File Maker

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JasonElise1983, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    ok, i've looked at this software a thousand times. Can someone please tell me what the hell it does. I can't seem to figure it out. The reason i'm asking is i'm looking to starting up an ad agency pretty soon and will need some kind of bussiness (or whatever) software and was wondering what exactly this did. Thanks
  2. tag macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2005
    Well from the looks of it, it does quite alot.:D I know that doesn't help you but maybe these two sites will? Both links have top 10 lists of what you can do with the app.

    The best thing I could suggest would be to go to the second link and request a trial download so you can try it for youself before you buy it.

    Edit: There is also a Creative starter kit demo available as well...
  3. emmawu macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2005
    Wauwatosa, WI
    Hands down the best data base around. Has templates for everything, including time sheets, invoices, easy to set account records, client bases, etc. It's easy to "program" using simple Boolean logic. David Pogue has a good book on it. I used it for years in a lab setting but it easily usable anywhere. You can import data from Excel. There are many training classes in it. It's really worth checking into.
  4. JasonElise1983 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    Wow thanks, it looks like this could help me more than i even realize now. Basically i really need something like this to manage clients, jobs, print invoices, mailing lists for potential clients, etc... Damn this software sounds great. I'm definately going to try it out. Thanks
  5. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    We use it at work for all kinds of things – job tracking, invoicing, purchasing, sales orders... you name it, it's Filemakered. A very powerful and useful piece of software, if it's set up properly.
  6. edwardlanti macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2005
    new york city
    Filemaker is really good. I work in the fashion industry and we use it at work the whole day as a server. You can make purchase order, invoices, customers information, and a huge database.
  7. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    FileMaker is as close as I've ever come to "put this thing on your head and just think about how you want the computer to behave and it will do whatever you can think of".

    Designing FileMaker solutions compares to designing structure and behavior in any other database language about the same way changing startup device on a Mac compares to changing startup device on a PC. Or like burning a CD in Toast versus burning a CD under MS-DOS.

    It scales up very nicely to handle stuff beyond your wildest dreams if you're willing to learn your way around in it, but you can also install and create your first database without so much as taking the cellophane off the user's manual.
  8. FSUSem1noles macrumors 68000


    Feb 23, 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Our school district relies heavily on filemaker, 90% of the schools use filemaker for their school database or to keep various records, etc,etc..

    With the scripits and everything else, it can get hair pulling aggravating!
  9. Argelius macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2005
    Filemaker -- will it work for my situation

    I was going to start a new thread, but thought, perhaps, my questions might fit in this thread.

    Here's my situation:

    I am in need of a database solution to assist me with the following situation.
    I work in a hospital laboratory. We are inspected once every two years by an organization that uses "checklists" which are basically questions like, "How do you handle XYZ issue?" We currently have this information compiled in a bunch of different paper manuals spread out across the laboratory.

    I want to be able to put on our network a database that includes the following information:
    [1] The checklist item (question); this would be static (i.e. it would only be changed/updated by the database administrator)
    [2] The number (identifier) of the checklist item (also a static item)
    [3] The answer to the item; this would be a field that can be edited by a number of different users.
    [4] The person/employee assigned to the checklist (ideally with a drop-down box listing all the possibilities
    [5] A checkbox indicating if the item has been completed/answered.l
    [6] The area of the lab that the checklist pertains to (i.e. hematology, microbiology, etc).

    The fields would need to be searchable (so a list of all items pertaining to a particular area could be found).

    I'm thinking this is, possibly, relatively easy, since the database won't need to pull data from any other program.I ain't no programmer, but love messing with things. I am probably in over my head with this one, but we'll see.

    The real kicker in this is that I want to do this on my Mac and allow it to be placed on a Novell (Windows) network.

    So, if anyone up until this point is still reading this,
    [1] Can a FileMaker database be exported to a database that would work in Excel? (The hospital has Excel, not FileMaker).

    [2] If the above wouldn't work, would I be able to create a FileMaker database on my Mac that would then run on Filemaker for Windows installed on the network?

  10. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    FileMaker can export as tab-delimited text, comma-delimited text, SYLK file, or Merge file, any of which Excel can read. But that's the data, not the structure. Things like the values of the drop-down menus or the appearance of the screens (or scripts, although what you're describing here wouldn't even need any scripts anyhow) cannot be exported to Excel, or to anything else for that matter.

    FileMaker databases are intrinsically cross-platform, and mult-user cross-platform at that; you can open it on a Mac and then share it and open it from a Windows PC as a guest, with both users viewing and editing the data simultaneously. (Well, only one user at a time can edit any specific record, but aside from that, simultaneously).

    Sharing takes place over TCP/IP. As long as all machines are networked together and have IP addresses, they can open a FileMaker database over the network. And they do not need to navigate to the hard drive of the host machine to do so, FileMaker uses its own protocol (FMP5:// or FMP7://) which is unrelated to SMB or AppleTalk or Novell or any other file-sharing protocol. If you have an IP address that is externally accessible to the outside world, anyone with a copy of FileMaker can open your database as a guest if you turn sharing on and give them your IP address. Just like opening the MacRumors forum web site (you didn't have to mount the web server box on your Desktop in order to see this page).

    (Actually, FileMaker can also use IPX instead of TCP/IP, but only on Windows machines. I haven't used it in years, and when last I did, FileMaker used a different implementation from Novell's IPX. That may have changed, I don't know. It isn't used much.)

    And as I said, it scales upwards very nicely. Buy FileMaker Server and you can have 250 simultaneous users (Mac and PC). Publish to the web and you can also view and edit the data with a web browser.

    And the solution you're describing sounds like about 10 minutes' work, plus a little extra time to make it look pretty ;)
  11. Argelius macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2005
    Thanks a bunch for your detailed, thouhgtful response. I'm a physician by trade, but a computer geek at heart, so I love the challenge of learning a new program. So I might just give this a try...

    Now the real challenge will be to get the hospital to buy the additional 5 or so licenses...

  12. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    Tell your hospital adminstrators that you can also use FileMaker to input all the patient data, all their symptom data, all the meds they are on, all the diagnoses that they have, every med distributed to any patient, all the known side-effects and interaction-effects of each med, all the doctors and who their patients are, all the nursing staff and their assignments, all the room numbers and beds, and:

    • Effortlessly run a report for any given patient listing symptoms, diagnosis, degree to which their symptom list matches that of other patients with the same diagnosis, meds they are on (with red flags for any med interfering or accentuating the effect of any other med they are on), (also red flags for any symptom that matches the list of side effects of meds they are on), when was their intake, how long they've been in treatment, who is their doctor, who is their nurse, who in the past has been their doctor, who in the past has been their nurse, have they ever been in the hospital for other reasons, what other diagnoses do they have, what other doctors do they have, and so on;

    • Effortlessly run a report for any given medication listing manufacturer, schedule, price to hospital, FDA status and date, every recipient, their diagnosis, the doctor, the start date, the dosage, their symptoms (with red flags for symptoms that match known side-effects of the med, and other flags for symptoms that match known interaction-effects with other meds that the same patient is taking), how long they've been taking it, patient outcome, and so on;

    • For any doctor, their patient list, the rooms and beds they are in, their symptoms, the meds they are on now, the meds they have been on in the past, their symptoms, current status, etc; Oh and what the heck: for any doctor, their alma mater, current salary, status or rank in the hospital, all the patients they've ever had, sorted if you so desire by diagnostic category or outcome or etc;

    • For any given month, the new diagnoses, broken down by major categories, sorted by doctor, intake date, prior med history summary, current status, meds they are on, prognosis. Optionally sorted by sex, age, extent to which they are marked overweight, whether they smoke.

    • In comparing a trial run of Lot #78 with Control Placebo glucose IV, display a list view of recipients broken down by date of diagnosis and within that, age, and within that, sex, and within that, outcome at 3 weeks and, within that, outcome at 12 weeks. Click button to show detailed info on any given recipient. Also run alternative report sorted by sex and within each sex by date of diagnosis and within that, age, etc etc. And other variantions.

    • For any given month, all the expenses incurred by the hospital, broken down by category; subreport on materials usage by broad category (patient provision vs institutional use) and within that, blah blah blah; payroll: by job title, status where applicable, 401K, withholding allowances, base salary, check amt, etc;

    • For any given week, after inputting desired personnel, the dates and times at which they have indicated they are free to attend a meeting, sorted by maximum overlap of availability weighted by people most necessary for intended scheduled meeting.

    (Dear God I would oh so love to do a hospital database. ::_drool_:: )

    WARNING: FileMaker is addictive. I used to be a social worker. :)

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