Key Concepts in FMP7.pdf

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Posting on request: Re: Table vs. Table Occurrence (Tutorial)


The most challenging part of FileMaker 7, its new relational architecture, is the topic of this paper. This architecture is best understood as a gestalt, through seeing the pattern in a collection of new concepts working together. So, reading this document is necessarily a process of consecutive partial understandings and the gradual coming into focus of the whole. This paper is a learning map for that process, meant to be marked up and creased, recording the history of its usefulness. On this map, key concepts, as defi ned by the “Vocabulary” and embodied in the “New Rules,” are the landmarks. Like a real map, best use depends on the reader’s starting point. For those with the least experience with FileMaker 7, read in the order written. Those with some FileMaker 7 experience might begin with the “Vocabulary” and “New Rules” sections. For the most experienced and the brave, start with the “Design Space” section. For all of us the “New Rules” are the road test. When the “New Rules” make complete sense, it is time to throw this map into the glove box.


Michael Harris is Senior Partner at Cerné Systems, Inc., a custom database software consultancy and developer. Mike has been using FileMaker since before it was called FileMaker (it originally ran on the fi rst IBM PC) and in twenty years of professional FileMaker practice has served more than 100 clients and been involved in more than 500 FileMaker projects. His customers include Apple, Claris (FileMaker, Inc.), Quantum, Lucasfi lm, Esalen Institute and many other major companies, government agencies, and non-profi ts. He has published many articles on FileMaker, speaks frequently on FileMaker topics and has presented a number of high-end FileMaker classes and workshops. Mike can be contacted via e-mail at He is current Chair and co-founder of the FileMaker user group, DIGFM, so he can also usually be found at the DIGFM meetings the third Tuesday evening of each month (except December and January). DIGFM meetings are web cast live and on-demand. For details on upcoming meetings and information on joining web casts, visit the DIGFM web site,