FileMaker Pro basics > About FileMaker Pro solutions
About FileMaker Pro solutions
In FileMaker Pro, solution, database, and file are all terms for what FileMaker Pro creates.
A solution is a file or set of files containing database tables, layouts, and scripts, and the associated data that you enter and work with. A solution also includes information such as fields and their definitions, calculations, passwords, and access privileges. Each solution solves one or more specific problems, such as tracking customers or invoices.
What are tables?
Tables contain all the records, fields, and data in a file. For example, a Contacts file holds information pertaining to your friends or customers. A file can also contain multiple tables that, together, contain all the information about a particular topic or related topics (a relational database). See Defining database tables.
What are records?
To enter data into a file, you make a new record and enter data into the fields that belong to that record. After you create records in a file, you can work with them in various ways: you can edit them, sort them, or find a group of records that contain a particular value. See Adding, duplicating, and deleting records.
What are fields?
Fields store, calculate, and display the data you have entered into a record. The information you put into a field—by typing, pasting, or importing from another application—is its value. Field values in a FileMaker Pro file can be text, numbers, dates, times, timestamps, pictures, sounds, movies, or other files, calculated values, and summary values. Each piece of information in a record—like a name, address, or telephone number—is stored in a field. See Defining and changing fields.
What are layouts?
FileMaker Pro layouts present data (the text entered into fields) contained in a file. Layouts determine how data is organized for viewing, printing, reporting, finding, and entering data. Layouts do not store your data; they just display it.
When you change the design of a layout, it doesn’t affect the data or other layouts in the file. However, when you change data in a field in one layout, the change appears in every layout in which that field is displayed. You can set a layout to display and print one record, or as many as can fit on a page.
Within one file, you can design separate layouts for entering data, summary reporting, printing mailing labels, or publishing the solution on the web. You can have as many layouts for each file as disk space or maximum file size allows. See Creating and managing layouts and reports.
In a layout, you:
choose which fields to display
arrange and format fields
add or modify field labels
create reports to group or summarize data
specify how records are printed
add graphics and text to add emphasis and interest
To see how these concepts all work together in a FileMaker Pro solution, visit this page (English).