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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.
FileMaker Pro 11 actually has two different ways that you can create a found set without even having to go into Find mode. Both of these occur inside of Browse mode, the first of which is a feature that was released a couple of versions ago, and it's called Fast Match. Let me show you how that works. Note that we are in Browse mode. We can see all of our data, but if I look at any field that has data that I want to search on, I could copy this value, go into Find mode, paste the value, and execute a Find. Or if I hit Show All to show all the records again, I could right-click into the field that has that value, or Ctrl+Click on a Mac, and you'll see this option in the contextual menu that appears, that's called Find Matching Records.
I simply select that option. I never leave Browse mode, but I still end up creating the same found set. So this can be useful for you if you are just mining through some data and you want to find some information inside your database, without having to go into Browse mode. Those types of searches are based on the contextual menu. Now the contextual menu is the menu you find when you right-click, but in addition to Find Matching Records, you also see that we've got Constrain Found Set and Extend Found Set, as well. So, for example, I can find a record that has California, say Find Matching Records, and I could constrain it by a city, if I'd like to.
So using the Find Matching Records in Browse mode is called Fast Match, and there are three Fast Match options: There is Find Matching Records, Constrain Found Set, and Extend Found Set, all of which can be performed in Browse mode. Another method for finding records while in Browse mode is brand-new to FileMaker 11, and it's called Quick Find. You'll notice that in the upper right- hand corner of your database, you will see that there is a familiar Quick Find data entry area. This is the same type of thing that you've seen in any other type of Apple application, like iTunes for example, and by simply typing a value in this field and hitting Enter, you can do searches on your data while still in Browse mode.
For example, I could type in the value ca and hit Enter; not only does it find records that match the state CA, but it also finds records that have CA in the first name, possibly ca in the last name, even though they don't have values inside the State field for ca. So what's actually happening, in this case, is that you can go into your layout and configure which fields that you want to be part of the Quick Find. So if we go into Layout mode, you will notice these green icons, little search icons, on all the different fields in this layout.
Well, if you select a field and open up the Inspector and go into your Data tab, you will see that you've got a check box here for each field that says Include field for Quick Find. By default, every field that you put on the layout has this option selected, so you can go in and deselect these options, so that they are not included in your Quick Find search. If a field is included, you will see what's called a Quick Find badge, or this little green magnifying glass appear. Keep in mind though that if you turn off Quick Find on the Customer List layout, that field will still be on if you go to any other layout that's based on customer.
So you'd have to go and turn it off in all of the different fields in your database in order for the setting to be turned off in your entire database. You can also turn off Quick Find on a layout level. For example, if we hit this little pencil next to the Layout List, that will invoke the Layout Setup, and you will notice that there is a check box here in the bottom of the Layout Setup window that says Enable Quick Find. And if I turn that off, you see that all the green badges went gray. That means that if I turn it back on, they are configured to be included in Quick Find, but that we've turned if off for this layout. And if you make any changes to the default settings, you can hit the Reset Quick Find to make sure that all of the fields then have badges assigned to them.
To improve the performance of your searches, you want to limit the Quick Search fields to only fields that contain data that you are searching for. For example, a table of songs might include the track number and artist's name for each song. You can include the artist's name in the search but exclude the track number, because it's not likely that someone would search for all the songs with the same track number. Those types of things will make your searches perform quicker. There are also different colored badges. You see the green ones, which indicate that the Quick Find setting is enabled for a field. We also saw the gray ones, which indicate the Include field for Quick Find option.
There is another badge, as well. If we go under Invoice > Detail, you see that we have these yellow badges. These are what FileMaker determines not so Quick Find fields because they may be considered for removing from Quick Find, because they are un-indexed or they are related fields or they are values that will take a long time for FileMaker to search upon. So unless you really need to include yellow badged fields in your Quick Find, you might want to consider removing them to make your finds go a lot quicker. The idea here is that you might want to train your users on the different ways they can perform finds in Browse mode, because these are great tools for drilling down or drilling up in data that you are working with onscreen.
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