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Chapter 7. Working with Relationships > Working with Multiple Files

Working with Multiple Files

In all the discussions of multi-table systems in Chapters 5, 6 and so far in this chapter, we've assumed that all the tables you want to work with live within a single FileMaker file. The capability to have many tables in a single physical file is, after all, one of the greatest new features of FileMaker 7. But there are still many reasons to build systems that are multi-file, in addition to being multi-table. This section reviews the mechanics of working with several files at once, and then discusses different design strategies that use a multi-file structure.

So far we've looked just at relationships between tables within the same file. But it's also possible to build relationships between tables in different files. As an example, suppose you're (again!) being called on to build an invoicing system of some kind. Naturally you'll want to start with some set of customer data and a place to hold it. Well, it may happen that a FileMaker file already exists with a bunch of tables of customer information: a table of companies, a table of individual contacts at each company, and a table of company addresses, to name a few. There's no need to redo all that work—all you need is the data. But let's assume that the designer of the Customer file is not eager to have you in there adding things to her file. She'd rather you kept the invoicing tables separate, in their own file.


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