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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.
In previous movies, we've discussed how to import large data sets from other data sources. You can also import data into your tables repeatedly using the same data source in order to obtain certain updates to the fields within your target table. In this video we're going to do some initial steps of data import, and then I'm going to show you how to use another data import to refresh data. First, we're going to start with importing records into our Customer table. Since we've done this already in a previous movie, we're going to move through these steps a little quickly. This time we'll start with the Customers table as our target; therefore we will navigate to the Customers layout.
Once we've chosen our target, we go to File > Import and choose File, and from our Exercise Files we're going to choose the Customers Excel spreadsheet. Now we are going to choose the option for Field Names, and now were going to line up the Field Names on the left- hand side, which is our source, with the right-hand side fields, which are our current table. Now once we've lined up all the fields from our source with the fields from our target, we're going to want to go and omit all the fields we don't want to import by making sure that the arrow between the two fields is not selected.
Now let's hit Import, and in this case we're going to choose to perform the autoenter option so that our primary keys get updated. After a moment we see that we've imported in 1,524 records into our database. We hit OK, and now we notice that we have brought in the first record of just Field Names. Now in this case, we can just hit Delete Record and delete the one record. But now that we see we've got all the other records that we've imported in from our import source. Now let's take a look at the Import Source for second.
Here we see all of the data that we've imported into our FileMaker database. Now in this example, let's say that we're working with an import source that gets created from another application on a daily basis, but sometimes the data from the import source changes. Let's say, for example, we go in to a couple of Notes fields. We've made those changes, and we add a last name to one of the records.
We'll hit Save on the source. Now back in FileMaker, we can see those same records in our database. We see that there is no Notes field in the first record, no notes in the second, no notes in third and on number four, there's no last name. So one way we can maintain the records that we've got inside of our FileMaker database, but still bring in only the updates from a source file, is also through the Import activity. So what we're going to do is we're going to perform another Import.
We'll go to File > Import Records and choose File again. We're going to point to the same import source, and when we hit Open, it's going to bring us back to our Import Field Mapping dialog. The good news is in this case, FileMaker remembers what our last order was, so we don't have to go through the activity of matching up these fields. But now in this case you see down in the Import Action, we've got three different options. We're going to choose one of these other options to allow to use do this import. The three different options that are available to us include adding new records from the source file, which is really a default import, and that's what we've done in our previous movies.
You'll notice though at the bottom there's an option that's called Update matching records in found set. With this selected, you can update matching records and fields in your target file with data from another file. After selecting this option, we go back up into the Import Field Mapping area, and now we will only select the fields that we want to update. So, for example, we've only made changes to notes and last name, so let's uncheck all the other fields. You'll notice now also when you first click on one of these fields, you get this double arrow. We will see down here that's one of the match records based on this field options.
We'll get to that in a second. So we want to click every field twice that we do not want to include in this update. Now you see we've only indicated the last name and the notes fields as the fields that we want to update on this import. When you have the Update matching records in found set option selected, you also need to determine what the match fields are. If the data in a match field of a record in the target file matches the data in the match fields selected of the record in the source file, then that record will be chosen to update. So, for example, if we happened to choose a value that we feel will be unique in each record, let's say, for example, AddressEmail, when we first click on it we get the arrow which would just simply include it in our updates, but if we click on it again we get the double arrow, indicating that this is a match record based on this field.
The match fields you choose must uniquely identify each record in your database. For example, in a database of people you could use just one match field like this Email, or we could use a combination of fields. For example, if the Email matches and the First Name matches, then we know we've got a match record. In that case, only will the updates in the two fields that we've chosen in the source file be pushed over into the target file. You'll also notice when you choose Update matching records in found set that you've got another option here to check: Add remaining data as new records. That means if you've added new records in your source file, and they do not have a match in your current table, the new records will be added each time you refresh via import.
We don't have any new records in our source file, but this is a good default option to check. You'll also see that we're going to make sure to omit the first record, to only bring in the data so that we don't have field names represented at one of our records. Now when we hit Import, we get the same message, Perform autoenter options. In this case, we don't want to perform any autoenter options because we haven't chosen any fields that have autoenter associated with them. We only have the Notes field and the Last Name, so in this case, it really won't perform any tasks for us anyway, so we'll just turn it off.
We hit Import, and now when you read this message, it does say, You've just imported in 1,523 records. But if you hit OK and you look, you'll notice that you haven't increased anymore. You had 1,526 records in the database before, but now you have a Found Set of 1,523. That's because over in your source file, we see we've got 1,524 records, with the first row counting as the column headers. What we're seeing here is that a Found Set will be created with all of the records that were determined to have the match. Now the more interesting thing that's happening here is now we'll notice, in the notes fields, that previously didn't have a data for the first three records that we've got all the data from the updates from the source file.
Also, in record number 10, we notice that a last name has been added. So this process can be very useful, for example, if you might have a copy of a database on your desktop computer and another copy on your laptop computer. You can update some of the files in your office with the changes that you make on the road, or you can just select some of the fields to update while leaving the records in fields to do not select untouched within your database. This is a great way to refresh data inside your FileMaker database with updates from a source file that could be FileMaker database, Excel or any other supported import format.
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