Giving File / Table Names To Your FileMaker Entities

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

We chatted before about what can be considered an entity and gave a number of examples of common database entities. The next step is to give names to those entities. In most cases, each defined entity will be in it’s own table. Also in most cases for the FileMaker user, you will have all those entity tables in the same FileMaker file.

It is a good idea to name your tables / entities in a way that resembles their purpose. This helps you visualize the mapping between entities when you are planning the system, making changes to the system or documenting the system for future development.

So here are a few examples of file names for the entities...

Client - Customer - People
Invoice - Invoices - Orders
SoldItem - PSold - SoldInventory
Inventory - Prices - Stock
Purchase - POrders
Deposits - Receipts - MoneyRec
Payments - Expenses - Paid

As you grow and mature in your FileMaker relationship design, you will likely want to add some additional intelligence to your naming strategy. What happens is that FileMaker database solutions tend to grow. Much like a sunflower plant, it can grow rather quickly. Unlike a sunflower plant, your solution can grow in multiple directions. A consistent and intelligent naming strategy can pay great dividends in complex solutions.

So I guess that above paragraph is a teaser for discussions to come. When that discussion comes, it will center around a FileMaker technique I call anchor / buoy. I didn’t make up that name, far from it. I only said that because half of the developers that use this technique call it by another name, squid.

Yeah, I’m not making this up, one very cool relationship technique is known by either anchor/buoy or squid. It does make a little sense when the technique is described but I do hope the developers that came up with these names ... went a little more traditional when naming their children. (grin)
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