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Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to FileMaker 7! Whether you're new to FileMaker or an old FileMaker hand, FileMaker 7 is an exciting new adventure. Once again, the people at FileMaker have struck the right balance: FileMaker 7 provides major new features in every part of the application, yet most existing FileMaker solutions convert automatically.

The book uses many of the FileMaker Starter Solution templates to introduce you to FileMaker features. In addition, a number of FileMaker databases have been developed to demonstrate features. You can find the databases developed specifically for this book on the Web at the publisher's site (www.samspublishing.com) as well as at the author's site (www.philmontmill.com).

Who Should Read This Book

Whether you are just getting started with FileMaker or moving to FileMaker 7, this book shows you what you need to know to become proficient at FileMaker. It also introduces you to the capabilities of FileMaker: It's not enough just to know how to do what you want to do; you should also know what you can do that you never dreamed of doing.

How This Book Is Organized

The multitude of Starter Solution templates shipped with FileMaker lets you create databases for a variety of uses—business, home, education, and more. Without further ado, you can use them to enter, retrieve, sort, print, and otherwise manipulate your data. Part I, “Getting Started with FileMaker—Using the Templates,” shows you how to do this.

In Part II, “Modifying Templates and Databases,” you'll see how to modify the templates to customize them for your specific purposes.

Part III, “Creating FileMaker Solutions,” addresses the most daunting task of all: starting from scratch to build your own FileMaker solution.

Finally, in Part IV, “Sharing FileMaker Solutions,” you'll see how to share FileMaker databases and solutions.

At the end of each hour, some questions and answers discuss issues raised; you'll also find some quiz questions to recap the high points. Finally, some suggested activities will help you gain hands-on knowledge of FileMaker.

As you can see, the book is organized in increasingly complex sections. This structure means that some aspects of FileMaker are covered—with different degrees of complexity—in different parts of the book. If you want to jump around, feel free to do so.

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