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

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Chapter 7. The Structure: The Manage Database Dialog

People using your solution will spend almost all their time in Browse mode, Find mode, and Preview mode. While developing your solution, you will also spend a little time in each of these areas, testing your solution's implementation. However, you'll spend the bulk of your development time in Layout mode (see Chapter 6), in ScriptMaker (see Chapter 8), and in the Manage Database dialog (see Chapter 5). Just as an architect's office is where a building is planned and designed, the Manage Database dialog is the nexus where you define and refine your solution's tables, fields, and relationships. Without tables, fields, and relationships, the layouts and scripts are pointless, and the user has nothing to work with.

A building's blueprint constrains both the type and quantity of materials used in construction, but it also affects the time and labor involved. Similarly, the decisions you make defining your fields, tables, and relationships affect the layouts you create and the scripts you write.

Chapters 5 and 6 demonstrated an iterative approach to building solutions. FileMaker Pro is especially suited to this iterative style, known as rapid application development (RAD), a methodology developed and popularized during the 1980s. Here are some examples of FileMaker RAD behavior:

  • Defining a table (and its fields) causes FileMaker to create an initial layout.

  • Endowing a field definition with auto-entry criteria means that FileMaker seeds ...

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