3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2010 1:43 PM by philmodjunk

    Microsoft Access to Filemaker transition (trying to grasp FM concepts)



      Microsoft Access to Filemaker transition (trying to grasp FM concepts)


      Can someone point me to some literature or videos that will help me understand the FM way? 

      Does FM just run off of one big table?

      How do queries work in FM?  I know that FM is supposed to be a simple solution, are queries something that can be done in FM?

      I am building a database to track sales. 

      I want to include product images, and other things which I would normally handle in a separate product hierarchy table, which I would then link back to sales data through a query.

      Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Microsoft Access to Filemaker transition (trying to grasp FM concepts)

          There are books and tutorials on the subject.

          Here's a quick access to filemaker primer (I've developed in both systems).

          Forget SQL queries, except for certain specialized uses with ODBC links and such, you don't use it with filemaker. Instead you enter find mode specify criteria in the actual fields of your layout (think form in access) and perform the find. You can use operators to specify ranges of values and other things directly in the fields while in find mode. When you perform the find, you get a "found set of records" that match your criteria. THis is somewhat similar to a form's recordset in Access. Much like a record set, you have a current record, sort order and found set for every "box" in Manage | Database | Relationships. Open a new window to the file and you get a brand new set of all of the above for the new window separate from the original window.

          Filemaker is fully relational. You can define any number of tables in one file and link them in relationships on the relationships graph. Unlike access, you have to define your relationships in graphic form in this section of Manage | Database. You can't define new relationships "on the fly" like you can with SQL expressions in access.

          In Access you have subforms and subreports to edit/display related records. In filemaker you use a very similar object called a portal.

          That should at least help get you started. Download the free 30 day trial, run the tutorial and spend some time with filemaker help reading up on things. And feel free to post specific questions to forums like this one if you get stuck.

          • 2. Re: Microsoft Access to Filemaker transition (trying to grasp FM concepts)

            Find mode is huge step in the right direction, Thanks! 

            Will it pull data from 2 diffrent(but linked) tables for me if I create the relationships in the Manage window?

            • 3. Re: Microsoft Access to Filemaker transition (trying to grasp FM concepts)

              It depends on what you mean by "pull data".

              Every layout you define specifies a box ( a table occurrence ) in the relationships graph. It will be listed in "show records from" in layout setup... You can place fields on the layout that come from other tables and filemaker will use the relationships you've defined as they relate to the specified table occurrence to control what data appears in these fields from related records. (and you can show data from multiple related records using a portal.)

              When you enter find mode, specify criteria in fields from one of these related tables and perform the find, you are searching that data source table of the Layout's specified Table Occurrence for any records that have a related record with the specified data.

              Thus, if you have an invoice with a portal of line items and you specify "Left handed screw driver" in a description field of the portal, you will get all invoices that list a "left handed screw driver" in at least one row of the portal. You will also see all the invoice data including the other line item records that may or may not have that specified text.