So a database organizes and manipulates records. Essentially that's searching and working with them, you know searching and sorting, things like that but what is a record? Let's go more into that. Well a record is one unit of that database, so if you have a database of recipes, let's say you have a 1,000 recipes, a single recipe would be one record, you'd have a 1,000 records in there. If you had a database of employees, one employee would be one record, same with companies, products or invoices, the list goes on and on, a record is one unit. Now inside of a record is a field and a field describes that record. So if you had a database of people then you would describe them with fields for eye color, hair color, height and things like that. So a field could be an ingredient a recipe, an address of an employee, a name of a company or a date invoice for an invoice, I mean the list goes on and on. You could have many fields describing a single record but the thing is about that is that, that field goes across all of the records in that database. So what do you do at that point? Well, you find and sort and then print, so that's the key. You can find the records you want, let's say all the recipes that have chicken in them, sort them, maybe alphabetically and then print them so you can have a list of all of your chicken recipes. Or you could export them and possibly give to somebody who didn't have a copy of FileMaker or who knows how you might further manipulate that found set of records. But a found set is something that you searched and located and pulled out temporarily to look at to work with. It's very important to understand how that works because that is a database, being able to search it. And that brings us to our next point, people often use a spreadsheet as a database but it is not a database. Well it's a very simple database and we're going to to through and describe what the differences are but you got to understand a spreadsheet is really not a database and here's the reasons why. Let's first talk about why people think a spreadsheet is a database. Well, if you look at the rows and columns of a spreadsheet, they translate to records and fields. Okay. Each row of a spreadsheet will be a record and each column will be a field. If you have your data in a spreadsheet in that manner, you can easily import it into FileMaker and make a database out of it. Here's the things, the further bullet points that make a database different than a spreadsheet. It allows you to organize those records or those rows that we talked about in a spreadsheet into found sets and we've talked exhaustively about this. That's the key, you can quickly pull out all the people from a certain city or a certain state, all the recipes that are, have beef or chicken in them and look at them and manipulate them. A spreadsheet really can't do that very easily, this is the basis of a database, it does it so easily. Another thing that a database does, at least FileMaker does, is provides ability to create an interface. This slideshow here is created in a database, each slide is one record but you have buttons and little, I've created all these things, all this interface here. So you can put any kind of interface you want on it, you really can't do that with a spreadsheet. You can also link tables in a database in a truly relational and mathematical manner. Yes there's some ways to link spreadsheets and things like that but it really is not the same as what a database can do. A database can also typically have multiple users, they can all access the same data at the same time in the same file. Spreadsheets really can't do that, they're not designed to do that, they do what they do very well, they just don't do database things very well. In fact I've seen a lot of clients who come to me and say, oh yeah we've been entering one invoice per spreadsheet. So they have a spreadsheet that does and it does a great job, I mean they enter all the information they want for their invoice and they save it and then they go ahead and open it up, another spreadsheet, a template and they create the next invoice. And so they have this folder of a thousand invoices, it's not very easy to search, it's not easy, very easy to pull up that person who you're looking for so or that invoice you're looking for. So that's one of the great things about a, a database is, it's different than spreadsheet. You have to have different files for a spreadsheet really in a lot of situations. And another thing that a database can do, at least FileMaker can do, is take that information and publish it on the web. If you go to my website the Dabasepros.com website, that runs on FileMaker. All the information is being fed to that website through a database. You can search it and pull down files and do whatever you want. So there are a lot of things that differentiate a spreadsheet and a database, don't get them confused. If you have some spreadsheet knowledge, yes you will have an easier time understanding a database but there really is very little comparison between the two, they're not very similar at all and I want to make sure that's clear. A spreadsheet is a very, very, very simple database. Databases are much more complicated, can do much more than a spreadsheet probably will ever be able to do.
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