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Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format

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.

Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format

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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This video is part of

Image for FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 15052 viewers

Cris Ippolite
Author

 
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  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the FileMaker family
      2m 15s
    3. Using the FileMaker Quick Start screen
      2m 52s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 7s
  2. 21m 9s
    1. What is a database?
      2m 26s
    2. Flat vs. relational databases
      2m 29s
    3. How FileMaker works
      4m 48s
    4. Understanding the essential preferences
      3m 13s
    5. Touring the interface
      8m 13s
  3. 11m 44s
    1. Creating databases from templates
      2m 29s
    2. Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format
      5m 35s
    3. Importing tables
      3m 40s
  4. 9m 9s
    1. Determining which tables you will need
      5m 10s
    2. Creating tables in the Managing Tables window
      3m 59s
  5. 34m 47s
    1. Understanding relationship types
      6m 58s
    2. Diagramming relationships (with ER diagrams)
      8m 50s
    3. Determining which key fields you need
      5m 18s
    4. Defining primary and foreign keys
      7m 56s
    5. Creating relationships using the relationships graph and table occurrences
      5m 45s
  6. 50m 34s
    1. Deciding what fields you will need
      5m 34s
    2. Understanding field types
      7m 54s
    3. Defining fields
      9m 56s
    4. Using Auto Enter options in fields
      9m 33s
    5. Reviewing field validation options
      8m 16s
    6. Building with container fields
      9m 21s
  7. 14m 8s
    1. Creating and duplicating records
      5m 40s
    2. Editing and locking records
      4m 42s
    3. Deleting records and backing up files
      3m 46s
  8. 21m 6s
    1. Importing data
      9m 57s
    2. Importing records to refresh data
      7m 2s
    3. Exporting data
      4m 7s
  9. 18m 30s
    1. Understanding layouts
      4m 15s
    2. Using the Layout Assistant to create List views
      7m 59s
    3. Using the Layout Assistant to create labels and envelopes
      6m 16s
  10. 27m 11s
    1. Using the Layout Setup dialog box
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding layout parts
      4m 40s
    3. Understanding the new Inspector
      2m 26s
    4. Exploring the Status Area in Layout mode
      6m 46s
    5. Managing layouts and layout folders
      8m 25s
  11. 41m 9s
    1. Arranging, aligning, grouping, and locking layout objects
      11m 5s
    2. Placing and formatting objects, parts, and graphics
      4m 10s
    3. Formatting fields and applying field attributes
      8m 26s
    4. Setting field behaviors
      4m 4s
    5. Using the Tab Control feature
      9m 8s
    6. Setting tab order
      4m 16s
  12. 36m 48s
    1. Using the basic find functions
      7m 31s
    2. Reviewing new requests in the Find mode
      5m 54s
    3. Establishing search operators
      6m 43s
    4. Constraining or extending found sets
      3m 24s
    5. Finding records using date, time, or timestamp criteria
      5m 18s
    6. Using Fast Match and Quick Find
      4m 41s
    7. Working with saved finds
      3m 17s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Sorting with one criterion
      6m 4s
    2. Sorting with related fields
      2m 18s
    3. Sorting with multiple criteria
      1m 36s
    4. Sorting using custom values
      3m 14s
    5. Sorting using buttons
      4m 16s
  14. 17m 14s
    1. Reviewing Field/Control styles
      5m 43s
    2. Creating and applying static value lists
      5m 20s
    3. Creating and applying dynamic value lists
      6m 11s
  15. 23m 52s
    1. Previewing pages and print options
      6m 20s
    2. Printing in different views
      2m 54s
    3. Sliding objects
      3m 26s
    4. Printing merge letters
      4m 53s
    5. Saving as a PDF or Excel file
      6m 19s
  16. 15m 1s
    1. Building simple reports with summary fields
      4m 36s
    2. Creating subsummary reports
      6m 51s
    3. Creating subsummary reports in Table view
      3m 34s
  17. 52m 19s
    1. Defining calculations
      2m 31s
    2. Exploring the Calculation dialog box
      5m 8s
    3. Using number functions
      12m 41s
    4. Using date and time functions
      4m 58s
    5. Using text functions
      11m 43s
    6. Using get functions
      4m 0s
    7. Using logic functions
      11m 18s
  18. 46m 56s
    1. Understanding scripts and script steps
      2m 23s
    2. Assigning script steps to buttons
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box
      8m 28s
    4. Creating multi-line scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Adding find criteria to a script
      4m 58s
    6. Understanding the If script step
      8m 36s
    7. Using script parameters
      4m 42s
    8. Reviewing the Send Mail option
      7m 11s
  19. 28m 0s
    1. Understanding script triggers
      2m 41s
    2. Using object-based triggers
      11m 58s
    3. Using layout-based triggers
      7m 51s
    4. Using file-based triggers (Open and Close scripts)
      5m 30s
  20. 56m 42s
    1. Using related fields
      7m 18s
    2. Creating portals and using portal filtering
      10m 38s
    3. Using related fields in calculations
      7m 6s
    4. Understanding multi-predicate relationships
      11m 11s
    5. Using the Go to Related Record script step
      7m 26s
    6. Creating a chart
      13m 3s
  21. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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