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Importing custom objects and linking them to Contacts, general pointers needed

Hello all, I'm not looking for anyone to do my work or anything very specific, but a point in the right direction for what I should read up on.  I just started a new job where I have to use salesforce and am not familiar with it at all, but I have been programming in c and java for a while, and am somewhat comfortable with sql and databases.


Anyways, I'm looking to create new custom objects (Hits) with unique identifiers "t-ID" and a small number of other fields.  I want each new object to be linked to the Contact in the database with the matching "t-ID" field, and then I would like to populate the Hits objects fields with data that I draw from their linked Contact.  It looks like doing this through salesforce's point and click interface would be very convoluted- would it be smarter to read up on using the API, or is there some better way to manipulate the database directly? I have some pseudo-code written out, I just don't know how to run the logic in salesforce. 


I appreciate any advice that can be given, thanks


Take a look at the Force.com Workbook. The example creates a custom object (Mileage) that is related to Contacts. This will help you define your relationship and discusses various ways to share data and implement logic.


Hope that helps,