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Creating a Database

Before you sit down with FileMaker, start by planning your project. Make sure that you understand its scope and the nature of the data. At this stage, it's wise to collect some samples of real data: Experienced database designers know that real data holds keys to the exceptions and special cases you'll need to deal with.

In addition to finding exceptions and special cases, try to identify and keep track of limits and assumptions to be built into the system. A customer name will never be more than 35 characters long? Document it. If you're working with other people, they might assume that you know their data as well as they do. Don't be afraid to ask simple questions—repeatedly, if necessary.


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