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Part: III Creating & Designing Databases > Creating Relational Databases

Chapter 14. Creating Relational Databases

As you build databases, sooner or later you want to go relational, that is, to connect one database to another. Relational databases offer a way to make that connection—without slowing performance or requiring gigabytes of extra storage—by sharing data rather than duplicating it.

Instead of creating one big database packed with everything you might ever need to know about a subject, it makes far more sense to create a number of much smaller relational databases. Not only will relational databases help you focus on what's key to each database—contacts in one database, products in another, invoices in still another—they take up far less space. All your product data, for example, stays in the product database. If you need the price of a product while generating an invoice, the relational link lets you see the price data without actually copying it into your invoice database. That way you get speed—without the bulk of FileMaker's original non-relational, flat file design, which required that each database contain all the data it needed. One final advantage of relational databases: Different users can update or redesign one of the databases without forcing everyone else to stop using the related databases.


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