7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2009 10:54 AM by lessthan

    new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs



      new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs


      I have never used FMPro but have a task that only a custom database can solve.

      I own a Live Music Venue and need a unified database to store a lot of different types of data that are not obviously related. In hopes of the best advice I will give a short example.


      We have a great system in place for each process. Booking, Promoting, Day of show prep, Box office settlement, Artist settlement, Bar settlement, and a standard Contact Management section. However they are mostly all recorded separately on paper.


      I would like to build an application that combines many data sources. This would allow anyone to use a GUI to enter their part of the data. I would like the forms we have already created to be duplicated in FMPro so they are familiar with the process. Moving everything into FMPro obviously will mean the data has to be entered only once.


      What I am aming to create is very much like MASTER TOUR DATABASE = http://www.pcguild.com/database.html  or REP TOOLS 2008 = http://www.reptools.com/


      MASTER TOUR DATABASE uses many pop up windows, one for each module or GUI. 

      REP TOOLS 2008 uses a toolbar at the top to change the main window to the GUI you need.


      A small example of how I will be using the data.

      We book a show recording all show times and tech info. The band name will automatically populate contact info.

      Promotions Dept. then click button which generates auto emails to all related contacts.

      Production does the same and also one clicks prints out show schedule and dressing room signs which are auto created with band names and times from booking data.

      Box office settles with a calculating spreadsheet which gets linked to band.

      Bar settlement gets linked to band.

      Now I can search by band and the previous shows come up with all the $ info. I can search for a band name and get all the contacts to pop up, I can search by highest grossing nights and find out what bands to try and book again. Etc etc etc.



      I would like some advice on best practices for constructing something like this.

      Should each of my processes be in separate databases and then have linked relationships? Should I build on big database and just put the fields I need on corresponding tabs? Why do some application suites like the ones I referenced work in separate windows and some in separate tabs? (the tech level when they were designed?)


      and How do I build a tool bar at the top to switch from job area to job area?

      Apologies for the lengthy post, but I really don't have the time or money to go down a long trial and error path of self education on this. It is going to be a huge time sink even if I go down the right road the whole way through.


      Thanks in advance for any help.

      We are located in Baltimore.



        • 1. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs

          Also if anyone can suggest a solid mid-level instructional book that might help in my task I am all ears! :smileyhappy:


          thanks again for your time.



          Also I have only messed around with the trial version this weekend so I haven't been able to look at the manual. I am sure some of my questions will be detailed there when the full version arrives. 

          • 2. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs

            also is it possible to create dynamic form layouts?

            Meaning if during the booking process I create a show date with 6 bands when I go to settle that show the forms will reflect 6 bands, but if I book a show with 2 bands only 2 will show?


            I have started building my database with 10 band slots but would love to hide any unused slots becuase we do 3 or less bands 90% of the time.



            • 3. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs

              here is another...can you dynamically display a field label from the value of another field?


              for instance how would I make a band name populate down a form based on the original entry?



              headliner = x

              support 1 = y

              support 2 = z


              then below have:


              x presales = number 

              y presales = number

              z presales = number


              instead of having a static label like:


              headliner presales = 

              support 1 presales =

              support 2 presales =



              Will the label of the field affect my searching capabilities?

              I want to search for all shows Band X played regardless of what slot they played in.


              I know that planning the schema is the most important step and I can design all the GUI's once I have the tables constructed correctly...it is just the experience I lack in thinking like the program in order to build it right.



              • 4. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs



                Thank you for your posts.


                In short... yes, FileMaker Pro can do all that you mention.


                I would envision a Shows database.  Connected to that would be the bands that are performing.  The Shows Database may also be connected to a calendar date, so you can't book the same venue twice on the same night.


                When a new show is created, you may want to populate another table that holds the steps that need to take place in order for this to occur (PR, flyers, mailing, etc.)


                When you book the band, you can present as much band information as you want.  You can even see what they were paid last time and what kind of income they generated.


                One layout may be built for Promotions department, while another layout displays Accounting information.  You can then set up passwords so that neither Accounting nor Promotions sees each others forms, or they can also share some forms.


                If you book 10 bands or 3 bands, you can use the same form.  There is an option to slide up information when printing if certain fields are blank.


                Although there are field labels, you can remove them and replace them with the field names.  Therefore, where it used to say:



                headliner = x

                support 1 = y

                support 2 = z


                It can now say:


                x presales =

                y presales =

                z presales =  


                The field label does not affect searching in any way.


                If you need clarification for any of the above steps, please let me know.



                FileMaker, Inc. 


                • 5. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs

                  Thanks for the response.

                  I did find another thread about collapsing unused fields.


                  I don't really understand the part about labels and fields.


                  Two questions.


                  1. if I create 10 fields that both have the names and the labels Band 1, Band 2, Band 3, through 10...and make them all collapsible...will the labels disappear as well?


                  2. Tomorrow I have a show where I am booking Frank Sinatra and Mojo Nixon. I have a section at the top of the form where I want the label to say "Headliner" and then enter the Frank Sinatra's name in that field. I also have a field labeled "Band 2" that will get Mojo Nixon's name entered. What I would like to happen then is all the remaining fields pertaining to HEADLINER, such as HEADLINER_PRESALE to generate labels that read "Frank Sinatra Presale" and the fields pertaining to BAND 2 to generate labels that read "Mojo Nixon Presale"......


                  actually scratch that....it would be too troublesome when bands have long names because it would disrupt the layout too much.


                  ok so just the one question:


                  do labels still print if the field is set to not print?

                  • 6. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs


                    You may find this white paper useful.

                    White Paper for FMP Novices


                    • 7. Re: new2 FMPro. Multiple Windows vs. Tabs

                      Wow...looks pretty awesome.

                      what a great thing to do as a developer.