2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2014 9:56 PM by vmeyers

    I have an excel program that I am looking into changing over to a FileMaker Pro program. Easy or Difficult?

    rocksolident

      I have an excel program that I am looking into changing over to a FileMaker Pro program.

      I'd like to speak to someone about this before I move forward and see if this is my best option.

      It's a fairly intricate excel spreadsheet that does more than just caluclate formulas.

      I eventually want my enduser to subscribe to the service and be able to access the program through their computer, tablet, and phone.

        • 1. Re: I have an excel program that I am looking into changing over to a FileMaker Pro program. Easy or Difficult?
          beverly

          Formulas become calculations or summary fields. But pulling cross-tabulated data sometimes does (and not) translate well into related tables.

           

          Are there macros? How much can those (if any) become scripted routines?

           

          Are there "lookups"? These may be able to be converted to FMP lookup tables and functionality.

           

          Are there formulas that cross worksheets? Are there graphs? Graphics?

           

          So many variables. &

           

           

          -- sent from myPhone --

          Beverly Voth

          --

          • 2. Re: I have an excel program that I am looking into changing over to a FileMaker Pro program. Easy or Difficult?
            vmeyers

            Short answer: it will take time and knowledge, but the end result will be well worth it to both you and your end users.

            Excel is a good program for "what if" scenarios and and cross tab reporting. For almost every other relational database management system, Filemaker is a much better choice. Once it is built, it will be so much easier to maintain and for users to actually use.

            One option: Build it from scratch in FM 13. Start with the end in mind. Instead of thinking about how to convert from Excel to FM, think about what you and your users want to do. Functionality and logic. What data do you capture (input) and what data do you expect as output?

            1) Identify entities or tables. These will probably be similar to the workbook sheets

            2) Identify attributes or fields. These will probably be similar to the columns.

            3) Identify relationships. These might  be found in the lookups or macros but you can also just think about them logically.

            4) Create your basic FM13 relational database file.

            Then deal with the items that Beverly mentioned:

            5) Use a calculation field, script or custom function to produce the same result as the macros.

            6) Use relationships or lookup table or SQL to populate the "lookup" cells (fields)

            7) Several techniques for cross tab reporting (see virtual list in Filemaker Training manual)

            8) Use container fields for graphics or add to layout backgrounds

            9) FM 13 has very easy to create graphing and charting capabilities.

            And then the tricky part.

            10) migrate the data from Excel into your new database. Tricky because data in an Excel cell may may have nothing to do with the field (column) of the record (row) that it appears in.

            When I do these types of conversions, I just open the Excel sheet as a new FM file and then clean it up. It is a whole lot easier because i have many tools in FM that I can use to automate the process.

            Yes it is work, but it may not be as much as it sounds because you might be able to start with an existing FM database that already has 80% of the functionality that you need. And I can practically guarantee you a Return on your Investment over time just in the amount of time you and your users save because it will be so much easier to use.

            And as a final bonus, unlike Excel, you will be able to take your database and tweak it and have a completely different, fully functional product.