6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2017 5:00 AM by beverly

    beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help


      Hi FM community,

      Forgive me if this is not entirely the correct place to begin, but I have some very primitive database design question as I'm beginning to learn my way around FM Pro. It's only been a few days with the software, but I'm hoping with many real-world uses that I already have for FM, I have plenty to work with in order to help me learn -- to a point.  Up until now I only have decent experience in spreadsheets, and while trying to move into FM and build an employee database for managing/tracking salaries and bonuses, I've been incessantly hitting walls and stopping.


      So the basics of what I'd like to create is as follows:

      1) Employee roster (name, contact info, salary specifics

      2) Employee Activity-by-month (which staff were around or 'in attendance' each month)

      3) Company performance sheet (recording company performance by month, and thus total bonus to be allocated)

      4) Employee review sheet (monthly tabulated review and score, per employee --- per month)

      5) Employee salary sheet (final salary sheet per employee, with full details for bonus etc)


      Some of these are really basic. I thought it best to break up each element into their own spreadsheet just so I can see how the data relates. However, on one hand some of the items I can't figure out exactly how best they'd look as a spreadsheet, and on the other I'm not sure if some need to be broken down into multiple sheets. So the general architecture somewhat alludes me still.  Things like #2, the monthly staff attendance sheet, will that end up being a table of fields according to name or by date? Perhaps I've been looking at this too long. 


      As you can see I'm coming at it from nothing, but have a somewhat good idea of how it can all look in the end.  Until now I've created a single Numbers worksheet each month, duplicating the previous months set of tables, with all the data on one page and each table relating to each other right front and centre.


      Looking forward to hearing your insight.



        • 1. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

          Have a look at FileMaker Training Series | FileMaker  (Advanced) Chapter Data Modelling

          • 2. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

            I suggest that you stop thinking in terms of "spreadsheets". FileMaker is a relational database not a spreadsheet, it won't do things the same way that a spreadsheet application does. You'll need to unlearn some of your spreadsheet based methods in order to learn new methods that work with a system such as FileMaker that uses related tables of records.


            What you have outlined are 5 different tables that you would link to each other in relationships. The main "glue" linking your tables will be an employee ID field defined in a table of employees--your employee roster. From there, as you study up on data modeling as has already been suggested, you'll be linking the other tables to it for the most part by that EmployeeID. Don't link by the employee name--that will cause problems for you each time you need to change an employee's name--either due to misspelling a name or due to a change in marital status.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

              If you want you can learn the basics by looking at this video or any of the other video's on my youtube channel:


              Filemaker Pro Basics for beginners - YouTube


              It's best you learn the basics first so you have a general idea of how things are properly set up. Then you can start to think about how to create all the things you need for your own solution.


              Greetings Guy

              • 4. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

                Definitely listen to philmfdjunk about forgetting spreadsheets. I wasted a lot of time on that. You can import spreadsheets to tables to help gather data. But forget spreadsheets.

                Don't run before you can walk. Watch some of GuyStevens videos, start with the really simple ones, my advise is not to try and apply them to your situation straight away.

                Be prepared to start all over again, as you learn more.

                • 5. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

                  Thanks! That was quick.


                  I'm getting the feeling I'll be redoing my application of FM over and over again as I'm learning.  Perhaps it's best I don't start with such a broad use-case, but I have so many places to apply FM, it's hard not to find any of them directly useful to me right away.


                  I figure I should start with things in small chunks, ie. simple shift attendance table. I can pretty easily do that now and create something to collect data on EmployeeName/ShiftDate/ShiftType and then fill that up. That data can be used endlessly in all the other applications I mentioned earlier.


                  I'll continue playing with it while browsing the training series. I tend to jump a bit too fast with those things and then get lost, however.  I've spent some time watching some of Guy Steven's videos. Those are just fantastic -- I'm still finding myself constantly feeling like I've got it, and then a moment later I most certainly don't. Especially true when it comes to  some of the concepts behind creating and referencing to foreign keys.


                  Anyway I'll keep pushing with that. If anyone has a particular video or something to look at then please send my way!



                  • 6. Re: beginner to FM setting up salary and staff management-- help

                    Starting small (while keeping the "big picture" in mind) is wise!


                    You might start with paper and pencil. Yes, I said that! Don't think in terms of Excel or even database.


                    What would an entry form look like on paper if you were using that? Start there. You've already started that process by choosing tables and fields. Don't throw those out just yet.


                    The entry form is a layout where the table(s) and fields are shown. What needs to be on the "page"?

                    What might repeat? That is a record with the base info. Any repeating elements for that form? Those are probably related fields in related tables.


                    Now think in terms of reporting on the information from the entry form. Is it the same or is the data combined in different ways? Does your decision for table(s) and fields (entry) work well for the reports? Or might you need to revise for ease of report AND ease of entry? Or simply arrange the data on the layouts in different ways (list vs. form, for example)?


                    The FTS (FileMaker training series) is only FM 15, but it will help you answer these questions for FM 16, too.


                    Also write down the questions you have yourself and try to group them so the fit with parts of those paper forms (entry & reporting).


                    A good place to start:


                    Come back with your questions after you've done a bit of thinking/designing and learning.




                    Sent from miPhone