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

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The Database Design Report

Sometimes you inherit a large database from somebody else, and you simply don't see how it comes together. (OK, be honest. Sometimes you create a large database and still don't understand how it's put together.) While FileMaker's point-and-click interface makes it easy to build databases, teasing things out later is a different story. You can look at a script, field, layout, table occurrence, or even an entire table in FileMaker Pro, and have no idea whether the database actually uses or needs it.

If you've shelled out for FileMaker Pro Advanced, however, you've got help. Its built-in internal analysis tool, the Database Design Report (affectionately called DDR), gives you an overview of your database, where you can easily see how database items are connected and other details, all in one place. You run the report, tell it what kinds of things you're interested in, and FileMaker presents the information in a series of Web pages.

Unlike the reports discussed in Chapter 6, the DDR is a report about the structure of your database, not about the data inside. It tells you what tables and fields you have, which fields are used on each layout, and so on, but nothing about the information in your records and fields.

Generating the DDR

The Database Design Report window lets you tell FileMaker exactly what you want it to report on. You get to pick which files and table occurrences to include, what kinds of things you want to report on, and what format you want the report ...

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