FileMaker Pro Session 1
New Features in FileMaker Pro 3
- With FileMaker Pro, you can set up a relational database, where information is stored in one database but can be displayed in several others. This relational capability and other new or enhanced FileMaker Pro 3.0 features are described below.
Relational Database Capability
- FileMaker Pro 3.0 supports relational features that you can use to display the contents of a field from another database file. You can display records from the related file in a layout of the current file.
- A relational database is one or more discrete database files that contain all the data you need to do your work. In a relational database, each occurrence of data is stored in only one file at a time, but you can access and work with that data from any file.
- Improved Networking
- You can now use the Preferences dialog box to choose the network protocol that FileMaker Pro uses to communicate over a network.
- FileMaker Pro now ships with TCP/IP support for Macintosh and Windows.
- FileMaker Pro 3.0 can be used with FileMaker Pro Server 3.0 for enhanced performance and to allow up to 100 guests to share databases. FileMaker Pro Server 3.0 supports simultaneous AppleTalk, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP networking with both Macintosh and Windows guests. Guests can use the protocol of their choice to network with FileMaker Pro. (AppleTalk networking is not available for Windows guests.) For more information, see the documentation provided with FileMaker Pro Server 3.0 (available separately).
- Enhanced Calculations
- The enhanced user interface for defining calculations gives you easy access to more than 45 new and improved functions. Also, you control when FileMaker Pro calculates the results, saving space in the database file.
With the new script steps available in the ScriptMaker feature, you can:
- control script execution (create If/Else and looping procedures, allow user abort, capture script errors)
- manage windows (freeze or refresh windows, toggle or lock the status area, set the zoom level)
- manage data entry (paste the result of a calculation, set the contents of a field, perform a replace, revert the contents of a record)
- dial phone numbers
- show messages to the user
- go to a related record or portal row
- and much more...
Scripts can now be executed when a file is opened and/or when a file is closed. You can use the Duplicate button to quickly duplicate scripts or script steps.
Browse & Find Mode Improvements
- can now revert changes after you modify a record or a find request.
- You can save space in a database file by storing graphics by reference. With this feature, you can store a graphic once but display it in many places throughout the database.
- FileMaker Pro now supports and works with empty found sets.
- You can replace a fields contents with other text, serial numbers, or a calculation result.
Field Definition Improvements
- FileMaker Pro now supports "drag and drop" for text and graphics. You can use drag and drop to move objects within a field, between fields, and between files.
- Additional text editing features allow you to:
- insert tabs in fields and text objects
- use a new text ruler to format text in fields and text objects
- specify paragraph margins, indentation, and spacing above and below a paragraph (in addition to line spacing)
- format text in text objects or fields on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis
With the new options for field definitions, you can:
- use global fields to show the same value in every record
- validate data entry by calculation or a value list
- auto-enter a value from the previous record or based on the result of a calculation
- specify a custom validation message
In addition, you can define new storage options for text, number, date, time, and calculation fields. You can specify:
- whether FileMaker Pro should always index the field, index the field when required, or never index the field
- what language to use for indexing text
- whether to store a calculated value or to calculate the value when it is required
More Flexibility with Value Lists
Value lists are no longer attached to specific fields. This change means that one value list can be shared by several fields. In addition, you can base a value list on the contents of a field.
You can now edit a value list:
New Options in Layout Mode
New features in Layout mode allow you to:
- insert the contents of a field into a text object on a layout using merge fields
- define buttons more easily using a new button tool
- edit the text within buttons or groups without having to ungroup or undefine the button
- remove a layout from the Layout pop-up menu that appears in Browse mode
- work with additional zoom levels
- set custom page margins for your layouts
- use a new context pop-up menu to edit a selection in both Layout & Browse modes
- Sample data in Layout mode now comes from your own records, so you can design your layouts more accurately.
- Label layout creation has been simplified. The new interface avoids the need to use sliding.
More Powerful File Handling
- FileMaker Pro file sizes are no longer limited to 32 MB. In addition, you can now have up to 50 database files open at the same time.
- Automatic Database Creation
- FileMaker Pro can automatically create a new FileMaker Pro database from a file created in another application. Simply open a file (such as a tab-separated text file) in FileMaker Pro, and a new database file is automatically created, containing the fields from the original file, a Standard layout and a Columnar report layout, and the data.
Expanded Import and Export
New import/export features allow you to:
- import & export in additional file formats
- create field definitions while setting up an import
- apply auto-entry options while importing data
New Ways to Limit User Access
- You can disable all or most of the menus using new access privileges, and you can disable the status area using ScriptMaker.
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