I have the books for v10, v11 and I'm waiting for v12. The training series book is the closest thing you'll get to the manual that should be in the box. It explains the usage of all the operations that you need to manage filemaker, including server configuration. I'm very impressed by it, though I criticise it's lack of an index in the printed book.
I have seen other training resources that are typically titled "Learn X in 24 hrs" which purport to show you how to build a fantastic application. The problem, invariably, with this approach is that they get caught up in the particular needs of the specific application that they've chosen. How, as a beginner, do you move from the specific case to the general case? How do you know which features are application specific and which have general utility?
I have to second the plug for the Training Series manual.It's the publication that comes closest to being the central repository for all the things I have learned in being a FMP developer over the years. Some of this stuff you won't find anywhere else.I don't know if it gets any better than that.
There are certainly lots of FMP trainers out there. I can't vouch for them because I never needed them. I train all my own clients on the specific solutions I build for them. But I do know JMO and I know that he knows his stuff.
Perhaps your problem is with FMP itself. It's whole approach to database management is different than other apps. I find that the people who have the hardest time with it are novices who just don't get the idea of how a relational database is supposed to work, or those who are adept at developing other datbases. In my experience SQL and Oracle programmers have a really hard time adapting to FileMaker.
I am from the latter. Sql, mysql & oracle. I think i might have to go back for real.. It is sometimes crazy to understand some concepts, they just dont compute!!
ian, I work in both worlds (SQL, FM and with web design). There are some things that just are so much easier in FM. But I work IN both worlds (sometimes together). Take them for what they do.
I don't mean to ruin your rant, but at least FM 11 Training Series was written by Solient. Read the credits. Special thanks to...
i know they did, i also think they did a great job. The issue is how it was all put together Doesnt seem right to me.
That is all.
It is not a giant "solved" puzzle. It is fragmented ...
Ian, the FTS is useful. It is NOT specific to everyone's needs or experiences. The series is not going to answer all your questions, it's meant to get you up to speed on how FileMaker works. Often if you attend a class, you get a little more help.
I know that when I'm training clients, I work FROM their solution/needs & experiences. From there, going back to reading all the materials helps. And asking questions on this forum (and others) is what you should (and you are!) do.
I really prefer Ray Cologon’s book, FileMaker Pro 10 Bible.
Of course it doesn’t cover the new features in FM 11 and FM 12, but as a learning tool, I think it is still one of the very best. Not only does Ray cover how FileMaker works, but he presents real-world examples of how to accomplish tasks we all face. These examples are extremely useful, as they give you some context for better understanding how the pieces fit together. Oh, and whenever you can use one of Ray’s examples, you won’ have to spend time inventing the solution yourself.
Peace, love & brown rice,
FileMaker + Web: Design, Develop & Deploy
Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11
<http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony
Austin, Texas • USA
Agree, i admire and appreciate Ray Cologons work as well, and am using it for years. However, i would not underestimate the training series. I work successfuly with FileMaker Pro from version 8, for over 6 years, and now when i decided to finally get certified, i dont find this training as easy as i thought it would be. It is not about knowing nuts and bolts, bits and bobs, tricks and tips - but organising it all in a solid bulk of knowledge and putting all the pieces together.
This is why i use both Ray Cologons Bible and FM Training Series to complete my certification training and hopefully build up on my skills.
You might consider hiring a tutor who can combine rigor and helpfulness. This could help you through your problems in understanding the material. Or attend a training class. It would be great if the tutor was experienced in FileMaker, but I don't think that is necessary. Most of all they would need to be experienced in helping people learn. The training materials may be imperfect but plenty of people have used them successfully; so the training materials are not the constraint.
FMI is a subsidiary of Apple. Having developed databases for about 20, and having worked with FMP since it became realtional, I have come to the conclusion that the minds of Mac users are simply wired differently than the rest of us.
I have Mac clients and Windows clients. I have computers running OSX and Win XP (with a new Win 7 sitting in box on the floor because I have been too busy to set it up.) Professionally, I have to be platform agnostic.But I have noticed that things which seem utterly bizzarre to Windows users don't seem as far fetched to Mac heads. Either they expect it to behave that way or they just don't have any experience or desire to do it another way. Mac users are still only about 10% of the computer market at best. Its up to Apple to change if it really wants a bigger share of that market.
I'm used to FMI taking one step backward for every too steps forward. But, based on what I have seen so far, ver 12 seems like two or three steps back and one step forward. None of my clients care as much about the new features as they do the old ones that now perform so poorly that they can't be used. And, for the first time in my experience, it's the Mac users who are talking most about jumping ship.
I think the Training Series is as useful as a book could be, but I can't say that I have read EVERYTHING that is out there.
That said, I think the best way to learn is to do. Nothing else comes close to actually working with FMP on a daily basis.
I am with you on that Allegro. I am just of a personality who tries to understand before doing, when i actually need to do projects and learn from the mistakes and gain knowledge, which is what i am doing now.
Anyone know of a GOOD Tutor / Mentor that would be willing to teach / give me tasks , that way i can learn faster & on the down low... : )
JMO knows his stuff. And he does meta-consulting (working as a consultant for other developers to help them address problems in solutions that they are building). I do that, too, but not to the extent he does. I would reccomend you to him.
IMHO most trainers tend to be people who deal with every aspect of FMP, no matter how obscure or impractical. I'm a very results oriented kind of guy, so I devote a lot of study to the areas that are of use to me in the kinds of solutions that I build and focus on learning what matters most to my clients. I suspect that other developers are the same. You know best what you do most. And one thing you can learn from practice, which no book will teach you is whether a particular feature or a technique in FMP is actually practical, or worth the performance hit, etc. The real world feedback you get from your clients (and how you handle that) is what makes you a better developer. FMP comes with a manual, there are lots of knowledgebases and forums about it on the web. Info about FMP isn't secret. But just knowing how a given feature or technique works is only half the battle, at most. You have to be able to put those ideas to pratcial use in your solutions to address the particular problems that each client presents. My rule of thumb is, if they are hiring a developer, the problem is not one that just anyone can figure out by reading the manual. And, if they are using FMP, they are either Mac users or a client that wants something done quickly and cheaply.