People Goal 1 - Part 5: Create your file

Document created by Kedar on Jan 26, 2015Last modified by communitymanager on May 12, 2015
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Now that you've sketched your interfaces, it's time to start working with the FileMaker Pro application itself. Let’s get started by creating a new database file. In the Learn phase, you did this by converting a spreadsheet, but this time you’ll create an empty file.


As part of creating that file, FileMaker Pro adds a table automatically with the same name as the file itself. Depending on what you named your file, the table name could be confusing, so you may need to rename it.

That table will be your main table, which will house your main list of data points. You’ll also add a second table to house your second list of data points.




Create your FileMaker database file, rename your main table if necessary, and add a secondary table.


Create your database file


  1. Open FileMaker Pro.

  2. Click the New... dropdown in the Launch Center window > My Solutions tab and choose New Solution...
    launch center new solution.png
    New File dialog will appear.

  3. Enter a filename in the Save As box.

    Your filename should communicate the purpose of your solution. Since the scenario file tracks sales contacts, it’s called “Sales Contacts”. If you are going to track student enrollments, go ahead and name your file “Student Enrollments”.

  4. Click the Save button.

    Your new file appears with a blank layout displayed in Layout Mode.

Choose a file icon

Let's give your solution a colorful icon to make it easier to identify.

  1. Choose the File menu > File Options… 

  2. Select the Icon tab.

  3. Click the FileMaker drop-down list and choose the icon for "Contacts".
    choose file icon.png

    Since this is a solution about people, this icon is a good choice.

  4. Click the OK button to dismiss the dialog and save your changes.

Rename your main table

  1. Choose the File menu > Manage > Database…  ⇧⌘D

    Manage Database dialog window appears.

  2. Select the Tables tab at the top of the window.

  3. Select the table — it should be the only one in the list.
    Does the name of the table clearly communicate the data it will contain?

  4. If not, change the Table Name to reflect the data it will contain (i.e. “Contacts”, “Personnel”, “Patients”, “Donors”, etc).

    In the example solution, we changed the table name from “Sales Contacts” to “Contacts” because we prefer shorter table names without spaces (they’re easier to follow when your solution gets more complicated).

  5. Click the Change button.
    Untitled 2.png

    The table name is updated.

  6. Leave the Manage Database… dialog window open for now.

Add your second table

Now you’ll add a second table, where later you’ll put your second list of data points.

  1. Select the Tables tab at the top of the window.

  2. Name your table based on what you named your list.

    The example solution names the table “Activities”, since it contains data about sales activities.

  3. Click the Create button.

    The table is created.