Creating a custom app > Defining database tables

Defining database tables

Use database tables to organize and group your data by common characteristics or principles. Your database can contain as many tables as you need to organize your data (limited only by the amount of storage space on your hard disk).

By default, a new file contains a table with the same name as the file. This table can later be renamed or deleted.

Tables you add to a file are automatically displayed in the relationships graph.

By default, a new table contains several fields: a primary key field, account name fields to track who created the record and who last modified the record, and timestamp fields to track when the record was created and last modified. You can rename or delete these fields.

To define a table:

1. Choose File menu > Manage > Database.

2. Click the Tables tab.

3. Type a name for the table, then click Create.

To change a table name, select the table, type a new name, then click Change.

4. Continue to define tables, or click the Fields tab to define fields.


In addition to storing data, FileMaker Pro Advanced uses tables to describe relationships in the relationships graph and to establish the context for layouts and some calculations. See Working with related tables, Working with the relationships graph, and Creating and managing layouts and reports.

When you change a table name, FileMaker Pro Advanced updates all references to the table throughout your calculations, relationships, scripts, table occurrences, and so on.

Default fields are added to a table when you create a table in the Manage Database dialog box or when you create a file. These fields are not created when you import data or convert a file from another application. To prevent default fields from being added to new tables, place an empty file named DefaultFields.xml in the following location:

Windows: <drive>:\ProgramData\FileMaker\Shared

macOS: /Users/Shared/FileMaker/Shared

Related topics 

Defining and changing fields

Working with related tables

Deleting table definitions, field definitions, and data

Using a reserved word or symbol for a field or table name

Copying or importing table schemas