FileMaker Pro Advanced basics > About FileMaker Pro Advanced custom apps

About FileMaker Pro Advanced custom apps

In FileMaker Pro Advanced, custom app, solution, database, and file are all terms for what FileMaker Pro Advanced creates.

A custom app is a file or set of files containing database tables, layouts, scripts, and relationships, and the associated data that you enter and work with. A custom app also includes information such as fields and their definitions, calculations, passwords, and access privileges. Each custom app solves one or more specific problems, such as tracking customers or invoices.

To see how these concepts all work together in a FileMaker Pro Advanced custom app, see this page (English).

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 Advanced 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 Advanced 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 custom app 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

What are relationships?

Relationships allow you to see and work in one table with data from other tables. You can:

define a relationship between two tables that keeps each instance of data stored in only one table at a time but can be accessed and displayed from any related table

When you change an instance of the related data, the change appears dynamically in all places, so your data is always up-to-date. These relationships allow you to work with data in its most current state, set up and manage data efficiently and with flexibility, and save disk space. See Working with related tables.

define a lookup to retrieve data from a related table and copy it to the current table, storing the data in two places

Looked-up data is current at the time it is copied, but once copied it remains static unless it is looked up again. See Defining and updating lookups.