting to get into the private investigator business. You found an office, ordered business cards, secured a phone line, and purchased some snazzy furniture. But have you thought about how you're going to run your business? Chances are, you could use some help from a database. And the first thing you need to think about when building a database is what kind of information it's ...

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