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Help with laying out my database...

Question asked by drmacintosh on Nov 13, 2011


Help with laying out my database...


 I am a fairly new Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced database user.  I am working my way through O'Reilly's FileMaker Pro 11 The Missing Manual.  I have recently just completed Part Two: Building Your First Database, Chapter 3 Creating a Custom Database and Chapter 4 Adding Power to Your Database.  I have found this quite enjoyable and fairly simple to understand.  I have even ported what I have created onto my iPod Touch via Filemaker Go.  My first experience in working with databases was when I was in college 18 years ago.  Back then the instructors taught focusing on the concept of having us learn Database Management & Database Warehousing using Ashton-Tate's dBase III+ & dBase IV versions 1.0, 1.1 & 2.0.  Also the instructors tried to get us to create a flowchart before starting the design which was not really enforced.  Databases were also one dimentional compared to today being Relational.  Fast forward to today.  I am now starting Part Three: Thinking Like a Developer, Chapter 5 Creating and Managing a Relational Database.  This is a fairly lengthy chapter of 53 pages going through creating the Schema, understanding more about Relational Databases & using the Schema to create the database.  To create the Schema it is mentioned that an Entity Relationship diagram program such as OmniGraffle or ConceptDraw for OS X should be used because it will make the process much easier to understand when designing and not having to retrace my steps later once far into the creation.  Here is my dilemma.  OmniGraffle contains something called Stencils which are known by other ERD programs as add-ons/plug-ins.  Eventhough OmniGraffle has video based tutorials for learning, the one thing that the tutorial does not cover are the Stencils which include all of the tools for creating ERDs.  Since this is pretty much my first step into learning all of the jargon pertaining to ERDs & understnding Relationships i.e. One-to-many, one-to-one, many-to-one, many-to-many and  I am wondering where I might be able to locate some assistance for learning.  Back in college 18 years ago this pretty much did not exist.  Thanks in advance.