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Picking up from where he left off


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Hello all. I work for a company that uses Filemaker on a daily basis. Our previous tech guy built our system from the ground up, and now he's nowhere to be found. Our system needs to be updated. Some of the stuff I know is going to be very basic, like going in and updating a default phone number that has since been changed. Other stuff is going to be much more involved.

I have full admin access, but that doesn't help if I don't know where to start. We're sort of screwed here and it's my job to try to see if I can get anywhere with it.

Can you recommend a good place for me to start figuring out how FM works? I don't claim to be skilled in this area. To give you an idea of where I'm at, I can tinker around with PHP without a website exploding.

Thanks.

I'm running FM 8.5 on Windows 7.

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You could be worse off--he could have left you without full access privs.

If the system, and the data wherein, are of any value, I'd suggest hiring a prof FM dev. You could possible arrange to be "tutored" as she works, but that'll cost you more. Devs can be found off the FM Inc website.

PS FM8.5 runs OK on Win7?

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..... Our system needs to be updated. Some of the stuff I know is going to be very basic, like going in and updating a default phone number that has since been changed. Other stuff is going to be much more involved.

I have full admin access, but that doesn't help if I don't know where to start. .....

What do you mean by update?

1. Updating the data in your records (Browse Mode), such as a phone number, should already be available in Browse Mode.

2. Are you Migrating the files from 8.5 to a new version?.

3. Making changes and adding features to the existing files in Layout Mode, should NOT be attempted by a beginner! and Not to the Original files. Always do your development on a copy, or start from scratch if that was your intent.

Questions:

Do you currently have a backup of these files, and do you have a system where this is done on a regular basis? If so, when was the last backup done?

Have these files ever failed (improperly closed) where you had to use the Recover function?

Are the files being shared in any way, such as peer to peer, server, web, etc.

Can you recommend a good place for me to start figuring out how FM works? .....

I would start by making a couple of backups of your files, and put one on a DVD, or external HD. the other on the machine where you will be making the changes, but not where it can be opened by someone else.

Your company and you have some options. They can get the training you need to do have by providing you with the tools and resources needed to make the changes. this could include hiring a tutor or buying some of the FileMaker courses that are available at a couple of different sites. http://www.lynda.com/FileMaker-Pro-training-tutorials/199-0.html or http://www.databasepros.com/videos.html and after market books to assist you with your learning curve, Or they could just contract with a developer do some of it, or take over the development and provide future support.

Since they are expecting you to know how to do this, I would start by reading the User Guide and doing all of the things it suggests, such as making fields, layouts, reports, etc, and also doing the tutorials, that came with the FileMaker Application. This will go a long ways in your understanding and communicating with your Management, developers, consultants, and help list such as the FMForums.

I'm sure that your management is remembering the Marketing ploy of FileMaker that it is easy to learn and use, and for some things that is true. It is only when the solution is multiple files and TOs that you need to have the skills of a developer. For a beginner with no database background it will require a good amount of your time and their money to get up to speed and be able to make even the trivial change (in their minds). This thread might make good reading for you and your management. Does anyone take us seriously.

Good luck with your endeavor, and I hope this helps

Lee

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  • Newbies

What do you mean by update?

1. Updating the data in your records (Browse Mode), such as a phone number, should already be available in Browse Mode.

2. Are you Migrating the files from 8.5 to a new version?.

3. Making changes and adding features to the existing files in Layout Mode, should NOT be attempted by a beginner! and Not to the Original files. Always do your development on a copy, or start from scratch if that was your intent.

Questions:

Do you currently have a backup of these files, and do you have a system where this is done on a regular basis? If so, when was the last backup done?

Have these files ever failed (improperly closed) where you had to use the Recover function?

Are the files being shared in any way, such as peer to peer, server, web, etc.

I would start by making a couple of backups of your files, and put one on a DVD, or external HD. the other on the machine where you will be making the changes, but not where it can be opened by someone else.

Your company and you have some options. They can get the training you need to do have by providing you with the tools and resources needed to make the changes. this could include hiring a tutor or buying some of the FileMaker courses that are available at a couple of different sites. http://www.lynda.com/FileMaker-Pro-training-tutorials/199-0.html or http://www.databasepros.com/videos.html and after market books to assist you with your learning curve, Or they could just contract with a developer do some of it, or take over the development and provide future support.

Since they are expecting you to know how to do this, I would start by reading the User Guide and doing all of the things it suggests, such as making fields, layouts, reports, etc, and also doing the tutorials, that came with the FileMaker Application. This will go a long ways in your understanding and communicating with your Management, developers, consultants, and help list such as the FMForums.

I'm sure that your management is remembering the Marketing ploy of FileMaker that it is easy to learn and use, and for some things that is true. It is only when the solution is multiple files and TOs that you need to have the skills of a developer. For a beginner with no database background it will require a good amount of your time and their money to get up to speed and be able to make even the trivial change (in their minds). This thread might make good reading for you and your management. Does anyone take us seriously.

Good luck with your endeavor, and I hope this helps

Lee

Thanks Lee for taking the time to write a thorough response.

I do make regular back ups. I will be checking out those links and sharing them with the higher ups. I'm certainly not excited to go through another training process. I feel my skills are better suited elsewhere.

(Now I feel guilty that your reply is longer than mine.)

thanks for all of the info!

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