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Kinda embarrassed to ask . . .

Question asked by gregew on Aug 20, 2015
Latest reply on Sep 3, 2015 by Guest

I've been on board with Filemaker since 9.0 but it's been so long since I've created a true relational solution from scratch that I have to admit that I need some basic first-steps direction.  I have FMPro12Advanced, and I have pretty good skills in creating tables, forms, calculated fields, reports and all the things that follow AFTER the necessary tables have been determined and the relationships have been graphed.  But making all the correct structural decisions for Tables and Relationships right out of the gate has me anxious and feeling stupid.  (I'm not a developer, as you can guess, but I love learning and using FM for my under-funded nonprofit clients.)


So if you have the time and willingness after reading what I want to do to either steer me to an appropriate tutorial or even plot out the steps for me, here are the important details of my mission: to create an on-going repository of annual financial and programmatic activities for 25 nonprofit organizations:


1.  There are 25 Organizations, each with its own usual basic permanent data such as name, address, fiscal year, etc.


2.  Each Org files an Annual Report (using an identical PDF form) with specific data such as their year's revenue, expenses, numbers of people served, etc.  I have over 50 numerical data points to track that change year-to-year.


3.  I want to be able to store these data points for each Org by going to its entry on the Layout, selecting the Year, and entering its data.  So anytime in the future I'll be able to go to an Org's page and by selecting a particular Year I'd be able to see the data points for that Year. (Are we talking about some impossibly huge Portal here?)


4.  I'm not concerned about the physical size or "clutter" of so many entry fields--we're doing this for internal use only by a couple of data wonks like me.  Anyway, I do have design experience with which I usually spend endless hours to nudge, tweak, size, color, etc the elements on my Layouts. There are no servers involved--only my desktop 'master' from which I'll send out the annual updated Runtime to a couple of people.


5.  I have created three Tables:  One called "ORG" (with its handful of permanent descriptive fields), another called "Fiscal_Year" (assuming I'd only be storing Fiscal Years as a text field here) and the third "Fiscal_Year_Data (in which I created my 50+ fields of numeric data).  I've already entered the 2014 data for the 25 Orgs into this last Table.  No relationships have been built, but each Table has its obligatory ID serial number field.


So, again, this assignment seems to be so simple I'm hesitant to even ask, but I'm not sure where else to turn.  I suffer information overload when I dive into my FMPro tutorial book and "Missing Manual."


Thanks in advance for any advice, direction or downright assistance you can provide.