8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2009 4:15 PM by fantasysystems

    is filemaker right for my retail business



      is filemaker right for my retail business


      hi i have a small retail business that is taking off, i have about 600 customers, so it got really hard to keep track by pencil and paper, i'm looking for a database software... i started with bento i really like the interface =) but inventory and sales don't communicate like filemaker pro does, all though i still don't know how to work it! =(,(is really hard for me since this is the first time i touch a software this dence) so i was wondering if this is even the right sofware for my, i do sales trough a website like ebay, so i want a contact manage software let's say bento but i keep and inventory too, i wish to make a sale and have a software tell me if the the product is in inventory that is pretty much it, if it can give me estimates in sales in a month or yearly is a +, so i see that filemaker pro does what i need but it looks soooo complicated please help me =(


      also I  have my database of customers in bento already and i want to take all my data base from bento to filemaker pro, and i did but i have like a table view in filemaker pro, can bring this info and have each customer in an individual layout? and like choose from all the individual layouts that filemaker pro offers when I start a database from scratch in the program?, let me know if my questions makes any sense i tried explaining it s best as i could i'm all new to this database stuff thanks in advance 

        • 1. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business



          Thank you for your post.


          You have asked questions that have many answers, so let's start easily.


          Yes, FileMaker Pro is a more complicated product than Bento, so be prepared to spend some time learning it. 


          When you imported the Bento information into FileMaker Pro, you can view the data via Table view (View as Table from the View menu).  In Bento, you also have one or more Form views.  In FileMaker Pro, pull down the View menu and select "View as Form".  To move fields around the layout (or add fields), pull down the View menu and select "Layout Mode".  Here you can use precise measurements to move your fields, add graphics, etc.   While in Layout Mode, you can create a new Layout to view the same information differently, just like you would in Bento.


          This doesn't get you to update inventory information, but it gives you a good understanding of how information can be presented on screen.  Let me know if you need clarification for any of the above steps.



          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business

            If you've never used Filemaker before, I suggest learning Filemaker with the Trial version, for example.


            Test it out and see if it works for you. If it's too complicated, you're better off with quickbooks, or hiring a Filemaker programer to design your database. 

            • 3. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business
                 Hello, thank you for your response, I actually understand more filemaker now I played with it I bought a book and I called customer service and they really helped me! :) they tough me how to bring my data from bento using the business solutions templates that they have for free, now I manage to bring my data, but what I want to do now is have an inventory,  contact manager and something like a sales order communicate to each other if that makes any sense :P, my question now is how do business people keep track of their sales?, I want something that shows me what I've sold and to whom, can you help me?, sorry if I don't explain myself good, I'm new at all this and don't know the terminology, but I'm a quick learner :), have a good night and thank you in advance!
              • 4. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business
                   Hi I already have the trial version I've been playing with it, I was very frustrated at the beginning but now I'm getting the hang of it :), I have change the layouts by my self I'm kinda learning the programming part (scared!!!) do you know how much people charge for designing a data base? I would only need inventory, contact manager and like a sales order sheet, or if you know where I can ask for this service I'm curious if it is not much I would get that done, thank you
                • 5. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business

                  It all depends of the complexity of the database. If you are looking for a custom-built, full-fledged system then it could get expensive.


                  Most people do well starting from a template such as the one you found and using a Filemaker book to tweak it and play with it. You will learn a great deal along the way. It will just take longer.

                  • 6. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business
                       Thank you for all your help! I'll take your advice :)
                    • 7. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business

                      It's been a while since your last post, so I imagine you are making good progress.

                      But here is a tip for learning FM.

                      When I first started, I taught myself using the templates FM offers.  I would work with my db open and a template open and copy and paste items, look at the scripts the template has, study the relationship trees and how they work etc etc etc.

                      Take a few minutes to look through the other templates to see if they have elements you would like to incorporate into your db.

                      Trial and error is key in learning database software.



                      • 8. Re: is filemaker right for my retail business
                           thanks for the advaice that is what i kinda have been doing :) it is very helpfull everybody here is so nice love this forum i never imagine learning about databases to be fun!