4 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2015 9:06 PM by philmodjunk

    Conversion for MS Access Users



      Conversion for MS Access Users


      I realize that FileMaker has all of the capabilities of MS Access and plus more; however, after years of using MS Access I am having a hard time transitioning.  Is there any documentation that can show me how to use FileMaker to do what I am commonly used to doing in MS Access.  In MS Access, I use the Select Query, Make Table Query, Append Query, Update Query, Crosstab Query and Delete Query to create, view and modify Tables.  I am looking for documentation that can show me how to do these types of routines in FileMaker.

      Furthermore, I feel that such help would be beneficial when built into FileMaker so that other users can benefit.

      For example, if there is a way to create such documentation by recording what steps are used in MS Access to create an Update Query and then to show the steps to do that same in FileMaker, it would be extremely beneficial and probably what some of us need.

        • 1. Re: Conversion for MS Access Users

          I doubt you will find anything like that. 

          There are many tools available to teach you how to use Filemaker, you will just have to invest the time to learn.

          FM has a Training Series and the basic is free and the advance is being updated for FM14


          There are several free on videos on  youtube  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Filemaker++Training



          • 2. Re: Conversion for MS Access Users

            And dynamically creating tables via SQL queries isn't something a user can do. You, as the developer can create tables via Manage | database, but you can't set up systems where the user creates and deletes tables. FileMaker just isn't set up to support that.

            Here's at least some help:

            In Access you have Reports and Forms. In FileMaker, you have Layouts.
            In Access you have sub forms and sub reports. In FileMaker you have portals.

            In Access, each form/report/subform/subreport is based on an SQL Query. In FileMaker, each layout is based on a Tutorial: What are Table Occurrences?--that's one of the "boxes" found in Manage | Database | Relationships. You can think of this box like a SELECT * query of the table's records. The lines connecting that table occurrence to other table occurrences are your Join clauses. But, at the time that you create the layout, there are no specified WHERE or ORDER BY clauses. FileMaker involves the user in a more dynamic matter than a typical Form or Report in Access. You can pull down a menu or press a keyboard shortcut to sort and/or find records at any time. That "find" is FileMaker's equivalent of the WHERE clause.

            What this means is that while Access users have to redefine and re-execute the query to pull up different record sets for a given form or report (Typically with a VBA script), a FileMaker user simply performs a find and sort from the tools that come with it "out of the box". This means that many simple ad hoc user interactions with different groups of records is possible in FileMaker without any needed design work by the developer where you'd have to do a bit of VB coding to get the same results in Access and you'd have to anticipate all the different types of criteria a user might need to specify in their data searches.

            Note that while this makes simple searches very simple, it can make complex queries more complicated than an equivalent SQL query.

            Starting with FileMaker 12, a very limited form of SQL support has been added using the ExecuteSQL() function.

            And FileMaker's very primitive value list capabilities will make you very homesick for the SQL based combo boxes found in Access, but you can get much the same functionality using completely different controls than a simple value list--such as putting a search portal inside a popover.

            • 3. Re: Conversion for MS Access Users

              Thank you Phil, you really took the time to provide me the response.  You not only hit the areas that I asked about but also covered others that I would have asked in the near future.  You have provided this response in such a manner that I could understand and I believe that this is something other users could use too to overcome such a hurdle.

              • 4. Re: Conversion for MS Access Users

                It's something that I've posted before, but you make a good point. I need to add this one to my "tutorial" section of the Known Bugs List to save time the next time this one comes up.