4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 12, 2012 9:14 AM by DavidJondreau

    Replacing Excel with FileMaker

      I just purchased the FileMaker Developer Subscription and am looking to focus my learning curve and would appreciate where I can quickly find the answers to my questions.



      • I have an Excel Document with multiple worksheets that is used to track some inventory.
      • I am thinking of using the pre-built Inventory Template in FileMaker to replace the Excel document to reduce development time.
      • I need to allow multiple users access to the inventory data via mobile access. They need to filter, create reports, and modify the data.



      1) How do I map my existing field data in Excel to the fields in the Inventory Template so I can do a quick import?


      2) Can I display the Inventory Template on the Web and allow access to users outside the company?


      3) Can I make reports on demand or does each report need to be prepared first with a new layout?


      4) I was going to setup FileMaker Server Advanced to hold the data. If there will be about 15 users, does each user need FileMaker Pro client versions?

        • 1. Re: Replacing Excel with FileMaker

          I can tell you that our MBS Plugin has functions to read/write excel documents. Maybe that helps you.



          • 2. Re: Replacing Excel with FileMaker

            I've since found that data can be simply imported by mapping the fields.  I'm now more concerned with how do users view and access the templates and data via the web.  Do they need a client application or can the templates and data be viewed on the Web too in a nice visual way?

            • 3. Re: Replacing Excel with FileMaker

              Hello, jsonhdev.


              Yes, you can publish data to the web. There are two (basic) methods for doing so. One is called Instant Web Publishing, and the other is called Custom Web Publishing. Either will work with Server Advanced.


              Check out the Instant Web Publishing Guide and the Custom Web Publishing Guide for details on each. They're in the electronic documentation that comes with the software. But basically, Instant Web Publishing is a JavaScript-based shell that simulates the FileMaker interface - it looks a lot like what the software looks like in your FileMaker client. (Limitation: You can only address layouts using the Classic theme, or no theme, using IWP.) Custom Web Publishing is more flexible; it uses an Application Programming Interface (API) for the PHP scripting language to talk to your database on the back end. You can make your web pages look like anything you want them to look like. The bad news: You have to do all the web page coding yourself.





              • 4. Re: Replacing Excel with FileMaker

                If users have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) they can get the FM Go app for free and access the database just as you do with your FM Pro client.


                If you've got Droid users, you'll need to provide web access. Instant Web Publishing is the simplest way. If you want just reporting, that should be fine. If you want users to enter information though, you'll probably have to hack the template layouts and scripts some to get them to work properly.

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