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Donnie

School Database

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Hello everyone!

I run a Martial Arts school, fairly small, but I still want to maintain a database for it. I could pay a lot of money for an app that is done in FileMaker, but I would rather try it this way first.

What would be a good way to track Student info, Invoices, Paid and Open, Attendance, things of that nature. How do you pick primary keys and other related items?

Thanks for your help and consideration.

Donnie

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FileMaker has some prebuilt solutions that track some of this. This might be the easiest way to get started with a large system.

If you are determined to do it yourself, you should start with a list of all the things you want to track. Get plenty of feedback from all the people who will interact with the system. You have to understand how everyone currently does their job so you can figure out ways to automate things for them.

An ER Diagram, mapping out how these things relate is a good next step. It took me a college course to get good at diagraming databases, but now it's easy.

Then begin working on a skeleton of the system--just the keys, IDs, and primary fields. Each file should have its own ID numbers. The keys come from the relationship graphs, usually they are the IDs from one of the files.

Next, data and calculation fields, scripts, security structure, and the user interface (layouts, layouts, layouts). Plan on spending a long time getting the user interface to work seamlessly--especially if you are integrating it with the security system. Test, Test, Test.

Alternatively, you could start with a smaller module and build on it over time. Do each of the above for the module you are working on.

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Donnie:

I'd say (having built things like this in the past) that the best way to start is with your Student Info database. Just the info about your students - in a sense, an address book. Once you're comfortable with that, you can move on to the next layers of data...

Primary keys? Just let FileMaker do it for you - every file/table you create should have an auto-entered non-modifiable serial number. Use this as a primary key for all your relationships.

-Stanley

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Thanks guys for the replies. I jumped on it last night and worked until my head started hurting too much. I will be the only one using the system that I know of, so I'm the only one that needs to be pleased at the moment. smile.gif Thanks again, I'll keep working on it, and once happy with it, I'll post it on here for everyone to pick apart!

Donnie

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