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DB Design/Normalization

Question asked by soberbob on Jan 4, 2013
Latest reply on Jan 7, 2013 by BruceRobertson

The problem that I have before I start to really build/layout my database is the overall design/normalization of the database. Like how many tables should I use for starters? I am trying to take an existing MS Access database that has been kept alive since the 90's and put it into something new. This database will only be used by an IT group of less than 10 to manage assets that consists of computer equipment. As we move equipment often we chose FileMaker as it's heavily used in our field plus we would like to use FileMaker Go for assigning equipment or marking the location of an Asset if its moved.


I first extracted all the data from the existing database into Exel files and cleaned it up. This consist of 5 main tables: "Users", "Computers", "Monitors", "Printers", and "Devices" (barcode scanners, scanners, misc equipment). These tables all have similar fields (~20 fields), but do not share all of the same fields. There are around 1500-1700 records from the 4 asset related tables and less than 200 records in the user table. Should all of the assets be in one table or multiple tables? I looked at the concept of moving the Assets to one table based off the starter file included with FM12 and largely due to Portals. As I could select a user from a User Layout and have a portal display all of the equipment assigned to them, however this would get confusing if I had to try and pull data from multiple tables. I know I could use tabs to go through different tables and have different portals, but each user really won't have much equipment.


If it makes any difference we have fast internet and are running FileMaker Server 12 Advanced. As there will never be many users on this database I don't see network traffic being an issue. If anyone could offer some advice I would greatly appreciate it.