O'Reilly logo

FileMaker® Pro 9 Bible by Dennis R. Cohen, Ray Cologon

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 1. Databases: The What, Why, and How

You see (and hear) the word database bandied about almost every-where you turn. On TV, you hear it when a crime show character talks about the AFIS database (AFIS is short for Automated Fingerprint Identification System) or on lawyer shows when characters talk about LexisNexis (a searchable compendium of information collected from newspapers, magazines, legal documents, and so on). Similarly, in newspapers you might read about privacy concerns raised over various (often unspecified) government databases.

The frequency with which the term database is used actually pales, though, when you consider how pervasive databases are. A database is, basically, nothing more than an organized collection of information. Your address book is a database containing contact information regarding people and companies with whom and with which you interact. When you look at the baseball results in the sports pages, the box scores, current averages, and so forth are organized data — generated from the information stored in a database cataloging the activity in said baseball games. The tables in your newspaper's financial pages are reports of stock, bond, and mutual fund activity. The index and table of contents in this book are also database reports, telling you where to find specific information.

Peoples' memories are also databases, although some function much better than others when it comes to retrieving the stored data! Computerized databases strive to ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required