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Field Naming Convention


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A Filemaker instructor to whom I was listening to said that field names should not begin with caps, should not have spaces (but may have underscores) if you plan to put your database on the web?

Why is this so? If this is so, Is using "CamelCase" (as in "DateOfBirth") inadvisable to do in Filemaker?

[color:gray]The database engine ate my previous post ???

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I've never heard the prohibition on starting field names with caps. I suspect that is a matter of preference or compatibility with some fringe web middleware. I've more than once seen a developer drag out some such system as a "technical" justification for what is really their personal preference. Once you've worked in data management for any length of time you'll find that field naming is a holy war between various sects, some of whom may indeed eat their bread the butter side down.

As for spaces, they do complicate things although you can work around them. Most web middleware, including xDBC access, allow you to quote field names when they contain spaces. It becomes a pain to do so and is often just easier to avoid spaces along with other verboten characters.

Different systems have different proscriptions on field and table naming (note that for FMP xDBC access it is the Table Occurrence name that is used). For example if using Java you will want to avoid field names starting with a double-underscore. If we wanted to be completely compatible with pretty much any other system (not really possible) we would be using 8 character all caps field and TO names. Rather than go to that extreme I'd suggest looking at the more popular systems out there that you might actually use with FMP (xDBC, PHP, Lasso, etc.) and conform to their requirements for your own convenience later on.

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