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No automatic request to fill in character values?


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Just interested really as a newbie. In the past when looking at fairly well known database the character size entry seemed to be almost mandatory at same time as giving the field in a table its name.

I find that it is fairly well hidden in Filemaker with a default of 1, which can be amended.

Does anyone know the thinking behind this please? For example by just leaving the default in place, does the database eventually take up more space than if one had carefully thought of a fair size for the field in the first place.

It is not terribly important - but I was just curious. And it was when I was looking at the contact managment database example that I found it deep down in "validation" with the default of 1 and left at that.



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Older database programs such as dBase and Foxpro had fixed field sizes and hence fixed record sizes. So, whether there was anything stored in the field or not, the record would take up the same amount of space. Filemaker uses variable size records, so the record adjusts to fit however much text you enter. So, there is no need to specify the character limit for text fields. I'm not sure what you found with a default value of 1, but it wouldn't be a character limit. Perhaps you found the default repetition value for repeating fields which is a different thing altogether. So, the answer is that you don't have to specify field size in Filemaker, it adjusts automatically for each record.

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