FileMaker Entities, Tables & Files

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

A very popular word in the database community is the entity. In database terms, an entity is like a noun. It is a person, place, thing or event in which we store data. Each customer you interact with can be considered an entity. Each unique product in your inventory system could also be called an entity. The event of a customer ordering a piece of your inventory can also be considered an entity. Entities are the person, place, thing or event that you use to store your organized data.

Each entity has what is called attributes. Attributes are the flavor of an entity, they are used to describe the specifics of an entity. For a customer entity, their attributes could include their name, address, credit card number, email address and the like. For a product entity, attributes could include the size, weight, color and even the quantity in stock. For a sales event entity, attributes could include the price, the quantity, the profit on the transaction and the delivery date.

So here is an few examples of common entities and they may also be found as a table ...

The Customer
The Customers Invoice
The Items Purchased On A Customers Invoice
The Items In The Store For Purchase
The Items We Can Purchase For Our Store
Our Invoices From Our Vendors For Our Stores Inventory
The Items On Our Invoices We Purchased
The Money We Received From Customer For Their Invoices
The Payments We Made For Invoices From Our Vendors

In other discussions, I will talk about tables, file references and table occurrences. All of these may be the FileMaker form of a defined entity.

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