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How FileMaker works

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: How FileMaker works

We've talked about why you want to use a relational database to manage your data over a flat file, for example, but I'd like to show you a couple of reasons why FileMaker is such a great application for developing those relational databases. First off, you can see here onscreen that we can store information within our application much like we do in a spreadsheet or other applications. We can create new records if we'd like to by simply hitting the New record button, or delete those records if we'd like, and we can even search for records by simply typing in some criteria onscreen and hitting Perform Find, and this is that retrieval aspect of the database, which is so key.

How FileMaker works

We've talked about why you want to use a relational database to manage your data over a flat file, for example, but I'd like to show you a couple of reasons why FileMaker is such a great application for developing those relational databases. First off, you can see here onscreen that we can store information within our application much like we do in a spreadsheet or other applications. We can create new records if we'd like to by simply hitting the New record button, or delete those records if we'd like, and we can even search for records by simply typing in some criteria onscreen and hitting Perform Find, and this is that retrieval aspect of the database, which is so key.

So you could have, instead of just having one record like we have here, you could have millions and millions of records, and within just a matter of a second you can retrieve whatever information it is that you're looking for inside the database. What's nice about FileMaker though, is that it's a relational database. So, for example, you'll see if we click over to this button here that says Invoices, we're in a completely different table. The database itself can have many different tables. In this case, we've got a table that stores customer information, a table that stores Product information, another one that stores Invoice information, and in a true relational database, all these tables can be linked together.

So, for example, you see if I create a new record here inside my Invoices table, I can choose one of my customers from my Customer table and by simply choosing that customer, you see that I've filled in all of the customer information that we see stored over in the Customer Detail section. So what's key about this is that all these different tables can fit into one FileMaker file, so you don't have to manage different files like, for example, when you have to create a new spreadsheet every quarter or something like that. All of the files and all of the data can be tagged appropriately and stored in one easy-to-share FileMaker database.

In addition, FileMaker has all sorts of FileMaker-specific kind of cool functionality here as well; for example, you'll see if I click on this Website tab, it's going to automatically load a Website right inside my FileMaker layout. So although FileMaker isn't intended to be a Web browser, it can certainly link your data over two things like Google Maps and stuff like that like you see here. And also you're not just limited to storing a text or number data inside of FileMaker; you see that we've got different fields or attributes: First Name, Last Name, President that kind of thing.

We've got a special type of a field called the Container Field that we'll talk about later in this title, that allows us to store Media. So, for example, we can insert in a movie into a FileMaker record, and not only can we Insert in the movie, but we can also play movies. We can do the same thing with sound files or image files, so you can play music or have pictures of contacts inside your database, all that kind of stuff. But the strength of FileMaker is that it provides the ability to create a database very easily, probably one of the easiest database creation environments out there, and also works the same on both Windows and Mac.

So if you have two users on your same network, one that uses a Mac and one that uses Windows, they can both share the same FileMaker database at the same time, thus making live changes to it while the other person is in the database as well. And with the advanced Security model that comes with FileMaker, you can determine what your users can do and see when they're inside of your database. Then up to 250 different users can share the database simultaneously, all having their own session and all being logged into a server, and you can even publish your databases to the Web. You see you've got support here for FileMaker PHP or something called Instant Web Publishing, which allows you to share your FileMaker databases through the browsers.

You can also share your database with other applications that are what are called ODBC or JDBC compliant; this allows you to integrate your FileMaker databases with things like your accounting software, for example. In addition, not only can you store your information and share it with other FileMaker users, but FileMaker allows you to do things like export records, and you can export them in various different file formats that you can share your data with other non-FileMaker Pro users. You can also save your records as Excel spreadsheets or as PDF files, so any user that has Excel or that has in a PDF reader on their computer can also access your data, all sorts of different things that you can do with the FileMaker database.

We're going to cover a lot of these in this title, but for those of you that have never worked with FileMaker before, and you're thinking okay, what is this? You get that it's a database, but you've really got here with FileMaker is the ability to create a fully functional and powerful database application using FileMaker Pro, without having to know anything about databases, or computer science or anything like that. By the time you're done with this title, I assure you that you'll be able to create FileMaker Pro databases, deploy them, share them with people, understand their limitations, build reports and do all sorts of different functions that you never have been able to do before.

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This video is part of

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

94 video lessons · 14864 viewers

Cris Ippolite
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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