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Once you've become familiar with the FileMaker application and how to set it up, there are a couple of different ways that you can start creating databases - of course by scratch, which we'll do for almost the remainder of this title - but there is also a couple of different ways. The first one I am going to show you in this video is by using what's called a Starter Solution. A Starter Solution is a FileMaker database that's already been created for you. FileMaker ships with several of these different Starter Solutions for you to choose from. They are meant to be fully functional FileMaker solutions that you can create and save and modify, and then start adding data to and then sharing them with all the different users.
Let me show you what I am talking about here. So if you open up FileMaker Pro and you go under the File menu, you'll notice that there is an option that's called New From Starter Solution. You can choose that option, or if when you opened up FileMaker you go to the Quick Start Screen, you can choose the Use a Starter Solution option here, and this will bring up what's called the Starter Solution viewer window. Inside the viewer window, you see lists of various different types of Starter Solutions. You see that they are grouped into different categories here: Finance, People, Activities, Collections, or just General, and you get a little icon onscreen that's supposed to represent the database.
But that's not exactly what the database will look like. So, for example, if we chose Invoices and then hit the Choose button, you will then choose what you want to name the file and choose a location to save it. Then FileMaker Pro creates a database for you, as you can see on our desktop, and then opens up that database file. Each one of the Starter Solution databases has different settings and user preferences, and FileMaker takes you to a layout that they've created for you that gives you descriptions of each. Once you get familiar with how the database works, you can start adding data right away if you'd like, or you can start adding your own fields and modifying the database as you see fit.
The most important idea here is that you can make any modifications that you'd like, and they'll never expire. For example, if you are using the 30- day trial version of FileMaker Pro, keep in mind that you can continue to make modifications to one of these Starter Solutions: adding data, changing fields, creating your own layouts and reports, and they won't expire when the trial version of FileMaker expires. These databases are just like any other database that you create for yourself, except it takes a lot of the work out of it for you. You'll notice, of course inside, of the Starter Solution viewer window, that you've got tons of different databases to choose from.
Starter Solutions are a great way to get familiar with FileMaker without having to do any of the programming. So if you're brand-new to FileMaker, I encourage you to go take a look at a couple of these different Starter Solutions, to see maybe if there's one that fits you or if there's one that can give you some ideas on what to do with the database you create from scratch.
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