Data Home Transitions by Importing in FileMaker

There are always new transitions to our lives where we move on to something better. Some transitions are small and others that are larger most likely require careful planning in order to progress. Then with the plan in place, it lessens the likelihood of problems and may create a better foundation.

Much like when moving from one house to another, the decision of what to keep, what to throw away, and what can be changed for the new place, has to be done. There is the possibility of taking everything from the old place to the new residence without going through anything, however, that is probably not the best approach. So, after the decision to move is made, a lot of work is conducted before going forward.

In a database system, the information that lives inside the application is crucial, which means that it is important to transfer that data correctly. Maintaining accuracy is key to have, even when there is a large set of data. Each field needs to be studied to understand what kind of data it stores, and then we can determine how that field and its data should be treated.

FileMaker has its own function of importing that can be used, which can be enhanced with other options like scripting. New versions of FileMaker have newer capabilities, so older applications may have data that needs to be massaged. For example, an address field may need to be broken down into different components to help ensure consistency and structure. One method to achieve data accuracy is to import into a holding table in the new system and construct a script to move it from that holding table into the actual table it needs to belong. Setting it up this way helps enable consistency and will be automatic instead of manually transferring information. After everything is set up, testing will be made easier.

In the end, the goal is to have a better working system, but no matter how aesthetically pleasing the new application looks, a good structure is needed. With a well made structure, the data, new or old, should be in good condition. Then the transition from an older system will be less difficult.