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

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Relational Databases

The essence of a relational database is its multiple tables. But every database you’ve worked with up to this point has had just one table. Now you need to learn how multiple tables affect the FileMaker concepts you’re familiar with: editing records, finding records, and building layouts.

One Table Occurrence, One Found Set

The most important thing to understand when using a multitable database is that each layout sees the entire database from a different perspective. You’ll want to do a little exploration to see this concept in action. A layout is attached to an occurrence on the graph, and that’s how it sees the world. This means when you’re looking at a record on the Customers layout, you’re seeing a customer. If you switch to table view (View → “View as Table”), you’ll see a list of customers. You won’t see payments at all. To see those, you need to use the Layout pop-up menu (or choose View → “Go to Layout” → Payments) to switch to the Payments layout.

Since each table holds different data, the concept of a found set changes a little as well. Whenever you initiate a find, the layout you’re on determines which table FileMaker searches. Your newfound set is associated with that table occurrence, too. Just like when you had only a single table, the found set stays the same until you perform another find, or you tell FileMaker to show you all the records for that table occurrence (Records → “Show all records”). But if you switch to a different layout (one tied ...

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