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FileMaker Pro allows many sophisticated ways to connect to other non-FileMaker data sources. However, sometimes you might want to just share some of your data without a direct connection to those sources. In these cases, you can use FileMaker's ability to export data out of your FileMaker database in order to share. You can export FileMaker data to a new file and then open that up in another application, or use that file as an import source to import into the other application. So in this movie, we are going to take a look at exporting. First, if we take a look at the file, we see that we are in the Customers layout, and we also see that we've got 1,523 records in our database.
Now, these are important, because if we do export right now, it's going to export out customer information. But if we navigate over to the Products table, for example, it's going to export out the product information. It's important that you first choose a layout that's based on the table that has data you want to export before you even initiate the Export command. The other thing is that FileMaker will only export the amount of records that are in a current Found set. So, for example here, you see that in Products, we've only got 10 records chosen, even though we have 40 total records stored in the database.
If we perform an export right now on this layout, only 10 records will be exported. But if we go back to the Customers layout and then go to File > Export Records, we see that we have the Export Records to File window appearing. Here we've got a couple of options to choose from. First, what are we going to name the file we're exporting? We will call this one Export. And where do we want to save it? We will choose Desktop. Then you want to choose the File Format. If we click on this dropdown, we see the different File Format types that we have to choose from.
FileMaker allows you to export out as text files or some specialized Merge or DBF files. You can also export a Found set of data out as an HTML Table, which could be useful if you are building a static Web page. You can also export data out of FileMaker into another FileMaker Pro file, which can be useful to create backups, and if the application that you're sharing data with imports XML data, you can choose the XML option, leaving us with the two other Excel Export options. Here we are going to choose Comma- Separated Text, which then appends the name of our file with .CSV.
These are the most common types of File Formats that are able to be imported into other non-FileMaker data sources. Now we hit Save, and we are presented with the Specify Field Order for Export window. You see here on the left-hand side of this window that we have a dropdown that lets us choose from any of the different tables that we had in our database. We will keep it on the Current Table, but you also see that it's on the Current Layout. Sometimes you have a layout that has only a subset of the fields in your table. In this case, we happen to have all of them. But it might be easier for you to export files out if there's a smaller amount of fields to choose from.
But in this case, let's say that we want to just export out our customer mailing information, so it can be uploaded to a bulk mailing system. So in that case what we do is we will choose fields, on the left-hand window, that we want to include as part of this export. Here you see when I select AddressCity, I can choose the Move button, or I can double-click on a field, or I can click on a field, hold down the Shift key and hit Move, and we see both fields that I had selected moved. Now, once you see the fields in the Field export order, I can select one and use the handles to move them into a specific order.
I can do CompanyName first, Street, City, State, and Zip. Also, if you make a mistake, you can always hit Clear and then go back and add more fields after that. Once you have selected all of the fields, you can choose the Export button, and now we see that we've got our export file on our desktop, and opening up this file will show that we've exported out all of the records, but only the fields that we've chosen during the export process. You can export out as many times as you would like out of your FileMaker database, in whatever way that you choose, without any risk of changing or deleting the data in the original file, unlike importing, where each time you import, you're adding more records or changing existing records in your database.
The importing and exporting features can serve as valuable time-saving functions, especially when you're working with large sets of data or have users without access to FileMaker Pro.
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