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I am new to Filemaker. I am the executive assistant in this Company and we use Filemaker as our database.

There are several things I know you can do with Filemaker but I dont' know how to do it.

1. I want to link a scanned PDF file to a button.

2. I want to set it up to do email blasts to clients

3. I want to create a layout that will become our billing side (long and detailed need lots of help with this) it will include being able to print invoices, Envelopes and link to a master billing spreadsheet

4. I want to link our most comonnly used letters to our layout and enable us to print envelopes as well.

any help would be great

Thanks

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Billing/accounting is a fairly advanced project. Have a look at some of the templates and commercial solutions that are out there. There may even be one for your specific type of business. I would consider hiring a developer for this part of your solution.

What version of FileMaker are you using?

Printing letters and envelopes is not too hard, there is a wizard that guides you through creating a new layout.

Linking files has improved in FileMaker 7, but in version 6 you may need to use a plugin such as Troi File, or use some kind of OS scripting.

Are you on Mac or PC?

For email, FileMaker is OK, but for mass email you'll want a plugin such as SMTPit.

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If you are using FM 7, I'd start with a free download of Business Tracker.

Taking on an order/invoice systems shouldn't be the first (or 10th) project for a FM novice. If you just want to learn FM, it's as good of a challenge as any. If you are really trying to produce a usable product for your company in some time frame, hire a consultant. The probablity of producing a good product of such a complexity on your first try is pretty much zero.

Let us know what version you are using and on which platform.

-bd

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I'm using FM 5 on MAC OS9 we are going to be purchasing new computers, Emacs for employees, and a G4 for the server. We will be upgrading to FM 6 but are wondering if we should go for FM 7. OUr FM developer who is no longer with us said that we should get FM6 and NOt FM 7 any one know why that would be?

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When did your ex-developer say that? Perhaps Server 7 was not out yet? (It is now.) Perhaps he was worried that 7 was still a little buggy. I think version 7.0v2 is quite usable (I have a few clients using it with no problems), though there are still a couple problems you need to be aware of (imports still have a glitch which requires a work-around). But if you start development now I'm reasonably certain the next update will be out before you're done, and that it will fix the few remaining real problems.

7 is so more advanced that 6. Especially in the 2 areas you mentioned, links to external graphics files, and line items tables (not files, tables).

OS X gives you built-in support for dealing with PDFs (more or less). FileMaker 7 has a problem printing PDFs at native resolution, but you can always just open the external PDF file for printing. This is another area I hope they address in the next update.

It would be kind of crazy to start a new project in 6. BTW, I'm running 7 on 1.25 MHz eMac. Runs pretty good. I was running it on 700 MHz eMac. Not so good. You should have at least 512 MB RAM to run OS X.

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In a Mac shop there could be a couple of considerations.

1) The available computers (e.g a bunch of 400 MHz iMacs with 64mb of memory) are not good candidates for OS X.

2) There are a lot of FileMaker files in use which while working fine now, would require extensive review and effort to convert (read $).

-bd

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