4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2012 5:15 AM by ramaprem

    Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions



      Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions


      I run an old ClarisWorks/AppleWorks database. I would like to be able to update to Mac OS Lion, but Lion does not support this "legacy" software. I know that FM is the "800-pound gorilla" of databases, but I need reassurance concerning the following before I purchase FM and Lion.

      1. My database has almost 3,000 records, with about 60 fields/record. Will I be able to transfer ALL this information - without loosing anything - from AW to FM?

      If so, can I be pointed to some exact instructions on doing this properly?

      2. I use MailMerge. AW has a text module, and I have created AW text documents (containing graphics, I might add), which are used to do a merge. I assume that FM can do this, but does FM have a "text module"? If so, would I have to create new documents with(in) FM to accomplish a merge?

      3. I print mailing labels. I also assume that FM does this.

      It's a scary proposition to make this change after so many years of using my AW database; my business is 100% dependent on it. So I need to be certain of being able to make the change without loss or corruption of data.

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions

          1) If you export your data from AW to a common file format such as  a tab delimitted text file, you'll be able to import all of your data into FileMaker. This imports the data, any calculation cells you set up in FileMaker will import as a value, you'll need, I think to recreate any such calculations individually in FileMaker after the data import.

          2) FileMaker can export data into Merge files which can in turn be imported into MS Word. It does not have a "text module". It is strictly a database. On the other hand, it can store images in container fields, so you may find that you can reproduce your documents in FileMaker. It's not a word processor, however, so I'm not making you any promises here.

          3) FileMaker does Mailing labels. It comes with a "layout wizard" where you can tell it you want labels and what Avery number to use and FileMaker will walk you through setting up the labels.

          4) There's a 30 day free trial for FileMaker that you can down load. So you can try before you buy. You are welcome to download and return to this forum with questions, but FileMaker will be a significantly different program from AppleWorks so be prepared to invest some time in learing more about the product. There are a number of tutorials, books and even You Tube videos you can use for that purpose.

          • 2. Re: Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions

            Thanks very much for your reply.

            When I have some free time, I will download and work with the app.

            • 3. Re: Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions

              I am also a prospective customer.

              Until upgrading my Mac to Lion, I had been using the AW Database to create invoices.

              I like AW's ability to view the "spreadsheet-like" list of invoices (records) I created in the database, as well as the ability to "page view" the invoices (records) I created. I really appreciate the simple design and interface. Creating a new invoice with this app was just as simple as creating a new record, entering some info, and bang, new invoice ready to be printed! 

              Des FMP 11 offer the same ability of "toggling" views as I describe above in AW? Same essential ease I had come to enjoy with AW?

              I am anxious to try the trial version, which I will do within the next 24 hours or so....forgive me for not trying already. I have previously tried several stand-alone invoice programs, none of which had the simolicity and ease of the AW Database function. My "best" workaround since stepping up to Lion has been creating inoices via a Word template and "saving as..." --- and creating a separate log with an Excell SS. Not a glamorous or efficient solution -- but easy nough for now....

              Looking forward to any and tips from experienced users!


              • 4. Re: Prospective buyer of FMPro: questions

                "Looking forward to any and tips from experienced users!"

                Obviosly, that's that me!

                However, I have been working with the trial version of FM for 2 weeks now, and I can verify that the program has everything that AW has - in terms of viewing and all else.

                While there is certainly a learning curve involved - it is certainly not steep. The program is very straightforward for any experienced database user.