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MS Access User Moving to FMP7


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I'm having an awfully hard time learning FileMaker. (My wife says I went through this six years ago, too, when I first learned MS Access.) I really want to believe that FMP is easy-to-use, but I just don't know...

I think part of the problem is that I've gotten used to solving/analyzing problems in Access-think, and FMP really does represent a different paradigm. Is anyone aware of a resource which would "translate" procedures from Access-speak to FileMaker-speak?

Thank you very much.

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I'm not aware of anything off hand that has this type of translation (for FM7 anyway), but you could ask here at the forums, and there are plenty of people who could answer your specific questions.

Here are a couple of URLs that have comparisons, one compares filemaker (5.5), access, and 4D


The other compares filemaker (5.5) and access 2002


Many things have changed in filemaker since v5.5, as have 4D and access, but you probably know better than me the exact details of access.

Improvements in FMP since v5.5 include:

Multiple tables per file

Graphical Relationships view

More relational operators

Multiple windows per file/table

Scriptable user/groups with finer access control

Improved web publishing

Recursive calculation functions

plus a lot of other things that I've missed.


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Thanks! That 4D document was interesting, and I'm in the middle of downloading the FMP white paper.

The thing that's giving me difficulty is not the process of setting up new tables, estabishing their relationships, and creating layouts, per se. Those concepts have fairly clear parallels in Access.

But there are other procedures in Access that I've come to depend on, and I really don't understand how to accomplish those same functions in Filemaker. I want to experiment and read through the Help files (and I do own a book on Filemaker, which I've been slogging through), but I need some direction, someone to tell me which procedures/functions I should be learning so that I can do in Filemaker what I used to do in Access.

For example (and this is the one that is bugging me the most), in Access you can select records based on various criteria (e.g., all women in a given ZIP code who have come to previous fundraisers) and save that criteria set as a "query" within the database. At a later date, you can open that "query" and view a new found set of records. How would I do that in Filemaker? I've read about using Find mode - but then how do I save/preserve the set of criteria I've just used, so that I don't have to do all of that work again the next time? Does it require creating a new layout and scripting it? How do I do that?

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The easiest way to save a query in filemaker is by creating a script that has the perform find[] script step. In previous versions of filemaker the way to create the script was to perform the actual find, and then create or modify a script with the perform find[] script step which would remember the last manual find that you did.

Now in v7, there is a "query editor" of sorts right in the perform find script step. You can also have multiple queries per script, and control which ones are performed with if...else, script parameter, or based on field contents.

Another way to obtain a particular found set is to use relationships along with the go to related record [] script step. You can set the script step to show only the related records. This way you would think of the relationship itself as a stored query.

I've been going through the same thing you're going through, as I'm trying to learn 4D to give me another tool to use for certain projects. At least as far as I can tell, it's got a lot steeper learning curve than filemaker. Haven't used Access much though, since I like to develop on Macs.

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