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not much theory, beginner's quest... what do you have to say?


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i posted a question about my rdb in another section and edited about 6 times....

now i've made my little db into what is, i guess called a "flat file". (?)

except with FMP (5.5 Mac OS X) i can have a beautifully functional layout with searchability, value lists, pop-ups... loys of great functionality for flat file.

basically i started out to impress my boss by cataloguing all our computers and their users and some other information about both. and of course have it on the web, searchable and printable results... and sortable! smile.gif" border="0

i started with what would be 2 tables: one for people (users) and one for computers -actually i started with 3, the computers were destops and laptops. deciding on 2 files (tables) -users and computers- i set out to define the relationship.

long story short? i've simplified the thing into one file, as i said at first.

so now i ask the pros, the gurus smile.gif" border="0... why would i, in this situation, might want to "go relational"?

i guess part of why i'm asking is because i can see how FMP can do so much with one file (one table), i'm wondering about why have more? now i know that in database land when you start talking about a huge table (mine is not, i think) with everything in it, it's an automatic "no-no"... let's start dividing and relating; but i can't imagine someone would do that just to create a more difficult (and complicated) task requiring lots more time.

i know i should read up on it, but i'd like to hear what you have to say.


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If you have more than one user per computer or computer per user, this would point to the need for a relational structure. The idea would be to eliminate the need to enter duplicate computer information for two users or duplicate user information for two computers. What if two computer records exist in your flat file for one user, each with a User Phone field and the phone numbers are different. Which is correct?

Some things are hard with a flat file. For instance, what is the greatest number of computers for one user? Show the top three users by number of computers.


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thanks i understood that perfectly.

so what i did was to relate the two files by a field i defined called User ID.

when i'm in the computer file, which i my main layout or master file (is that right?, i mean one should be the master right?) and i want to add a computer, say a new one, then i add a new record (in the computer file)... this file has a field for the Username... but i can't enter the Username... so i change the view from list to layout and grab the User ID from the other file or wherever i can and enter that in the new record that's now showing in the table view... then when i go back to list view the name is there.

when i sort the file (Master/Computer file) in list view it does this:






then if there are repeats of the same users with more thyan one comp. they start after the initial "'Sort' by UserName'", like this:

A,B,C,D,E... B, C, B, D,D, E, F, F, F, G...etc.

i want, AAA, BBB, CCC, or whetever, but all together.

i don't understand why it won't Sort right -something "designed in" i'm sure wink.gif" border="0


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