3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2012 12:48 PM by philmodjunk

    New to FileMaker- help please



      New to FileMaker- help please


      Hi everyone!
      Small background on myself. Vice President here at Berges Trenton Awning Inc. I'm the fourth generation and our business is celebrating 85 years in business. With that said, our business is a bit outdated in many ways. Recently I did a large overhaul to paperless statements, estimates, etc. Now I'm on my way to update our 1988 (yes- not a typo) DOS program my grandfather created back at Radio Shack when they had courses Surprised
      FileMaker Pro looks like the answer to all my worries though. I started messing with the program and some things make sense, while other parts are beyond me still.
      Here's what we are looking for the program to do:
      A) Sort and organize our 1500+ customer data base. This is probably the simplest task for FMP at the moment and I'm sure the excel forms will transfer over without issue, already started using that.
      B) Along with addresses, phone numbers, and the usual, we need to have a checklist or automated way of locating all their awnings once they are in our possession and stored in our facility.
      C) I also need to figure out how to create and use check boxes for simple "yes" and "no" inquiries we have about customers.
      D) I need to have this up and running full steam by April when our hang season hits, our DOS programming is losing it's touch by the day and we're in need of a refresh so we can continue to keep up with the demand.

      I included a quick screenshot of my biggest need. I started in the invoice template as that's where I felt it'd be best. Once everything is organized, we'll definitely be using invoicing for our customers through FMP. I added the text needed, but I'm looking to add two boxes we can fill manually in year after year. Both will be to the right of the item names. One will be Quantity and the next will read Location. i.e. - How many awnings and where can we find them?

      We'll start here and possibly once I learn these items I'll be able to move forward on my own.

      Thanks for any help provided! 


        • 1. Re: New to FileMaker- help please

          I need to have this up and running full steam by April

          If you plan to do the work yourself and do not have experience with Relational Database Design, this is a very tall order--especially since as vice president, you likely have many other demands on your time an energy.

          We'll help you all we can here in the forum, but we'll need to know a lot more specifics to do so as youre requests are pretty general and we don't know how your business operates and what you need from the database to support your business operations. Neither do we know anything about your current system--from which you'll want to import as much data as possible without needing to physically type it in.

          In your screen shot, I can see where you've added a new tab panel with a set of new fields. Since the layout is based on Customers, this suggests that you may have added those new fields to the customers table. If so, this is the wrong place to add these fields unless all customers are limited to only one awning product each.

          If you want to pursue help from the forum, I recommend you break your project down into stages and take this one small step at a time by providing a clear description of the issue, the design of the data invovled and what you need this part of the database system to do for you to support your business. Getting a good "structure" to your database--the tables and relationships needed--will be your first step and good design here is critical to produce an effective, efficient database system.

          • 2. Re: New to FileMaker- help please

            Afternoon Phil!
            Thanks for the quick reply. I'll put my needs into a more concise and understandable request. Thanks for the warm welcome, looking forward to understanding this program better!
            I'll reply back here once I have the list ready. 

            • 3. Re: New to FileMaker- help please

              The forum "ate" my first post and when I retyped it, I left something out.

              It may be a much better allocation of resources for you to find a consultant who can analyze your business needs and procedures, the structure of your current DOS system and then produce the needed files for you.