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Importing records to refresh data

From: FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

Video: Importing records to refresh data

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.

Importing records to refresh data

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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This video is part of

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

94 video lessons · 14898 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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