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Filemaker help would be MUCH appreciated

The Monkey

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I'm not sure if this forum can help with this... but this is the last place i can go short of paying someone somewhere (And that too I don't know where to go for). It is a very specific Filemaker Pro question.

I am building a filemaker pro database to serve as an invoice system for a part time business I want to run as a hobby.

I have made one database, stating my products, description, price, and tax.

I have made another one that is a client database with their names, addresses, contact details, etc in it.

I wish to make a third database, that is an invoice database. I wish to create a record, and input all data about a said product from my first database, and input all data about a said person from my second database, to form a complete invoice.

How do I script my Invoice database, so as to import this data?

I went out and spent so much money on filemaker pro because someone said that this is what I needed... and now I'm stuck. Can anyone help?

Many thanks


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Hi Michael,

You were correctly advised that Filemaker would do what you want. What you will have to do is learn how to use it. You will get all the help you need here in the forum.

What you need to develop is an understanding of the thing that is the heart of Filemaker - relationships

Might I suggest that as a first step you have a look at the tutorials that you will find on your FM CD. These will demonstrate how to establish a relationship between your files that will allow you to do what you want.

Once you have gone through those maybe you can then come back with questions about the bits that you don't understand and you can rest assured that someone will help you



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An invoicing system should consist of at least following tables:





Each having ID's in the field def. that can't be touch/altered/tampered with by the user as well as fields for foreign keys if required.

An invoice is a historic document so data like Address or Price should be looked up from their respective tables, in order to make raises in prices or change of addresses won't affect previous issued invoices.

Then are there some calc'fields: 1) in itemlines do we need a linesum if we're using more than one item of the same kind. The invoice total belongs to the invoice and graps the related linesums and adds them together.

I havn't deliberately not touched discounts because they often are pretty tricky to implement if they are dependant on the entire sale to the same client inside a certain timespan etc.

Then to your question, the data beyond the lookups are live transmissions from other tables depending to which record or invoice you wish to show.

Now these suggestions I've made is as close to relational theory as I can make it, but you have an option to fiddle with the templates you are suggested to use when opening the solution.

They do often cut some corners, and teaches some flatter file approaches to get people up and running their business in no time seen from a ROI point of view.

But it can't be stressed too much that FMI learns people some really bad habits that makes HALF of the questions in this forum be about the cul de sac repeating fields really is when you try to make statistics on the data entered.

It really hurts or breaks your heart to see how many hours people have put into bloating their solutions with tons global fields, repeating calcfield and summary field to make a filemaker solution kind of behave on fixes only, just fill a gap somewhere in between spreadsheets and genuine database solutions as mindsets.


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As one novice to another have you looked at the BPS sample database that comes free with FM 8? I think it has all the components you would need for an application you described. It can be taken apart and added to so it will also help you in the learning curve.


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Hello -

I have also found the video training files from http://www.lynda.com to be very helpful. There are some free files, but the rest are available only to paid members. You could just sign up for a one month membership. It's not that expensive. Plus, they have a bazillion titles available, so you could learn FileMaker plus PhotoShop, all about Mac, WinXP, etc.

Good luck!

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