What books and videos disappointed you? That might give us a clue as to what different resource to recommend.
FileMaker Pro missing manuals
FileMaker seems to make a habit of not including basic things in the manual.
As philmodjunk said, the best training resources depends upon you, your experience with other products, etc.
If you are even far from being an amateur (I like that phrase) then you might look at YouTube videos done by Guy Stevens. There is something about looking over the shoulder of someone doing it that seems to make it less mysterious.
I satrted by taking the Filemaker beginner/intermediate/advanced courses taught by John Mark Osborne at vtc.com.
It looks like they have fallen behind over there. Not much after version 14 now. And I know JMO is now doing his own series on YouTube. Some of the newest features won't be covered in version 13, but it's still very well done and very in depth and almost all of it is still completely relevant.
There are also the courses on Lynda.com taught by Cris Ippolite which are excellent, though a bit less in depth.
FileMaker Training Videos for FileMaker Pro 15 has a great series of online courses as well.
Then there are the Filemaker Training Series (Basic and Advanced).
And if you have the time and money you can take an intensive training workshop offered by Filemaker Certified Trainers. Go to Filemaker.com and click on the "Learn" tab for more info.
If you are in Australia, in Melbourne or Sydney, uLearnIT is now offering FileMaker classes!
Check out the schedule of Get Started with FileMaker Pro here.
This course has been written from the ground up and will be a great hands-on introduction to developing custom database solutions with FileMaker Pro 15.
No offense to Guy Stevens, but I have to say in fairness I found his videos to include quite a few really bad habits and shall we say, "not best practices?" It's just my opinion. Clearly he has many followers. But too often when watching his stuff, I cringe at the thought of how many people are learning exactly the wrong way to do things.
There are certainly good bits scattered through Guy's work that is well worth a look, but I would START somewhere else so you get a good foundation to build on.
That's good to know. Maybe I have been learning a few incorrect techniques.
The problem with learning FileMaker is that there is no website or manual that talks about best methods for common data structures, or common interface elements or functionality. A new learner has to search the manual, then typically The Missing Manual, then the web. Then the newbie finds three people advocating different ways to do something, all of them complicated. The newbie has to learn each one, then the newbie has to decide the advantages and disadvantages of each while being the least qualified person to make that determination.
I wish someone would create a "Best Methods for Simple Stuff" website. Doing a simple OSX-style boolean checkbox? It took me over a year before I stumbled upon the technique. And it was nearly two years before I saw an example of a simple way to do a search box with a diminishing list. I don't mean the trick of running an 'on-object modify' script trigger on every keystroke that is so often advocated. The real solution popped up in a passing comment in a Guy Stevens' video, btw. Neither interface element is even mentioned in the FMP documentation. How common is Master-Detail these days? That phrase isn't in the FMP documentation because FM apparently assumes nobody will use the most common interface element in computing. Sorry for the rant.
Very true. And you're right: for all I know I learned it wrong and Guy is right. And while there are certainly best practices, the beauty (albeit frustrating at first) of the platform is that there certainly many ways to accomplish the same task, and often times no one way is more correct.
I do highly recommend the VTC.com courses by John Mark Osborne because he shows many ways to accomplish similar tasks and talks about the pros and cons of each method. He also clearly points out when things are a best practice, and when things are a matter of preference; and most importantly, he explains why. For my way of learning (I need hands-on examples), I would have been lost and perhaps given up had I started straight from a manual without some "hand-holding.
I think FMP shoots itself in the foot with citizen developers. A pro dev climbing the learning curve has the time to explore different methods for the same task because that investment can be used over a long period on many projects. A citizen developer needs to get to the single method as quickly as possible. Too much frustration equals departure from the platform and criticism expressed to other potential citizen developers. That doesn't strike me as a good business strategy.
Thanks for the VTC.com site. It has courses only through FileMaker 13. I see that Osbourne has later courses on his company website. I'll take a look at couple.
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Again, with the exception of some new features in 14 and 15, a good 95% of what you will learn in the 13 courses is still completely relevant and has not changed one bit.
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If you want to try something that is neither a video nor a book, here are a few offerings that I've put together:
These are actual database files designed to teach the user specific concepts. You get a) working examples of each technique that you can tear apart and play with to see how it works b) A detailed description of how it was set up and how it works c) An interface that makes it easy to examine the raw data in related tables used for a given technique d) Scripts etc that come with detailed documentation.
Thus, you can approach any one given technique from more than one angle and you can learn by experimenting with each technique to gain hands on experience.
They aren't intended to form an exhaustive treatment of all things FileMaker. Instead, each is tightly focused on a specific set of similar techniques so they work as a supplement to other training sources.
And I happen to have an update of #2 in the works and soon to be released, hopefully.
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I'm going to disagree, but will defend your right to your opinion.
Those of us (who have been answering the questions for a very long time) had to "test the functions" without all the videos and with a very small set of Google results (if any). The forums were all text and no attachments. You were lucky to have someone with a website to provide a download example. So, I'm not complaining, mind you, but we were forced to: test, learn on our own, and develop the communication skills to describe problems and provide answers. It all makes for a way to learn what and how and why of FM really well. The developers have not changed, the attitude that new developers (to the platform) are not required to learn the product, seems to have changed. The documentation really has the answers, you just have to say, "hmmmm, what if I tried that function here?" once in a while.
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Sometimes if you just list the functions in the help and read what they are suppose to do is better than any demo. You may find a function that already does what you're trying do. and sometime the function is not listed under the category you think it should be in.