6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 19, 2011 10:25 AM by philmodjunk

    Novice here and need help getting started



      Novice here and need help getting started


      I've never worked with a database program before. I'm trying to import data from two excel files where some of the data matches (zip codes) and some of the data is unique. I want to match all the data by zip code.


      I appreciate your input and patience.

        • 1. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

          A little more information on what type of data is in the two excel files and how you want the data to end up in the database would help in giving you some advise.  From what you've written so far you could import one of the excel files first, then import the second file using the "update matching records" option and  choose zip code as the match field.  That would work assuming that each zip code is unique for each record.

          • 2. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

            I have one file which has total housing units by zip code. The other file has weekly sales data by zip code. I want to look at the sales per HH by wk and the only way to do that is combining the files. I can do a lookup formaula in excel, but it crashes sometimes so I thought I would start to use FM to simplify these projects.

            • 3. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

              I would use two different tables in your database then.  On for the Units and one for the weekly sales data.  Set up the relationship between the two based on zip code.  Then create a layout based on Units wth a portal to the weekly sales table, so as you go through the Unit records the sales data for that same zip code will be displayed.

              • 4. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

                I'm sure you're right, but since today is the first time I've ever used FM I don't know how to do that.

                • 5. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

                  Import your "Units" excel file into filemaker.  Then import your Sales data into the same file, but at the top of the import screen change the target to new table.

                  Once they are imported go to Manage Database.  on the top of the window there are 3 tabs, Table, Fields and Relationships.  You can rename the 2 Tables to what make sense to you, like Units and Sales.  Then go to the field tab and make sure that the field names make sense to you as well, change as needed.  Then go to the relationships tab.  In this window you should see two boxes, one for each of your two tables, each box will have a list of the fields in each table.  Find the zip code field in each of those boxes and connect them by clicking on one and dragging the line over to the other zip code field.  Now the two tables are related by zip code.

                  Close out the Manage database window by clicking OK.  Then create a layout based on the Units table, arranging the fields how you want them to look.  If you are only going to look at the most recent Sales data for each unit you can just place fields from the Sales table on this layout.  If you would want to look at a list of all sales data for that unit you could create a portal, this allows you to look at multiple records from the Sales table that are related to the Unit record you are on. 

                  • 6. Re: Novice here and need help getting started

                    FileMaker isn't a type of software you can just install and start using. While its interface is fairly easy to use, relational database design and function can be anything but simple, plus FileMaker has its own unique methods for developing and using the database that can be quite a suprise even for database professionals with extensive experience with other database systems.

                    Be prepared to invest some time to learn about databases and FileMaker as this will greatly reduce your frustration level when trying to use it to accomplish your goals. There are training tutorials and books on the subject--even youTube videos.