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In FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training, Cris Ippolite demonstrates the principal features and functions of this popular database software, including creating tables and relationships, managing fields and records, and working with layouts. The course shows FileMaker developers how to find, sort, and share data as well as how to create reports, calculations, and scripts. It also covers brand new features in FileMaker Pro 11 such as the Inspector tool, charting, and portal filtering. Exercise files accompany the course.
Certainly, the easiest way to create a fully functional database right out of the box is by using a Starter Solution like we've talked about in the previous movie. But if you want to create a FileMaker database that already contains data, you can convert different file types into FileMaker databases and then do your modifications and create your database from there. I am going to show you a couple of these different principles in this movie. The first concept will be creating a database from an existing file, in our case a spreadsheet. Then once we are in FileMaker Pro, we are going to use the spreadsheet-type view, or the Quick Table view to create some fields inside of our database.
So first, when you open up FileMaker Pro, you'll notice under the File menu that we've got an option called Open. What you may not be aware of it is that if you select File > Open and point to a file that isn't a FileMaker database, you'll notice that we can choose from other FileMaker Pro files, a couple of different formats of Text files like Tab-Separated, Comma-Separated, Merge files and the different types of Excel Workbook ones, which we'll actually be choosing here. But also you see that you can pull in something called an XML Data Source, which means you can connect to a remote server that's going to provide data for you in XML and create a database that way, or in the same manner you can do that from what's called an ODBC Data Source.
Now if you happened to be a Mac user, you'll see that you have an option here for turning a Bento Database into a FileMaker database. Here, in our case, we are going to use Excel Workbooks, and we are to choose Itinerary from our exercise files and hit Open. In the case of creating a FileMaker database out of the spreadsheet, you are going to see a First Row Option window appear. In this case, you are going to be asked whether or not you want first record inside of your spreadsheet to be represented as Field names in your FileMaker database, because if you remember columns become fields in FileMaker Pro, or if they are just going to be the first row data.
So in this particular example we are going to choose Field names and hit OK. Now, we are going to choose a location to save our new file. Now, you see that not only we've created a new FileMaker database, but we've created a FileMaker database with three fields defined for us already. You see we've got an Adventure id field, Day field and then a Description. But not only has it created a new database for us, with 653 records, but it's also taken us into the database in the Table view, or the new FileMaker 11 Quick Table View. The reason it's new inside FileMaker is because there are some functionality that you can do inside of this Table view that you couldn't do in previous versions.
You'll also notice that in addition to this view, we've also got another layout that you see here in our Layout dropdown that's by default called Layout #1, which shows all of our data, one record at a time, in what's called Form view. If you recall, Form View shows one record at a time; List and Table View show many records onscreen at a time. So, this allows you to navigate through record to record, focusing on just one record at a time, instead of course by going to Layout #2, which is your Quick Table View. From this layout, you are going to be able to add fields as column headers or select the field type without having to go into your Manage Database dialog.
So FileMaker Pro allows you to make all the changes under the File menu, under Manage > Database, where you can see you can work with tables and fields and all sorts of other settings we'll be working on in future movies. But if we stay here inside of the FileMaker Quick Table View, you'll see that we can add new Fields. You notice this button here on the top part of your layout. If you click the button, you'll notice that it automatically creates a field for you. Here, we can just type in the name of our new field and click outside that area. Now, in addition to the three fields that we were created when we imported to the spreadsheet, we've now created a new field that's called Type.
So, in this case we can enter in a new value for each one of the records that you store in your database. You'll notice, also, that if you go to File > Manage > Database that the Type field has also been added to the database for you. Hitting OK and going back into the Table View, you'll see that we can also make changes to the different fields by clicking on this arrow that appears when we hover over the Column header. If you click on the arrow, you see that we can make changes to the Field Type; for example, a field can be a Text, Number, Date, Time, Timestamp, Container or even a Calculation or Summary field.
We can toggle between those different types by simply clicking on this arrow. In addition to field type, you'll also notice that there's a Field Options. When you click the Field Options, up pops the Options for Field window, which allows you to make many different changes. We'll focus on these when we get into the chapter on Fields. Keep in mind, though, that though that before you can add any fields in Quick Table View or change any of the settings, you must first have full access privileges to the files. That means you have to log in with an account that's assigned to something called the full access privilege set in order to be able to make any of these modifications.
Notice though that you can also Hide different Fields or Delete Fields completely. Hiding means you are just removing it from this layout but not from the database. Delete means you are removing it from the database and from the layout at the same time. Reset Table View will change everything back to the default before you'd made changes to the width, let's say, of a Table View. Of course, you can hover over the edge of a column and click down and drag and release to allow you to resize some of these fields. If you hold down a field until it turns dark gray and drag it to a different location, you'll see that you can reorder the fields that are inside your Quick View - some things that you couldn't normally do inside of a spreadsheet, for example.
So, if you are used to working with spreadsheets, or if you have a spreadsheet that you've been using all this time, you can open it up in FileMaker Pro, which will of course convert it into a FileMaker database for you. Then you can use the Quick Table View, which should be familiar to you if you're used to working with spreadsheets, which allows you to add new fields to your database and start to create your first FileMaker database from just your experience using a spreadsheet.
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