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Q&A

Q1:Why does normalization matter?
A1: Normalization is based on the logic of mathematical set theory, and it has a rigorous theoretical background. By using the rules of normalization, you can optimize data storage and retrieval. Perhaps even more important, most people who do any degree of work with databases understand normalization. If you use the process, your colleagues will be able to understand your database design more easily than if you use an idiosyncratic design.
Q2:Do relationships always replace repetition fields?
A2: Repetition fields used to store specific sets of values (such as the red, green, and blue coordinates of a color) almost always should not be replaced by a relationship. However, repetition fields used to store a variable number of items (such as the Menu field declared in Hour 13) are prime candidates for relationships. If you're never going to access the elements of a repetition field individually (that is, you will enter and display either all 20 menu items or none at all), you might not want to use a relationship.
Q3:All the relationships in this hour used the default equality relationship (PersonID equals GuestID, for example). You can have other relationships. Why would you do so?
A3: You can define a relationship consisting of all the account balances over a credit limit field. That relationship would identify accounts that need to be attended to. Generally, relationships in FileMaker 7 are comparable to queries in SQL.


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