Table of Contents

Front Material

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author
  • About the Technical Editor
  • Introduction

Part One: Using FileMaker

FileMaker Pro combines a runtime user interface and a development environment wrapped in a single application. This chapter is intended primarily for newcomers to provide a familiarity with the software from a a user-perspective. However, a knowledge of the topics discussed will be necessary as a foundation for the remaining portions of the book.

  • Introducing FileMaker — the history of FileMaker, database basics and architectures, an overview of FileMaker’s unique architecture and the entire FileMaker product family.
  • Exploring the Application — the FileMaker installation process, default windows, application preferences, the default Browse mode menu bar and various contextual menus throughout the interface.
  • Exploring a Database Window — using a FileMaker-provided Contacts starter solution, explores aspects of a database window, how to use windows and how to open an existing database.
  • Working with Records — the process of entering, managing, searching and printing records.
  • Transferring Data — an overview of the various methods of importing and exporting records.

Part Two: Defining Data Structures

The basic structure of a database is made up of files, tables, fields, relationships, containers, and value lists. These provide the foundational data structure upon which interfaces and scripts are later built.

  • Working with Database Files — provides an overview of creating, configuring, and maintaining a new database file.
  • Working with Tables — covers creating and managing data tables.
  • Defining Fields — discusses the different types of fields that make up a table and how to define, manage, and configure them.
  • Connecting Tables with Relationships — explores data sources, table occurrences, and interconnecting tables into relationships.
  • Managing Containers — introduces the options for file containers and storage options.
  • Managing Value Lists — provides an overview of defining value lists.

Part Three: Writing Formulas and Using Functions

These chapters discuss formula creation and provide a comprehensive, categorized reference to FileMaker’s library of over 300 built-in functions that are ready to insert into calculation formulas, custom functions, and script step configuration panels.

  • Writing Formulas — introduction to formulas, their components and how to write them.
  • Text Functions — complete reference guide
  • Text Functions (JSON) — complete reference guide
  • Text Formatting Functions — complete reference guide
  • Number Functions — complete reference guide
  • Date, Time & Timestamp Functions — complete reference guide
  • Container Functions — complete reference guide
  • Aggregate, Summary & Repeating Functions — complete reference guide
  • Financial & Trigonometric Functions — complete reference guide
  • Logical Functions — complete reference guide
  • Get Functions — complete reference guide
  • Design Functions — complete reference guide
  • Mobile Functions — complete reference guide
  • Creating Custom Functions — expand the power of formulas with your own custom functions.
  • Introducing ExecuteSQL — uses SQL queries to perform searches within calculations and reduce the need for extraneous resources.

Part Four: Designing Interfaces

The user interface of a database is composed of one or more layouts with fields and other objects that allow a user to interact with the underlying data structure. These chapters cover the basics of constructing user interfaces.

  • Introducing Layout Mode — provides a general orientation to Layout mode.
  • Getting Started with Layouts — discusses how to plan, create, and manage layouts.
  • Exploring Layout Palettes — explores the tools available on the Field Picker, Inspector, and Layout Objects palettes.
  • Creating Layout Objects — covers the creation of layout objects.
  • Manipulating Objects — discusses the placement and organization of layout objects.
  • Using Themes and Styles — introduces the use of themes and styles to improve the management of the formatting of layout objects.
  • Customizing the Menu Bar — explains how to create custom menus to take total control over the user interface.

Part Five: Automating Tasks with Scripts

Scripts can be used to automate data manipulation and interface navigation to improve efficiency and provide a convenience for users. These chapters explore scripts, script triggers, and plugins.

  • Introduction to Scripting — introduces the basics of creating and managing scripts.
  • Common Scripting Tasks — provides many examples of popular scripts.
  • Debugging Scripts — explores how to use the debugger to test and troubleshoot scripts.
  • Reacting to Script Triggers — introduces script triggers to create responsive interfaces.
  • Extending Features with Plugins — introduces how to install and use plugins to expand script capabilities.

Part Six: Sharing and Networking

Sharing databases on networks increases their usefulness but also introduces a need for security. These chapters cover the basics of network sharing, security, and some advanced analysis tools, and how to connect with the author and find more help online.

  • Introducing Network Sharing — covers how to host a database on a network for sharing in a multi-user environment.
  • Securing Database Access — discusses the options for configuring security settings to control who has access to which features.
  • Advanced Sharing and Analysis Tools — explores the options for analyzing a database’s structure with the Database Design Report and the utilities available for manipulating files and creating runtime solutions.
  • Getting Connected Online — a compilation of URLs from throughout the book, various FileMaker-related resources, and the official sites for the author and book.