Invoice Database Systems - File Maker

Another common example of a simple one-to-many relationship is that of an invoice database system. An invoice database system is usually composed, at its core, of two databases, Invoices.fp5 and LineItems.fp5. One invoice can contain an infinite number of items being ordered, but any given line item is only associated with one invoice (assuming that partial payments are not allowed). The relationship would look like this:

Invoice Database Systems

The invoice database would have fields like InvoiceID, InvoiceDate, customer contact information, and the customer’s method of payment. Each line item on an invoice would contain information on the products being ordered: a unique LineItemID, a ProductID, Price, Description, and Quantity, and probably a calculated cLinePrice field that would multiply each line’s quantity by its price to get the total price for that line.

Following is what a simple invoice database might look like in FileMaker Pro. Note the line items portal, where you can see into LineItems.fp5. A user can enter items for this order into the portal, and each line item will receive the InvoiceID of the current invoice on the screen when entered.

Invoice Database Systems

Relational databases can be very complex, but once you know how to set them up in FileMaker, it’s not too bad. In this book, you will learn several other types of relationships as well, including one-to-one, many-to-many, and self-join relationships. Relationships add real power to a database system, the benefits of which you will soon discover.


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