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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Unanswered: Using filemaker properly?

    I have chosen to use Filemaker for our company's contact management system but am looking for some expert advice on setting it up.
    I am trying to manage contact lists for 12 different people.
    What is the best way to set up the DB?
    I don't know if I should my DB up as a single table or multiple tables. If multiple, how do I do this and can I still cross check one table against another to make sure there are not duplicate entries?

    Thanks for the help

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    56
    Use one table for Contacts, one table for Group, and a join table, maybe call it Contact_Group:

    Contact -< Contact_Group >- Group

    With this structure, a Contact can belong to multiple Groups, and a Group can have multiple Contacts.

    You can then define each Group to be for a different person in your company, or add a Group_Employee join table in order to assign the same Group to more than one person.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3
    Thanks Ender. That makes sense.

    As a newbie I have to ask: Why would you do that as opposed to just adding that "contact owner" directly to the contacts table? What is the benefit of having a separate table for contacts and employees? Can it make contacts easier to separate out?

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    56
    You could, if you knew you would only ever need to remember one owner for a Contact. But in my experience, there are often exceptions making the flexibility of a join table useful. Particularly with things about Employees and their responsibilities, things tend to change over time, but remembering what it they were is still important. With the join table, you could store dates for when the Employee was assigned as the account manager for each Customer, or you could keep track of different real-life relationships between Employees and Contacts.

    You'll have to evaluate what structure makes sense in your case.

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