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How to name fields in static history-type files?

Question asked by ender on Jan 27, 2016
Latest reply on Jan 28, 2016 by ender

I've inherited a multiple-file legacy database (>15 files, most with only one table) developed by someone else over time (think multi-room house added onto for well over a decade).


Files are MAINFILE, ARCHIVEFILE and HISTORYFILE (names changed to protect the innocent). Data is imported at frequent intervals from MAINFILE into the other two as static, permanent historical records. (Records in MAINFILE may or may not be deleted at that time. Records may also be unarchived/restored back to MAINFILE.)


Should these files ideally all have identical field names?

Other than consistent "g" for global and "calc" in calculation field names, there is both name variation and duplication.



Details, if you want them:


Current Example 1


"date created" and "time created" are both auto-entered.


"date created" and "time created" are both auto-entered. But ARCHIVEFILE also has:

"MAIN date created" and "MAIN time created", into which the original MAINFILE record creation info is imported for the historic record.

HISTORYFILE works differently.

"HIST date created" and "HIST time created" are both auto-entered. And "date created" and "time created" are the fields into which MAINFILE creation info is imported for the historic record.


Current Example 2:

MAINFILE has a "native" field named "Customer" with data imported from an Excel file.  But MAINFILE also shows different customer-related data via a related field "SECONDFILE::Customer" from a file named "SECONDFILE". Data in both fields will be imported to ARCHIVEFILE and HISTORYFILE.


Right now I'm getting tangled up in naming while trying to create a system to unarchive/restore historic records back to MAINFILE. (Filemaker's ugly import/export dialog, where I constantly overshoot as I try to line up fields, doesn't help.) Hence the naming question. Ideally, should the fields in HISTORYFILE that are intended to import information from MAINFILE have been named exactly the same as the fields in MAINFILE? Or should native field names include a file designation such as "HIST" or "ARCH"??


What about a database with both multiple files and multiple tables?


I checked out but it didn't seem to address my situation where we're often importing data to static historical files, and back.


FMP Advanced 13 (and FMS server 13) on Mac OS10.9.