7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 7, 2013 4:07 PM by JimMac

    Creating a Database from Nothing



      Creating a Database from Nothing



           I am new to Filemaker and this is literally my first day using the program. I've been tasked with compiling a list of plays used by various professors for the Theatre Department of a university. So I would need 4 basic fields:

           1) Instructor

           2) Play

           3) Course

           4) Semester

           The database is to go back two years and some of the plays are taught by various professors in different classes. The entire point of this database is so professors can avoid teaching the same plays at the same times or so that they can use them to supplement their colleagues classes. So preferably, I'd like to have the play in the database it have different values (Taught in Theatre 2000 AND Theatre 4300) and by professor (taught by Johnson AND Williams). If this makes any sense I would be greatly appreciative if someone could give me some jumping on points to make this a reality. 



        • 1. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

               We were all NEW.  I always suggest write down the "paper" method first to see how  you want to make your FMP DB flow.  Then decide on what OUTPUT you want to see.  Then the INPUT will glare at you.

               After the "paper" flow... then encoding in FMP becomes fairly easy.


          • 2. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                 Good Advice for anyone at any level, Jim.  Start with the basics.  Most people want to skip this first step, when can save hundreds of hours of work.

            • 3. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                   And you will likely need quite a bit more than the 4 fields you have specified so far. Sounds like you need some additional tables with relationships as well in order to document the "scheduling" of each play's use by an instructor.

              • 4. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                     From one newbie to another, I was also pretty determined to get going right away, about a year ago.

                     I strongly recommend the following to save you wasted time, aggravation, and to kick off the steep learning curve you're about to encounter:

                     1.  Purchase 2 items:  "FileMaker Pro 12 The Missing Manual" & "The FileMaker Training Series".

                     2.  Go completely through both books & exercises.  I know you want to jump right in to your DataBase, but trust me it's well worth it.  Otherwise you could easily find you spent a week or 2 on your DB, and now you have to start over.  Plus you'll learn so much.

                     3.  Go through the Starter Solutions.  See how they set up the layouts, how the scripts work (especially with the Debugger & Data View).  These will show you things that may apply to your solution, & give you a better understanding of how FileMaker works. You'll learn so many tips & tricks.

                     Both books will show you how to start off on paper, and how to build your DB, including FileMaker Go.

                     Read this forum, as many posts as you can to see how other peoples problems were solved by the guru's on this site.

                     Then come on this forum and ask for help (lots of help in my case, right Phil?). 

                     Come here with the above done will make your DB design go much better, smoother, & quicker.  Practically everyone on here is either a professional, a newbie, or a FM junkie, volunteering to help for free, so why waste so much of everyone's time with basic questions, when you can get the answers you need for the harder things and to fine tune your design?

                     Worked, and is still working, for me.

                     Just my 2 cents.  Good luck....have fun.


                • 5. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                       Thanks for all the info everyone! It's very much appreciated!

                  • 6. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                         Hey William,

                         If you need any beginners tips you can always check out some of my videos on my youtube channel. Probably best to begin with this one:


                         Also, will you have a separate list of plays?

                         Because right now you are talking about 4 fields in one table. But there could be a table for:

                         - Plays

                         - Instructors

                         - Courses

                    • 7. Re: Creating a Database from Nothing

                           @Steve I describe myself as a "information vampire".devil  I have been focused on special titles but try to help when I am fairly sure of the answer otherwise some of the Robust helpers kick dirt on my shoes.

                           I have a few problems that most DB experts overuse and sometimes forget the ultimate reason we design... THE USER.yes

                           My favorite.... over use of Conditional list and difference in Drop_Down Lists versus Pop_Up Menus.  The FIND command is the POWER of a Database.  Long lists have been replaced with "Inspectors".  If you think about it... Inspectors are combinations of Hierarchial Menus, Conditional Lists and Data states.

                           We programmers can do "Inspectors" for our Users too.  As modern Applications move, we should move with them to help Users

                           That's is my 4 cents.... inflation....cool