1 Reply Latest reply on Oct 22, 2013 9:14 AM by philmodjunk

    New to FileMaker Pro today



      New to FileMaker Pro today


           I apologize upfront at my ignorance. I have used Bento and Excel quite a bit, but am new to using FileMaker Pro. I think my project is fairly simple, but I'm not sure where to start. Here is what I am trying to do:

           I work in a school setting. Three times during the year we assess all of our students with various assessments. I am able to export excel or .csv spreadsheets with test scores from each individual test sites.  I then have several spreadsheets with individual test scores for the students. I would like to merge the different test scores from these separate spreadsheets into one single, sortable spreadsheet or database. Each test spreadsheet has the common field of "student name." My goal is to have a final spreadsheet/database with the student names and each column being a different test score. I could then access all of the test scores for an individual student from one database rather than searching individual spreadsheets. Does this make sense? As it is now, I spend hours sorting each spreadsheet by name, copying and pasting the names in alpha order side by side in a spreadsheet. I then visually go down the spreadsheet making sure the names line up. If a student didn't take a particular test, their name is not on one of the lists. I then need to add cells to bump the name up or down to proper alignment. Once I am sure they all line up, I delete the names from one list so the test scores for the tests are side by side. I then repeat the process with the next test scores from it's spreadsheet. It is terribly inefficient and prone to error. If I could have the different spreadsheets match themselves by name and import together into one database/spreadsheet, I would save a ton of time and effort. Make sense? Can this be done in Filemaker Pro? How would I set up the spreadsheets to make this happen in terms of relationships, etc. I'm pretty techy, but with this I feel like I'm learning a new language.


        • 1. Re: New to FileMaker Pro today

               This can easily be done with FileMaker Pro, but can YOU do it with FileMaker? That depends on your experience, expertise and the amount of time and $$ you are able and willing to invest to learn enough to do this. If you have prior experience with other database programs or such, this is easier and faster to learn than if you do not.

               In FileMaker, you can import the data from each spread sheet file into the same database table, then do sorts and searches on that data to find what you need. You'll need at least two tables, one with a single record for each student and one with at least one record for each test result. There are many options possible and you'll need to figure out how to make this work when dealing with any formatting differences from the data downloaded from each testing site.

               If you want to proceed:

               1) Invest in some training resources unless you are pretty up to speed with relational databases. There are books, videos etc that you can use to learn more. We'll be glad to help  here, but forums like this are best suited for answering specific questions. The training resources provide "broad based" instruction that will make it easier to understand the assistance we can provide here.

               2) Get FileMaker Advanced if you can possibly beg, steal or borrow the extra $$ needed to do so. The script debugger, data viewer and database design report can help you learn how FileMaker works and saves you many hours figuring out why a given design isn't working as expected.