4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2009 11:31 AM by mkat

    Table Location Advice



      Table Location Advice


      I am just learning Filemaker and would like to build a relational database consisting of four tables ( contacts, purchases, inventory, email campaign ).


      Are there advantages to having all three tables in one file as opposed to three separate files?

        • 1. Re: Table Location Advice

          Hello Mkat,


          There is a methodology called data separation that promotes the use of 2 files.  It's description and advantages can be found here:



          This document is really worth reading too: 

          White Paper for FMP Novices


          • 2. Re: Table Location Advice
               Thanks. I will review both the methodology and white paper links.
            • 3. Re: Table Location Advice

              Some basic advantages to keeping all your tables in one file:


              1. When you build relationships that link your tables, you will be able to see all the relationships in a single unified view. This is often helpful in understanding how/why your database does or does not function the way you expect.
              2. With multiple related files, your database can fail to function correctly simply because a user renamed or moved one of the files.
              3. If you use Manage | Accounts & Privileges... to set up accounts and passwords to control user access, you will, in most cases, have to set up exactly identical accounts and passwords in each separate file. If you permit a user to change their password and they change it, they'll likely be confronted with a confusing array of password log in dialogs--one that asks for the new password and others that still request the original password as the user has just changed the password for one file, but not the others.

              This is not to say that often there are very good reasons to build a database system with multiple files. If you are new to the game and you're building a simple database with just a few tables, however, keeping everything in one file will be easier for you in most cases.

              • 4. Re: Table Location Advice



                I think I will go with the single file, multiple table approach. While I am using the B.P.K. as a guide, there will be fewer tables, my database will be much simpler and I will be the only one using it.