It's certainly possible to do this in FileMaker, but I wouldn't recomend doing so in FileMaker nor would I set up a primary key this way in Access either.
Using meaningful primary keys in any database system are not a good idea. You risk complications in the future if you ever need to change these keys to better reflect the "meaning" that they have. You can use such labels for searching and sorting on your database--that's often one of the reasons for adding "meaning" to such a key in the first place. It's just not the ideal choice for relating your tables.
Nor would it be ideal in an Access database or any database. Every record in every table should be identied by a unique serial key and that key should be used in relationships. Seriously. And yes, any field can be part of a key - you would create a concatenated calculation grouping the pieces but I will not tell you how because I don't believe in assisted suicide. :^)
Phil and LaRetta, thank you very much for your sound advice.
My system has worked perfectly well on Access for many years, even after a few thousand records. It is probably because my data never changes once recorded. However, now that I am migrating to FileMaker, I will try to pick up good habits from the start!
But if I don't use meaningful keys, the issue of populating the foreign keys of children tables becomes even more important and I still have not figured it out. I posted a detailed question in a new thread and your views would be invaluable! Thanks again.
i really want to setup 2 fields to be the primary key. please help.
Threads this old no longer appear in Recent Items when a new comment is posted. I only found your post because I was searching for another thread. I suggest starting a new thread and asking your question there. You can include a link to this thread if you think that it helps you better explain your question.
But please explain WHY you want a two field primary key so that we can either: a) show you a better way to do it that does not require a two part primary key or b) so that we can clarify why what you want is OK, but isn't really a primary key in the first place.
two tables, customer and orders.
1 customer, many orders.
each order no is unique in sequence, but sometimes the nos are reused because of large time gap.
so i want a combined pri key.
Contact C_ID num pri key PFX tex FNAMES tex LNAMES tex REFR tex C_DATE date BDAY date ANIV date contact6_orders O_ID num pri key status tex source tex orderDate tex order num pri key