Simple direct searches are something that is very easy to setup in FileMaker. The details of what you need to do will depend on what the emails look like after importing into FileMaker. What's especially important is whether the date info will be stored in a date or a text field. For simple, effective searching, you'll want to have the date info be in a date field so that you can find all emails in a range of dates or all emails after a specified date for example.
If you haven't already, you may want to download the 30 day free trial copy of FileMaker so that you can investigate its find and quick find features as well as how to sort the data after you pull it up in a "found set" of records that match your criteria.
Thanks. I own a registerd copy of FileMaker and I can open the sample database. I'd like to see it the way it's viewed in most mail programs, or iTunes smartlist, or Spotlight search in MacOS: there's a search field somewhere above the list of all records. You fill in whatever fields you want to search (or use boolean expressions in this search field) and then the list of all emails (database records) gets pruned to only those matching it, and you can double-click on them to see them in detail. It's not working for me and I'm sure I'm being clumsy with the interface. Do you know what I mean by the "smartlist" analogy? It's hard to describe :-(
I'm a windows user so some of your references don't register with me. Can you give an example of how "smart list" works?
In FileMaker, you already have a Quick Find box in the upper right corner for doing some quick and simple searches. You can enter find mode and specify search criteria in any field or combination of fields, then perform the find to find just those records. I mention these options because they don't require any scripting or layout design to implement.
You can also create a list view layout and either place a global field or fields in the header for collecting search criteria, or you can use New Window or Show Custom Dialog to pop up a floating window where you enter criteria for a search. A script can then use the data thus entered to search for matching records. If you want, the script can count the number of found records and display them in a detail view type layout if just one record is found or in a list of email subject lines where the user can click one to view it in the detail view layout.
Global fields in the header are easier to set upand will look more like what you have requested, but there's a bug that can keep them from working smoothly, where new window/show custom dialog avoids that glitch. The download link at the bottom of this post is to a file that uses New Window to open a search pallet. If you like that approach, let me know and I'll expand more on how it works. (Careful, there's a trick used that will trap you in an endless loop with no way out if you don't implement it correctly.)
For More Information on this bug, see: Sometimes global field in header become disabled
This is one of many acknowledged bugs that can be found in the Known Bug List here in the Report an Issue section of the forum.
It can also be downloaded as a database file from: http://www.4shared.com/file/8orL8apk/FMP_Bugs.html
> I'm a windows user so some of your references don't register with me. Can you give an example of how "smart list" works?
how about the screengrab at https://www.yousendit.com/download/cEdzeFlaMGsrV3hFQlE9PQ
You see an option to match all criteria or match any criteria, and then a set of (as many as I want) fields to specify the criteria. The two fields I've chosen here are From and Date sent, and as soon as I fill them in, I get a list (below) of the matching records. I can click on each one to open it in a separate window. Can this be done in FM?
Super - thanks! There are several solutions for moving email into FileMaker. Now if I could only figure out if I can search it the way I want in FM! :-)
Can this be done in FM?
Yes, with scripting and global fields what you describe can be done in FileMaker.
> Yes, with scripting and global fields what you describe can be done in FileMaker.
what's the best path to this? Is there a place I could advertise this as a job for someone who is good in FM? I am a biologist and I don't have time to learn to script FM... I'd be happy to pay for someone to produce the necessary script so I can finally make the decision and move my data to a FM database. Is that a reasonable way to with this kind of task?
First are you willing to tie yourself to OSX.
Second Mail.app upgrades may break this AND Entourage is not sold anymore, Outlook has replaced it. This solution may or (probably) may not work with current Outlook versions.
NOTED: people still use Eudora five years after it's death.
You can find Consultants At the top of this Page.
I would be willing to discuss consulting with you. (I am unsure if this violates forum protocols)
> First are you willing to tie yourself to OSX.
> I am using Entourage 2008 until I see a better alternative (I don't like Outlook 2011). For now, I'd like to move my mail archive to a more stable format. Unless there's a better way, File Maker is it for now...
> You can find Consultants At the top of this Page.
> I would be willing to discuss consulting with you.
ok, will pursue through individual message.