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Different types of People

Question asked by rickhorowitz on Nov 8, 2014
Latest reply on Nov 9, 2014 by rickhorowitz


Different types of People


I might be making things more complicated than necessary. I haven't used Filemaker since the very first version, and now I've bought Filemaker Pro 13, and have been watching training videos since yesterday. 

I am creating an application for my law office. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to handle People. I figure I've got People who are Clients, People who are Witnesses (and of those, one or more might be Complaining Witnesses (i.e., Victims), while some might be Law Enforcement Officers, while some are just regular Witnesses), People who are Lawyers (like Prosecutors, and counsel for Co-Defendants), People who are Co-Defendants, People who are Judges, Experts, etc. 

Then there are People who are related to the Defendant, like a Mother, Father, Sister, etc. 

So the way I see this, there are People who have relationships to other People, and People who have relationships to Cases (which is another table). 

Would I make a table called something like "Roles," or "Relationships," or both? Or would I do self-referential "queries," keeping everyone in the People table, with a field for Role, or Relationship, or both? 

Or would I have separate tables: one for Clients, one for Law Enforcement Officers, one for Family, one for Witnesses, etc.? (I'm thinking this is NOT the way to do it, but I don't know.) 

Or maybe it's some hybrid of the above ideas? 

Pointers to the best way to learn how to make decisions like this would be most appreciated.