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Narrow vs. Wide Tables

FileMaker Magazine


Like any good craftsperson, you should know your tools and your methods for accomplishing things in the most efficient and best performing way. This is always most obvious when it comes to that every slowing FileMaker solution which started out innocently as a simple "helper" database. Then... it ended up being used for all kinds of things. Critical things even!

It was thrown together based on how you mentally "see" the data and not how the data should have been structured. This is one of those painful lessons where you have to go in and retrofit the data to a new structure or make plans to migrate to an updated solution.

In this video, I discuss the ever important topic of Narrow vs. Wide tables. It's a common problem in a large number of FileMaker solutions. I know because I've seen tables with field counts within the thousands. This just shouldn't be the case. FileMaker is an all-or-nothing data solution when it comes to records. If you have 1,000 fields, then FileMaker will give you all the data from all 1,000 fields. This is unlike SQL, where you only return the data you specifically ask for. With FileMaker, you have to plan your solution's data management much more carefully! Watch this video for a better understanding of how to make your tables more narrow.

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