Database Naming Conventions - File Maker

The following conventions deal with how to name every database in a database system.

Database names should be in title case and follow this format: First, there should be one or two words describing the main purpose of the database. After that, there should be a period and after that you should always add the “fp5” extension in case a FileMaker database built on a Mac ever needs to be used on a Windows machine. Here are some sample database names:

  • Contacts.fp5
  • Lions.fp5
  • Tigers.fp5
  • Bears.fp5
  • SecretsOfTheUniverse.fp5

Try not to make database names longer than about 20 characters (they must not be longer than 31 characters). This is for the same reasons you learned earlier, having to do with how relationship and field names appear in FileMaker’s sometimes too-small dialog boxes.

Database names should be plural because generally each database is meant to hold more than one record of that type (companies, contacts, quotes, and so on). An exception would be MainMenu.fp5, which usually only has one record in it (and holds only one menu!).

Databases that are “children” of another “parent” database should be named indicating this association, as in ProjectLineItems.fp5 and TimeSheetLines.fp5.

Databases that act as join databases between two other databases should either be named something indicating the purpose of the join or named using the names of the two databases being joined. Examples are:

  • Races.fp5 (joining Drivers.fp5 and Courses.fp5)
  • ContactDocuments.fp5 (joining Contacts.fp5 and Documents.fp5)
  • CoCte.fp5 (joining Companies.fp5 and Committees.fp5)

Only use a–z, A–Z, 0–9, or underscores in database names.

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