and Using Web Interactive Databases
What is a database?
At its most basic, a database is a collection of
A collection of recipes on index cards in a box is an
The telephone book is an example.
A print out of a class roll is also an example.
A computer database is a program that organizes
information into files, records, and fields.
Computer databases also allow you to perform actions
easily on your information. Those actions include sorting,
searching, duplicating, among others.
Parts of a database
A database may be contained in one file (flat
database), or it may contain many files that can share
and exchange information (relational database).
Records contain fields which contain information
relating to that record. For example, an address book
entry would be a record that might contain the fields of:
first name, last name, middle initial, street, town,
state, country, postal code, telephone number, e-mail
address, and Web home page.
As described immediately above, fields are the
various types of information that constitute a record.
Much of the power of a database comes from the ability to
sort or search records by field. For instance, in the box
of recipes above, the cards can only be organized by one
field. In a computer database, however, any or all of the
fields can be the organizing entity. Imagine trying to
look through 500 recipe cards to find recipes that use
butter and sugar but not salt. A computer database could
find those recipes very quickly.
Fields contain the information in some format.
FileMaker Pro allows fields to have the following values:
text, number, date, time, multimedia, or
FileMaker Pro Versions
FileMaker Pro 5--$240 (street), $149 (academic)
Limits Web access to ten IP addresses every 12
FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited--$899 (street), $799
Allows unlimited access to Web databases
FileMaker Pro 5 Server--$949 (street)
Allows remote administration, 250 simultaneous
guests, automated back ups, and more. However, requires
additional client FileMaker Pro software on each
FileMaker Pro 4.1--under $49 (street) if you can find
Allow unlimited access to Web databases but lacks the
new features of FileMaker Pro 5 (including no support for
Cascading Style Sheets). Also, FileMaker files created in
Version 5 are NOT backward compatible with Version 4.
Version 4 files may be converted to Version 5 files.