FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding relationship types


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

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Video: Understanding relationship types

A quick note before we get started, since the topics that we're going to be talking about in this chapter are going to be relationships, specifically relationships between tables: You're going to need to have multiple tables in your solution. In the example solution that we're creating, we do have multiple tables, and that's what we'll be using throughout the rest of this title. But also if you've determined in your own real-world database that you only have one table, well then you're not going to be able to have new relationships between tables. So feel free to go ahead and forward on to the discussion on fields so you can talk about assigning attributes to your table.
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  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the FileMaker family
      2m 15s
    3. Using the FileMaker Quick Start screen
      2m 52s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 7s
  2. 21m 9s
    1. What is a database?
      2m 26s
    2. Flat vs. relational databases
      2m 29s
    3. How FileMaker works
      4m 48s
    4. Understanding the essential preferences
      3m 13s
    5. Touring the interface
      8m 13s
  3. 11m 44s
    1. Creating databases from templates
      2m 29s
    2. Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format
      5m 35s
    3. Importing tables
      3m 40s
  4. 9m 9s
    1. Determining which tables you will need
      5m 10s
    2. Creating tables in the Managing Tables window
      3m 59s
  5. 34m 47s
    1. Understanding relationship types
      6m 58s
    2. Diagramming relationships (with ER diagrams)
      8m 50s
    3. Determining which key fields you need
      5m 18s
    4. Defining primary and foreign keys
      7m 56s
    5. Creating relationships using the relationships graph and table occurrences
      5m 45s
  6. 50m 34s
    1. Deciding what fields you will need
      5m 34s
    2. Understanding field types
      7m 54s
    3. Defining fields
      9m 56s
    4. Using Auto Enter options in fields
      9m 33s
    5. Reviewing field validation options
      8m 16s
    6. Building with container fields
      9m 21s
  7. 14m 8s
    1. Creating and duplicating records
      5m 40s
    2. Editing and locking records
      4m 42s
    3. Deleting records and backing up files
      3m 46s
  8. 21m 6s
    1. Importing data
      9m 57s
    2. Importing records to refresh data
      7m 2s
    3. Exporting data
      4m 7s
  9. 18m 30s
    1. Understanding layouts
      4m 15s
    2. Using the Layout Assistant to create List views
      7m 59s
    3. Using the Layout Assistant to create labels and envelopes
      6m 16s
  10. 27m 11s
    1. Using the Layout Setup dialog box
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding layout parts
      4m 40s
    3. Understanding the new Inspector
      2m 26s
    4. Exploring the Status Area in Layout mode
      6m 46s
    5. Managing layouts and layout folders
      8m 25s
  11. 41m 9s
    1. Arranging, aligning, grouping, and locking layout objects
      11m 5s
    2. Placing and formatting objects, parts, and graphics
      4m 10s
    3. Formatting fields and applying field attributes
      8m 26s
    4. Setting field behaviors
      4m 4s
    5. Using the Tab Control feature
      9m 8s
    6. Setting tab order
      4m 16s
  12. 36m 48s
    1. Using the basic find functions
      7m 31s
    2. Reviewing new requests in the Find mode
      5m 54s
    3. Establishing search operators
      6m 43s
    4. Constraining or extending found sets
      3m 24s
    5. Finding records using date, time, or timestamp criteria
      5m 18s
    6. Using Fast Match and Quick Find
      4m 41s
    7. Working with saved finds
      3m 17s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Sorting with one criterion
      6m 4s
    2. Sorting with related fields
      2m 18s
    3. Sorting with multiple criteria
      1m 36s
    4. Sorting using custom values
      3m 14s
    5. Sorting using buttons
      4m 16s
  14. 17m 14s
    1. Reviewing Field/Control styles
      5m 43s
    2. Creating and applying static value lists
      5m 20s
    3. Creating and applying dynamic value lists
      6m 11s
  15. 23m 52s
    1. Previewing pages and print options
      6m 20s
    2. Printing in different views
      2m 54s
    3. Sliding objects
      3m 26s
    4. Printing merge letters
      4m 53s
    5. Saving as a PDF or Excel file
      6m 19s
  16. 15m 1s
    1. Building simple reports with summary fields
      4m 36s
    2. Creating subsummary reports
      6m 51s
    3. Creating subsummary reports in Table view
      3m 34s
  17. 52m 19s
    1. Defining calculations
      2m 31s
    2. Exploring the Calculation dialog box
      5m 8s
    3. Using number functions
      12m 41s
    4. Using date and time functions
      4m 58s
    5. Using text functions
      11m 43s
    6. Using get functions
      4m 0s
    7. Using logic functions
      11m 18s
  18. 46m 56s
    1. Understanding scripts and script steps
      2m 23s
    2. Assigning script steps to buttons
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box
      8m 28s
    4. Creating multi-line scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Adding find criteria to a script
      4m 58s
    6. Understanding the If script step
      8m 36s
    7. Using script parameters
      4m 42s
    8. Reviewing the Send Mail option
      7m 11s
  19. 28m 0s
    1. Understanding script triggers
      2m 41s
    2. Using object-based triggers
      11m 58s
    3. Using layout-based triggers
      7m 51s
    4. Using file-based triggers (Open and Close scripts)
      5m 30s
  20. 56m 42s
    1. Using related fields
      7m 18s
    2. Creating portals and using portal filtering
      10m 38s
    3. Using related fields in calculations
      7m 6s
    4. Understanding multi-predicate relationships
      11m 11s
    5. Using the Go to Related Record script step
      7m 26s
    6. Creating a chart
      13m 3s
  21. 30s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
9h 11m Beginner Jun 25, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training, Cris Ippolite demonstrates the principal features and functions of this popular database software, including creating tables and relationships, managing fields and records, and working with layouts. The course shows FileMaker developers how to find, sort, and share data as well as how to create reports, calculations, and scripts. It also covers brand new features in FileMaker Pro 11 such as the Inspector tool, charting, and portal filtering. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating databases from templates
  • Creating fields in spreadsheet format
  • Creating tables and relationships
  • Defining key fields
  • Adding validation and auto-enter values to fields
  • Managing records, including duplicating, locking, and deleting records
  • Creating and managing layouts
  • Formatting layout objects
  • Finding and sorting data
  • Creating calculation fields
  • Building reports
  • Printing and saving as PDF or Excel
  • Writing and triggering scripts
  • Using relationships throughout a database
FileMaker Pro
Cris Ippolite

Understanding relationship types

A quick note before we get started, since the topics that we're going to be talking about in this chapter are going to be relationships, specifically relationships between tables: You're going to need to have multiple tables in your solution. In the example solution that we're creating, we do have multiple tables, and that's what we'll be using throughout the rest of this title. But also if you've determined in your own real-world database that you only have one table, well then you're not going to be able to have new relationships between tables. So feel free to go ahead and forward on to the discussion on fields so you can talk about assigning attributes to your table.

But at some point you will want to come back to relationships, because this really is a core concept behind, not only FileMaker databases, but databases in general. With that said, in the previous chapters I have mentioned things like relationships before. And when I'm talking about relationships, I'm specifically talking about how different tables are related to each other, and how the relationships between those tables really define the data that's stored inside the tables. So the process of determining the relationships between tables in a database is known as data modeling, and the goal of data modeling is to translate a real-world problem into a structure that can then be captured in some kind of database, and in our case, a FileMaker relational database system.

A relational database system can be thought of as a collection of discrete data groups or tables, which have some connections between them, and these connections will be referred to more commonly when we use the terms relationships. So in order to decide on the data model for your database system, it's important to first determine what are the possible kinds of connections that we could have between our databases, and then we can choose from those types of connections, or relationships, to determine which ones we actually have. So in this movie we're going to quickly review the different types of relationships and give an explanation of each.

To keep things simple, we're only your focus on two types of relationships that account for most of the situations that you are going to encounter in your database, but there are three, technically. The first one that we're really going to skip over is called a one-to-one relationship. It's very rare, and it usually means that you've created a table for something that should actually be field. A lot of times you'll see one-to-ones when you have, let's say you thought you needed a table for phone numbers, but then you also have the table for customers. If a customer only has one phone number, then you don't need to have two tables. What you've got there is you should just have an attribute or a field defined inside customers.

So if you go through this process and find out you've got one-to-one, you should really take a look at it, and what you actually might have is just a field; they should be combined together into the same table. But the two relationships that you will want to be familiar with are the one that's called a one-to-many relationship, which could also be interpreted as a many-to-one, more commonly called one-to- many, and then also a many-to-many relationship. And when you're done data modeling, the way that you'll know you're done is because you've evaluated all of the possible relationships between your tables, and you've determined that all you have left are one-to-many relationships.

So that's the first notable learning point here is that you must resolve all your relationships to one-to-many relationships. And we'll talk about how identifying many- to-many relationships will factor in there. So another other way to interpret these types of relationships is if we look at the tables. Tables have records in them. So in the case of a one-to-one, like we mentioned before, that means that any one record in table A, for example, could only have one other related record in table B. So one customer can only have one phone number.

If it's true that a customer can have multiple phone numbers, then we don't have a one-to-one anymore. We actually have a one-to-many. So in the case of a one-to-many relationship between two tables, again, we look at the records, and that means that one record could have one or many related records in another table. So if we look at that again, in our case we've got a Customers table, and we've also got an Invoices table. So we've determined that any one customer could have one or many different invoices in the invoice table, or be zero for that matter, but ultimately they could have many.

So if we go to our customer table and we have a record in there that's customer XYZ, and we know that the customer XYZ has ordered five different times each reflected by an invoice, represented by a record in the invoice table, that means that we've got a one-to-many relationship between the Customer and Invoices table. Now in the case of many-to-many, that's just simply means that we've got a one-to-many going in one direction, and a one-to-many going in the opposite direction. In the case of the many-to-many that just tells us we've got two one-to-many relationships kind of butting heads with each other. But before we get further in to that, the most important type of relationship is known as a one-to-many relationship.

As I mentioned earlier, this is going to be the only relationship you want left when you're done with your data modeling process. Now I'm going to use some terminology throughout this title that I want to make you familiar with now. And it's common to refer to the table that access the one in a one-to-many, so let's say we have, the one in this case is the customer, so that's commonly referred to as the parent in the relationship, and in this case invoices is on the many side; that's referred to as the child. So we've got customers are related to invoices in a one-to-many fashion, and customers are the parent and invoices are the child.

I'm going to use that terminology a lot. Whenever I talk about child table or child record, I'm talking about the many side. Whenever I talk about parent table or parent record, I'm talking about the one side. So we should know in our system one customer can have many invoices; therefore, the parent is the customer. Remember, your goal is to resolve all relationships in your system to a one-to-many relationship. We're going to go through several examples of that. However, there is this other type of relationship, which is called a many-to-many relationship. Ultimately, a many-to-many relationship could be something like a product in an invoice.

So, for example, in our solution we've got customers and invoices. We know the relationship between those two. One customer can have many invoices. But what about the relations between a product and an invoice? One product could appear on many invoices, so it looks like we've got a one-to-many, but one invoice can also have many products. So we've got a many-to-many, in that case. And generally we're going to need to do some extra work in order to resolve these. Many-to-many relationships are common and powerful type of database relationship, but unlike one-to-many relationships, which can be constructed simply by adding appropriate key attributes to related tables, a many-to-many relationship is going to require a lot of extra work in our data model, and the reason we will eliminate these many-to-manys, as we'll talk about in upcoming movies, is because it makes it impossible for us to store our data properly, to enter our data properly or to even create reports based on the proper amount of data.

Data modeling in FileMaker, or any other database platform, allows you to determine the relationships between your tables, and you'll eventually set those tables up inside the database file, and you're also eventually going to set up the relationships. But first you need to know what their relationships are. So as we've talked about in this video, you can have a one-to-one relationship, or more commonly you'll have one-to- many relationships or many-to-many relationships, and once you understand those relationship types you can then go ahead and diagram the relationships.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training .

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Q: In the Chapter 16 tutorial, “Using Text Functions,” the instructor discusses how to calculate the First Name and Last Name from the Full Name. However, the method does not account for names ending with  “Jr.” or “Sr.” or “III,” etc.  How can I account for added suffixes in names?
A: For cases like this, you can create a third "Suffix" field. Then change the FullName calculation to:

NameFirst&" "&NameLast&" "&Suffix 

This way, nothing will appear if the Suffix has no value, but if it does have a value the suffix will appear.
Q: What information is actually on the “Invoice Line Item” table in the examples, and how does it actually connect to the tables that it comes from?
A: The information in each line item is native to the "Invoice Line Item" table. The fields are defined in that table and each record represents "A Product appearing on an Invoice."
Each time a product is used on an invoice, a record in the line item table is created. Many of the fields, for example "Quantity," are native to that table because those values only exists when a Product is used in an Invoice, and not as attributes of a Product itself.
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