3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 25, 2011 10:48 AM by philmodjunk

    Help! I'm a beginner....



      Help! I'm a beginner....


      Hey...I've recently downloaded filemaker pro and have come to the horrible realization that I have no idea how to create the database that I need lol


      I have a small home business (an agency) and save all my data in excel...basically my data link to each of the documents that I deal with (in bold below)...it goes like this:

      1. Item name
      2. Status = List: Pending quotation (PQT)/ Pending delivery (PIN)/ Cancelled/ Another supplier 
      3. Request for quotation (client A) = REQ#, date
      4. Quotation (client B) = QT#, date, price, means of transport (air/sea) delivery time
      5. Purchase Order (client A) = PO#, date, due date
      6. Order confirmation (client B) = OC#, date, ETA
      7. Delivery documents (client B) = IN#, date, date of arrival
      8. Payment = List: Y/ N
      The excel file is a simple list with the items above as column headings. 
      I've successfully imported the excel file into filemaker (yay!) and have begun to play around with the different layouts etc. I know the find function pretty well because as I update the status as orders/deliveries comes in, I've updated the info that way.
      I'm now at the stage of creating reports. For example:
      - I'd like to get a list of pending deliveries (i.e. only showing records that have the status "PIN"): In excel I'd do a filter for "PIN" in the Status column,  and then copy/paste the data into another spreadsheed to make it look like a report. I'm hoping FMP can do this?
      - I'd also like to monitor payments made up to certain dates and sum the values of the orders: In excel I'd just sort and highlight the "price" column, for records with Y in the "Payment" column. 
      This might all seem so basic but I've really forgotten a lot of my 1st year CS course...I'm just trying to standardize reports that will automatically update as I update the status of the orders. Also, it might be nice to check which items are being ordered more regularly and that sort of thing. I'm not sure if this would require writing scripts, doing requests or creating relational tables...
      I hope I've explained myself ok!
      Can anyone give me a hint or point me in the right direction?  


        • 1. Re: Help! I'm a beginner....

          FileMaker comes with an Invoices Starter solution. That file and this much simpler demo created by Comment: http://fmforums.com/forum/showpost.php?post/309136/

          Show the typical table structure used for invoicing and purchase orders:

          Customers----<Invoices-----<LineItems>-----Producrts    (---< means "one to many")

          Have you set up such a structure in your database or have you set up something different?

          • 2. Re: Help! I'm a beginner....

            I've been thinking of checking out the Invoices starter solution and modifying it actually to suite my data.

            No I don't have any structure, or any relational tables. I've only imported my excel list. I didn't think tables were necessary because I'd only be doing simple filters (finds) really. My next idea was to have a main page with buttons for certain tasks like entering in a new Request for quotation (or record), or performing a find for outstanding deliveries. 

            Say I want to only look at outstanding deliveries...I can perform a find for Status = "PIN" in a nice layout that shows fields I'll only want to provide to the customer. I'm just not sure if it's possible to create a script to do the find, and apply the script to a button on a main page. The button/script should also take me to the layout I design for the customer. 

            I think I'm in over my head lol. But thanks so much for responding! 

            • 3. Re: Help! I'm a beginner....

              Until you have a good structure in terms of tables and relationships, any discussion of how to design your layouts and reports are premature. Take a look at the demo file, it's much simpler than the starter solution so it makes a better starting point for beginners. Take a look at how the tables and relationships are set up, how a a portal is used to record the items purchased on an invoice and also how a script is used to print invoices. This can give you a starting "backbone" on which to build your own custom solution.