Setting Up Your Own Database
It is easy to setup and define your own database in Relevant Tools. However, before you begin this process you might want to consider how you are going to use the database. If, for example, you are planning to email to one set of customers on a monthly basis and another set of customers on a weekly basis then you should probably consider setting up two separate databases.
To begin the process of defining a new database, click on "DATABASES", at the top of the screen. Next, click on the "Databases" link located in the Database Functions section, in the right hand column of the screen, shown below.
Next, enter the name for your new database and click on the "CREATE DATABASE" button, as shown below.
Now that you have your new database named you need to define the fields that make up the database. The fields in a database is where the actual record data is stored and without them the database will not function properly. For example, if you were to import records to a database that didn't have any field defined, the system would not know where to place the data during the import so it would place the data in system fields thereby making the database data inaccessible to you.
Now, there are actually two approaches to defining fields for a database; there's the manual field definition method and copying fields definition method. We will explain both methods below.
Manual Field Definition Method
To manually define your database fields, enter a short descriptive field name in the "Field name" text box, shown below. This is the name that will be used internally by the system and you will not be able to change this name later. The field name should not contain any spaces. Next, enter a name in the "Field label" text box. You will be able to change the field label, at any time, even after your database contains records and this name can contain spaces. Finally, select the "Field type:" from the pulldown menu and click on the "ADD FIELD" button to add your field to the database.
Note: You have many choices for field types — text, text area, pulldown menu, check boxes and radio buttons. We will leave the discussion of the field types to another tutorial.
Copy Fields – Field Definition Method
On the other hand, you have the option of copying the fields along with their definitions from an existing database and making the changes to the fields, in the new database, as needed. This is a very important step if you ever want to move or copy records from one database to another. If the databases have the same field names for common fields such as first name and last name, you will be able to move records back and forth much easier than if they are named differently.
To copy the fields along with their definitions from one database to another, simply click on the "copy fields" link, shown above, then select the database to copy the fields from in the pulldown menu, shown below, and click on the "COPY FIELDS" button. Please notice the warning in the screen shown below; this is to warn you about copying over existing databases. However, since this is a new database there will be no fields defined so feel free to copy the fields. Please be aware that, in this example, we are copying fields from the Contacts database to the Customers database.
In summary we have discussed how to name you database and define the fields that make up the database. Additionally, we have examined the two methods for defining the database fields after you have named your database. If you have any questions about how to set up your database, please feel free to contact us any time.