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File Maker Pro 12 merging databases

Posted on 2013-01-15
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Last Modified: 2013-01-16
Hi all,
I've copied a database with customer names in and delivery notes etc and given that to another part of the company. At some point we'd like bring databases together.

Is it possible to merge two databases together and what are the concerns over unique keys.

Any advice gratefully received.

Dave.
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Question by:Irazor
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Will Loving earned 250 total points
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The issue with unique keys is that if new entries are being made to both copies such that you have duplicate keys between the two data sets, then when you merge the files you'll have....duplicate keys. If you have related records based on those keys in other tables then you'll need to reconcile it, usually by doing a process of assigning new keys to one set of the records and propagating that new key to any related (child) records that use that key.

You can do this by creating a second temporary key field prior to the merge, entering the new key in that temp field, passing the new key to temp fields in any related records and then finally replacing the old key with the new key.

If you don't have related records then it's just a matter of assigning a new range of the key to one of the records sets, merging the record sets, and then setting the "Next Serial" in the Auto-Enter settings to be at least one higher than the highest in the merged records table.

You can also take one of the copies and set a new "Next Serial" that starts higher than you ever expect the other set to go in terms of new records. For example, when you split the file the highest key value is 6500. You then set the "Next Serial" in the other copy to be higher than you expect that value to go before you merge them back. So if you only expect a few hundred new records, set the "Next Serial" value to be 7500 or 8000 or 10000. There's no reason not to set a decent margin of error.

Finally, the better way to do this is to simply Host the files with FM Server or even FM Pro and show the other "part of the company" how to access it across the network. That way you're both creating records in the same file and you don't ever have to worry about merging or duplicate keys. If you need to you can put in fields that identify which part of the company created which records.
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by:Irazor
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A full answer as far as I'm concerned as I new nothing of this issue. Thank you for taking the time to answer.
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