This may not be the place for this, but I want to send out a sincere THANKS to the entire FileMaker Community, and in particular maxlatitiude, Koen Van Hulle, Erik Matthews, Ville Glad, Beverly, planteg and wimdecorte - all who offered up very clear and concise advice to a FileMaker newcomer (and I've probably missed some, and I apologize).
I came to FileMaker a little over a month ago with next to no knowledge, other than a suspicion that the FileMaker platform was something I could use to give our business a definite advantage over competitors by allowing me to create management tools that very few, if any, had at their disposal.
I realize that the best practice would have been for me to either get up to speed on FileMaker and learn what I needed to create the custom apps I envisioned, or to find someone with that knowledge to do the work for me. But as this initial project was launched "on a hunch", I needed to produce a "prototype" as soon as possible so we could evaluate whether or not to invest in the entire FMPA and FMS package. Thankfully, FM provides trial software that allowed me to get started with no financial outlay. It didn't take very long at all for us to realize that the investment required was minimal compared to the benefits we could generate from it.
The people mentioned above were gracious enough to provide me with the shortcuts I needed to deliver the initial app in a usable state in just over a month, and with the knowledge gained so far, we will be able to expand on the original and bring forward new apps that will allow for highly effective business management.
While I realize I will likely never become an expert in this field ("JSON"...Ok, whatever), I should be able to stumble along and grow our FM platform internally providing solutions very specific to our requirements.
Thank you to the entire Community for their help, and there is comfort in knowing that you all will be there for the future questions and problems that I will know will come as this "oldtimer" tries to assimilate into this "new" technology.