If you're looking for the inside scoop on the latest version of FileMaker, you've come to the right place. Authors Scott Love and Steve Lane are FileMaker experts who were involved in the development of FileMaker 8, and they bring that knowledge to you in Special Edition Using FileMaker 8. Frequent tips, case studies, and thorough examples show you how to avoid mistakes and save time in developing databases with FileMaker 8. This is the comprehensive reference that every database developer needs on their shelf.
Welcome to the world of FileMaker Pro. By simply browsing through this book, you're sure to have heard the word database. We'll cover what databases are ad nauseam in the rest of this book, but one of the first things you'll need to understand about FileMaker Pro is that it is far more than just a database application.
FileMaker Pro is nearly unique in the world of software. It is a powerful database system that can manage and store a wide range of information; it's an application for end users (like Microsoft Excel or Intuit's Quicken); and it's also a robust rapid application software development platform.
When you hear someone speak about FileMaker, keep in mind they may be viewing it from any one of these different perspectives. An IT professional likely sees FileMaker as a database engine that fits into a larger security and network infrastructure. An end user is probably thinking about a specific solution built in FileMaker Pro and how that solution helps (or doesn't help) make her work more efficient. A software developer may see FileMaker as one of many tools he employs in building a wide range of applications.
Our previous book, Special Edition Using FileMaker 7, was well received, but we did hear one consistent concern; namely, that the book was felt to be too advanced by some readers. So we'll try to be clear on our aims up front. This book was written with an eye toward the FileMaker developer community. If you're an IT professional who supports FileMaker applications, you'll probably find a few chapters (such as the one on FileMaker Server) to be of interest. If you're mostly interested in learning how to use the essential features of the FileMaker application, though, this book may not be for you. Although we've included some introductory chapters in order to be as comprehensive as possible, we've chosen to focus on an audience that we assume is largely familiar with the essential operations of FileMaker already, and is interested mostly in topics for the beginning to advanced developer.
We have also written a companion work, FileMaker 8 Functions and Scripts Desk Reference. As a reference, it is meant to be used daily as developers look up function syntax, refresh their memories on how specific script steps work, peruse useful custom functions, or uncover what a specific error code means. Each book is intended to complement the other, but the two are not interdependent. Some of the feedback we received for Special Edition Using FileMaker 7 noted that it combined both reference material and deeper, conceptual topics and was perhaps serving two audiences. In this updated version of Special Edition Using FileMaker 8, we've focused on the exploration of various development topics, and left the reference material to our companion volume.