Having FM Advanced would make it easier, so first choice would be to find a friendly person with it to do the initial heavy lifting for you of copying the tables across into your consolidated file...
However you will still have (potentially) a chunk of work to do. Relationships are not copied across, so you would have to recreate all of those as they appeared in the original files, as well as any links between the new bed-fellows. Then there are layouts to be copied, scripts to be copied, blah blah.
I think there is a utility available to do it, might be worth a quick google. However:
There is another way, and although it would not be the way that you might choose to start out (probably) there are some things going for it, and more than usual in this case. You don't need to have all the linked tables in one file. In fact in the good ol' days (which weren't very long ago) Filemaker files only were one table, and they linked file-to-file the way they link table-to-table now. So why not just copy the 3 Starter files into one folder as they are, and just work with them that way? They can each link to the other through the Manage -> Database -> Relationships.
When FM first offered multi-table files it wasn't immediately obvious why we should all change over, and there is the odd time that a separate set of files is handy - like when you update only one of the files, you only have to import its data into the new file, not the data from every table in the file.
I'm not recommending that when you start your next project from scratch that you don't exploit the multi-table facility (I'd probably be burned at the stake for heresy) but I think you'd be hard pushed at the end to see any difference, and the work involved in this instance could be an awful lot less. Worst drawback would be replicating the security features across the 3 files. IMHO.
I'd be interested to hear what others think.
Minor quibble over details: with regular FileMaker, you can import tables with the new table option and can import scripts. But I still wouldn't attempt such a merge this without using FileMaker Advanced. The database design reports that Advanced can produce would be invaluable through out the process.
FMMigrator has been mentioned from time to time as the utility that can assist with the merge if you want to check it out.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question so thoroughly! I will take your advice.
I'm also trying to combing the starter solution Contacts Management file with the event database I am building, and wondered if you had any success with your project.
I followed the advice given to me by Sorbsbuster and created separate files, saving them all in one folder, and then connecting them using the relationsip functionality in Database Manager.
Hope this helps.
There is a file in the filemaker developers area that is a consolidated single file called FM_Starting_Point.zip that you should download and Unzip
in your production platform. Use that to start any project and delete the modules that you do not want.
If you want to use the data that you already have in your file, download the data by copying the entire table out as an FM file copy.
Upload the new FM_Starting_Point.fmp12 and import all your data from the table copy with the new data option. If your fields can be
added to the existing customer data on the FM_Starting_Point then it will be simpler to match those fields that are named different.
Then call up the application that you want to merge and you will have BOTH open on the same session. Go into the EDIT LAYOUT mode on BOTH
sessions Add a Blank Layout on the FM_Starting_Point and leave it on EDIT LAYOUT mode . Now move to the application that you created and
copy the layout that you want by SELECTING ALL ITEMS and then right click to COPY the entire layout. Move to the FM_Starting_Point to the new
layout that is blank and right click to PASTE all the elements of the layout from your old file. Make sure that you go to your blank receiving layout
and define the origin table source as the Customer table source on the FM_Starting_Point OR if you prefer to create a table with the content of your
old table source with fields and table name of the same as your old file and point the source of the data to that table instead it will fill up as soon
as you get our of EDIT LAYOUT. If you follow the last option, you will have to create a linking script that will keep both tables synchronized. If you follow the fist choice of using the CUSTOMER table included on the FM_Starting_Point.fmp12 then you will have to go though each element of the
new layout and make sure that each field matches the corresponding field on the FM_Starting_Point.fmp12 .
I would recommend that from that point on, make all changes necessary to the FM_Starting_Point which will give you a good strong backbone
and save you a LOT of time!
Hope this will help you and other friends .