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 custom-craft it to capture, organize, and display the information you need to know, when you need to know it.
In this chapter, you’ll learn to outfit your People database from the ground up. Creating a database always starts the same way: You set up a table (which resembles a spreadsheet) and outfit the table with fields—containers that you customize to hold the types of information you want to store in your database.
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 when you build a database, you need to first to think about what kind of information it’s going to track. For example, a private investigator may want to keep track of people—names, phone numbers, aliases, passport numbers, and so on. Someone in retail, however, may want to track inventory—product names, descriptions, item numbers, prices, quantities, and similar details.