Learn FileMaker Pro 16 Chapters

 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.


  1. Introducing FileMaker — the history of FileMaker, database basics and architectures, an overview of FileMaker’s unique architecture and the entire FileMaker product family.
  2. Exploring the Application — the FileMaker installation process, default windows, application preferences, the default Browse mode menu bar and various contextual menus throughout the interface.
  3. 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.
  4. Working with Records — the process of entering, managing, searching and printing records.
  5. 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.


  1. Working with Database Files — provides an overview of creating, configuring, and maintaining a new database file.
  2. Working with Tables — covers creating and managing data tables.
  3. Defining Fields — discusses the different types of fields that make up a table and how to define, manage, and configure them.
  4. Connecting Tables with Relationships — explores data sources, table occurrences, and interconnecting tables into relationships.
  5. Managing Containers — introduces the options for file containers and storage options.
  6. 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.


  1. Writing Formulas — introduction to formulas, their components and how to write them.
  2. Text Functions — complete reference guide
  3. Text Functions (JSON) — complete reference guide
  4. Text Formatting Functions — complete reference guide
  5. Number Functions — complete reference guide
  6. Date, Time & Timestamp Functions — complete reference guide
  7. Container Functions — complete reference guide
  8. Aggregate, Summary & Repeating Functions — complete reference guide
  9. Financial & Trigonometric Functions — complete reference guide
  10. Logical Functions — complete reference guide
  11. Get Functions — complete reference guide
  12. Design Functions — complete reference guide
  13. Mobile Functions — complete reference guide
  14. Creating Custom Functions — expand the power of formulas with your own custom functions.
  15. 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.


  1. Introducing Layout Mode — provides a general orientation to Layout mode.
  2. Getting Started with Layouts — discusses how to plan, create, and manage layouts.
  3. Exploring Layout Palettes — explores the tools available on the Field Picker, Inspector, and Layout Objects palettes.
  4. Creating Layout Objects — covers the creation of layout objects.
  5. Manipulating Objects — discusses the placement and organization of layout objects.
  6. Using Themes and Styles — introduces the use of themes and styles to improve the management of the formatting of layout objects.
  7. 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.


  1. Introduction to Scripting — introduces the basics of creating and managing scripts.
  2. Common Scripting Tasks — provides many examples of popular scripts.
  3. Debugging Scripts — explores how to use the debugger to test and troubleshoot scripts.
  4. Reacting to Script Triggers — introduces script triggers to create responsive interfaces.
  5. 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.


  1. Introducing Network Sharing — covers how to host a database on a network for sharing in a multi-user environment.
  2. Securing Database Access — discusses the options for configuring security settings to control who has access to which features.
  3. 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.
  4. Getting Connected Online — a compilation of URLs from throughout the book, various FileMaker-related resources, and the official sites for the author and book.

Order the Book

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