FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using the basic find functions


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

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Video: Using the basic find functions

One of the key requirements of any data storage application is data retrieval. FileMaker provides this via its Find mode features. Now we've been covering a couple different modes throughout this title, and those of course can be found under the View menu. We've worked with Browse mode, which is the default mode, allowing you to enter data, edit data and just read data. Then of course, Layout mode, which helps us design our Layouts and make modifications to existing designs, and then there's Preview mode, which basically allows you to see what your prints are going to look like. What we're going to focus on in this chapter though is Find mode, and this is the mode where you perform Find requests.
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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

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Watch the Online Video Course FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
9h 11m Beginner Jun 25, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating databases from templates
  • Creating fields in spreadsheet format
  • Creating tables and relationships
  • Defining key fields
  • Adding validation and auto-enter values to fields
  • Managing records, including duplicating, locking, and deleting records
  • Creating and managing layouts
  • Formatting layout objects
  • Finding and sorting data
  • Creating calculation fields
  • Building reports
  • Printing and saving as PDF or Excel
  • Writing and triggering scripts
  • Using relationships throughout a database
FileMaker Pro
Cris Ippolite

Using the basic find functions

One of the key requirements of any data storage application is data retrieval. FileMaker provides this via its Find mode features. Now we've been covering a couple different modes throughout this title, and those of course can be found under the View menu. We've worked with Browse mode, which is the default mode, allowing you to enter data, edit data and just read data. Then of course, Layout mode, which helps us design our Layouts and make modifications to existing designs, and then there's Preview mode, which basically allows you to see what your prints are going to look like. What we're going to focus on in this chapter though is Find mode, and this is the mode where you perform Find requests.

When you perform a Find request, FileMaker Pro searches through all the Records in a table, comparing the criteria you specify with the data that's in the table. Records with data matching the criteria become the found set, which is the subset of Records being browsed. Records that don't match the criteria are then omitted. So nothing happens to the total number of Records that are found in your database when you're searching. You're just getting any responses to your search as part of something that's called a Found Set, and the concept of found set is going to be very important moving forward. Once you have a found set, you'll work then with only those Records.

For example, found sets can affect editing, sorting, printing, deleting, exporting, saving snapshot links; those types of things are all affected by a found set. So let's open this Customer List Layout in our Exercise File, and I'm already in Find mode, but in case you're still in Browse mode, there's a couple different ways you can get into Find mode, first of which of course is under the View menu, choosing Find or choosing Command+F, or Ctrl+F on Windows. Also, down in the bottom left-hand corner, you can choose and toggle between modes through clicking on, in this case it says Browse, so whatever the current name of the mode, is you just click on that and choose another one. Or you can enter Find mode by going into your Status toolbar and pressing the Find button.

The first thing you'll notice is that everything onscreen goes blank, and this should not alarm you, or your users; all your data is still in the database. What this is doing now is clearing out all the fields, allowing you to type in search criteria into them appropriately. Once you're in Find mode, pick a field that you want to add criteria, and type values into those fields. Then when you perform a Find, FileMaker is going to search for any Records that match the criteria from the field that you just entered the data into, and this set of Matching Records will replace any previous found set. So let's take a look at this. So in Find mode, you'll also notice that in addition to the fields being empty, you've also got these little magnifying glass icons in each field.

This is to further remind you and your users that you're in Find mode. This way users don't get confused in thinking they're in Data Entry mode, because of course when you hit New Record in Browse mode it also presents you with a blank Layout onscreen. So now FileMaker Pro is waiting for you to enter some criteria, and you'll notice that your Status toolbar has also changed to allow a Perform Find and Cancel Find button. Of course, if you hit Cancel Find, it'll take you back to Browse mode. Perform Find will initiate the Find based on the request you've entered, but first you have to enter some in. For those of you that are familiar with the Web, this sort of behavior might initially throw you, because instead of offering you a single search field, like in Google for example, and then having another page or a Layout that you can see your found set or results displayed, FileMaker simply allows you to use the fields placed on any given Layout and then perform searches based on those fields.

So you'll see when you're in Find mode you can go to Customer Detail > Products, whatever you want to do. Any Layout that you've created in FileMaker can be used to enter Find Requests, which is actually a strength of FileMaker Pro. So now once you're in Find mode, let's do some practices here. Let's click into the City field. Let's type the word Los, and now we're going to hit Perform Find, and you'll notice that when we go back into Browse mode, you'll see something here in the upper left-hand corner on our Status toolbar; we see that we've now got 4/1523.

This indicates that we've got 1523 Records in the database, and only 4 match the criteria that we just entered. So 4 are in our Found Set. You see that we can navigate through the 4 Records by using the book icon and also this pie chart-looking icon here indicates that our Found Set takes up about this percentage of space in the overall amount of Records in the database. Now the important thing to note here is just because I've created a Found Set doesn't mean that all the other Records in the database have disappeared. As a matter of fact, I can see all of the eecords that don't match any of the search criteria by going under Records and choosing Show Omitted Only, and now you see that our Found Set has become 1,519 Records out of 1,523, and our pie chart has changed so the light area, which represents our Found set, is now inverted from what we saw earlier.

At any given time, you can reset the view by selecting this Show All button. There's also a Show All option that you see is currently grayed out now under your Records menu, but it's grayed out because all Records are showing. So now you see our Found set has been reset. Sometimes you may have more Records in your Found Set than can be seen on one screen at a time; in this case you may just have to scroll through the List View to be able to see all of them. This is also a big reason why you even have a List View in the first place, because the more Records you can see onscreen at any given time, the more of your Found Set you'll be able to work with.

Now let's look at the way that the Find is actually working. Let's go back into Find mode. You saw when I typed in "Los" into the City field and hit Perform Find; let's take a close look at what's coming back as our results. None of these contain just the value Los, for starters. That's the first thing that we're noticing here. And also, even though the word Los is contained in Record number 2, only the characters Los, are contained in three out of the 4 Records in our Found Set. So what it's doing is finding the Los part inside of each of these Records, and because what it's doing there is doing a search based on the field's Index. Click inside of one of these fields and hit Command+I on Mac, or Ctrl+I on Windows.

You'll be able to see the Index. A field index is something that's created by FileMaker. Anytime you search inside of a field, what it does is goes and takes every single record in your database, and it grabs every unique value that appears inside that field and adds it to an Index. So, for example, if the city Acosta is in here 50 times, FileMaker is only going to add it to its index once, and it also is going to note which records actually have the value Acosta in those fields. That way if I type in Acosta, for example, it doesn't have to go check all 1500 Records.

It can just go check its Index, and its Index will tell it which Records should be part of the Found Set. FileMaker does two different types of Indexes: first a Value Index, which just indexes all the characters up to the first 100 characters in your field. A Word Index is used in some other types of functionality within FileMaker, and that just breaks up the different words. But in a search we're using a Value Index, so Los just happens to be one of the characters in the 100 characters that it's indexing for any given field. So that's how it's finding matches for us.

So let's do another search, for example. We'll clear these out by going into Find mode again, which gives us another place to enter data, and we'll enter the word Angel and hit Perform Find. Now you'll notice here that we get Los Angeles and Angels Camp, so what you're seeing is we're getting that Value Index again, the A-N-G-E-L is coming as part of the second word in Los Angeles and the first word in Angels Camp. This is something to keep in mind when you're working with FileMaker, or when you're training your users, so make sure to set these expectations with them, so they're not surprised with the results that they're getting. These are the basic ways to find data inside your FileMaker database.

Keep in mind that in addition to FileMaker's ability to be able to create the data storage mechanism and provide a user interface, it also does provide this very powerful data retrieval tools, as well.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training .

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Q: In the Chapter 16 tutorial, “Using Text Functions,” the instructor discusses how to calculate the First Name and Last Name from the Full Name. However, the method does not account for names ending with  “Jr.” or “Sr.” or “III,” etc.  How can I account for added suffixes in names?
A: For cases like this, you can create a third "Suffix" field. Then change the FullName calculation to:

NameFirst&" "&NameLast&" "&Suffix 

This way, nothing will appear if the Suffix has no value, but if it does have a value the suffix will appear.
Q: What information is actually on the “Invoice Line Item” table in the examples, and how does it actually connect to the tables that it comes from?
A: The information in each line item is native to the "Invoice Line Item" table. The fields are defined in that table and each record represents "A Product appearing on an Invoice."
Each time a product is used on an invoice, a record in the line item table is created. Many of the fields, for example "Quantity," are native to that table because those values only exists when a Product is used in an Invoice, and not as attributes of a Product itself.
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