Join Cris Ippolite for an in-depth discussion in this video How FileMaker works, part of Learning FileMaker 17.
- [Instructor] Before we get started, I just wanted to talk a little bit about FileMaker and the platform and why it's really so special. Now, in FileMaker we call finished databases apps or custom apps and the reason for that is because they are more than just databases. While I will use the terminology of apps, databases, or even solutions throughout this course, I'm really talking about the same thing. Let me tell you why FileMaker is more than just a database. Well, first of all, what is a database? A database is the part of a system like FileMaker where you create tables, and you create fields in those tables, and you store data in those tables, and those tables can even be related together.
That's specifically what we're talking about when we talk about a related database platform. However, that's not where it ends for FileMaker. Other database applications, like SQL Server or Oracle, that is where they end. All they are are the tables, and the fields, and the relationships, but FileMaker also has what's called a presentation layer in it. It has the ability to create custom layouts and I'm going to show you that in Layout Mode. We're going to talk extensively about Layout Mode in this course, but this is where we're actually designing the interface or presentation layer portion of it.
In the same tool that you have the ability to create and manage your database or data layer, you also have the tools where you can create and manage your presentation layer. That's pretty special. FileMaker has all that wrapped into one, and in addition, there's also a logic layer which is a reference that you hear in database circles quite a bit. That's where things like calculations can be built in, which we'll talk about here. Also, even automation in the form of scripting in FileMaker, also things we'll cover in this course. All those things together mean that we've got a triple layer application here.
Data layer, presentation layer, and logic layer. You'll be hard-pressed, as a matter of fact, you're not going to find another database platform that gives you all of those in one package and that's what really makes FileMaker so special. In addition to that, there's some really interesting ways that you can share your application. We're going to talk about creating a FileMaker custom app in the FileMaker Pro Advanced product, but I can also upload it to a server if I want to. I can pick a server, and what a FileMaker server is another FileMaker product that really just lets you take your custom apps and share them with hundreds of different people if you want to.
I can upload my application to FileMaker Server. I can even upload it to the cloud, so that people can access it wherever they want to, and once it's on FileMaker Server, we can access it in some really interesting ways. One of the most compelling ways that we can access hosted FileMaker solutions is through a technology that's called FileMaker Web Direct. If you'll notice, I'm in a web browser right now and I'm going to click on this Solution icon here. Now, you might be thinking, hey, I'm in FileMaker right now 'cause I've got all these things like drop-down menus and all the functionality that you're used to inside FileMaker, but actually I'm not.
I'm inside of a browser. This is what the FileMaker Web Direct technology is all about, so you don't even need to have an installation of FileMaker in order to be able to access FileMaker applications. It's pretty cool stuff and, again, this is called FileMaker Web Direct. You can also access your existing FileMaker solutions on an iPad using FileMaker Go and this'll allow you to do things like communicate with iBeacons or do barcode scanning. All sorts of really cool stuff that you can do. You can see that you can create custom interfaces in FileMaker and really utilize the platform for all sorts of really interesting and compelling user experiences.
Also, you've got an entire charting engine that's not just supported on FileMaker Go for iPad, but even on the desktop or in FileMaker Web Direct. You can create a FileMaker custom app, share it on the web, have people access it in a browser, have people access it on an iPad, or even have 'em access it on an iPhone. For example, here I can use things like barcode scanning, signature capture on the device. I can even use the new sensor functions in the FileMaker 17 platform to be able to pull things in like step detection or acceleration, and all sorts of interesting stuff that I'm going to be talking about later in this course.
FileMaker also has a container function which is really compelling. Allows you to actually store images or documents, any binary file. You can even put movies or sound in here. You can have your users interact with them, which makes FileMaker a great tool for asset management or even post-production design. You even have a sophisticated security system that allows you to build in protection and gate keeping for your FileMaker solution, but also identify users.
In addition, if you have data that's in other sources, you can integrate in external data sources like ODBC or other FileMaker systems. You also have the ability to connect to other applications using their APIs and integrate those natively into FileMaker with FileMaker's new JSON parsing. FileMaker can even be its own API source. You can setup a custom API for your FileMaker custom apps and host them on FileMaker Server. Hopefully, you get that FileMaker's a database, but that you also see that it's a powerful tool for creating interfaces, managing data from within FileMaker or other FileMaker data sources or non-FileMaker data sources in a way that you can actually share in a browser, on any IOS device, and even have other applications connect to it.
By the time you're done with this course, I assure you that you'll be able to create your own FileMaker custom apps, deploy them, and share them with users. Let's get going in learning a little bit more about this great database application called FileMaker.
- Database basics
- New features in the FileMaker 17 platform
- Getting going with starter apps
- Creating tables
- Adding fields
- Using container fields
- Creating, editing, and deleting records
- Importing and exporting data
- Creating layouts
- Formatting layouts
- Working with styles ad themes
- Searching for data
- Sorting data
- Building reports
- Calculations and functions