FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2005
Pages: 768

Used by millions worldwide, FileMaker Pro is an award-winning database program for managing people, projects, images, assets, and other information. It's easy to use and totally customizable--so long as you know what you're doing. But FileMaker Pro doesn't come with a printed manual, so FileMaker Pro: The Missing Manual is the authoritative, jargon-free book that should have been in the box.

FileMaker Pro: The Missing Manual approaches FileMaker the way FileMaker approaches you: it's user-friendly and seemingly straightforward enough, but it offers plenty of substance worthy of deeper exploration. Packed with practical information as well as countless expert tips and invaluable guidance, it's an in-depth guide to designing and building useful databases with the powerful and pliable FileMaker Pro.

Covering FileMaker for both Windows and Macintosh, FileMaker Pro: The Missing Manual is ideal for small business users, home users, school teachers, developers--anyone who wants to organize information efficiently and effectively. Whether you want to run a business, publish a shopping cart on the Web, plan a wedding, manage a student information system at your school, or program databases for clients, this book delivers.

Author Geoff Coffey has many years of experience using FileMaker Pro (he was, in fact, an early beta tester for the product). Author Susan Prosser is a FileMaker Certified Developer who trains other developers. Together, Coffey and Prosser show you how to:

  • Get FileMaker up and running quickly and smoothly
  • Import and organize information with ease
  • Design relational databases that are simple to use, yet powerful
  • Take advantage of FileMaker Pro calculation capabilities
  • Automate processes with scripting
  • Customize FileMaker Pro to your needs and preferences
  • Share information with other people (coworkers, clients, and customers) and other programs
  • Understand and select the best security options

What could easily come across as dry and intimidating--things like relational theory, calculations, and scripting--are presented in a way that is interesting and intuitive to mainstream users. In no time, you'll be working more productively and efficiently using FileMaker Pro.

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oreillyFileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
 
3.4

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3.0

Too many errors in this book to make it useful

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual:

Thank you, Adam. I was beginning to believe that it was just me. The only thing that I can say for this book is that it is easier to read and use than others that I have tried on the subject. I tried what was supposedly the definitive book on this software, "FileMaker Pro 8 Bible", and it was so convoluted and wordy and strayed around so much that I just gave up on it. I can say that this "Missing Manual" at least gave me a better get-go start at understanding the use of the software.

I do agree that the editors seem to have been lax. Because of the high quality of what I have previously used from O'Reilly, I was sorely disappointed in the unworkable parts of this book.

 
1.0

Too many errors in this book to make it useful

By Adam Rosenberg

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual:

I hesitate to write negative reviews because I always suspect that the errors I find are my own misunderstandings. In this case I felt COMPELLED to write one. I bought this book wanting it to be great and having high expectations based on the reviews I read. I doubt many of the reviewers OR the EDITORS read this book very closely. There are so many mistakes (small and large) and examples which flat out DON'T WORK, that the book has almost driven me mad. I've wasted HOURS trying to get things to work the way the authors described. The errata posted on this site lists maybe 1/4 of the errors. There is ONE posted review on Amazon.com which took notice of this, but all of the others seem to miss it completely. Kudos to Raymond Smith! (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0596005792/sr=8-2/qid=1179328510/ref=cm_cr_dp_pt/104-6923608-7298356?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1179328510&sr=8-2#customerReviews)

Two perfect examples (in case you want to save yourself a few hours of struggle):

1. The Invoice Finder tutorial on page 372 simply doesn't work using the "minimum amount" field as they describe. It will work using the date range criterion, but when you add the minimum amount match, it fails. I built a file following along with the text and thought it was MY file that was broken. Then I tried the files supplied with the Missing Manual "CD". The authors' files don't work either. They SEEM to work with the data already in them, but if you add an invoice, it doesn't work. And if you simply open the "options..." definition of the Total Due field on the "Invoices" table, then OK the dialog box, all the existing data fails as well. It must be some kind of indexing problem, but the fact that it slipped by the editors is almost impossible to believe.

2. Repeating Fields for Multiple Results on page 417 is totally wrong. The formula they supply will not work at all, and in fact, unless the "Price" field is a repeating field as well (which they don't mention at all), you can't do any calculations using the "Get(CalculationRepetitionNumber)" that will work the way they describe. Not to mention the fact that in the second mention of the calculation they call it "Get(CalculatedRepetitionNumber)" which is wrong and won't even take. The text suggests that you "test this calculation with a few numbers", but I doubt that any editor tried it. AND THIS IS LISTED IN A POWER USERS' CLINIC.

I don't know if this is an author problem or an editor problem, but either way, it is a REAL problem for readers.

What a disappointment and a waste of may hours... Don't listen to the majority of reviews on this book. They have clearly come from people who read it but were not actually trying to learn from the DOING the examples in the text. The book is written in a friendly easy style, but there are too many errors to make it valuable. And it's been out for TOO long for these things not to be listed in an available errata or supplement.

 
4.0

Watch the binding and paging

By Roadend

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual:

Great book. Can not wait for the 8.5 version ?

Watch for the binding - mine duplicates pages 70 through 120 and then skips some 50 pages. I am assuming I have the entire text.

 
5.0

FileMaker Pro 8 The Missing Manual

By Teck Kiong

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual:

This is the fourth book I read about FileMaker 7 or 8, and this one is the best. It covers the basics as well as advanced developer's skills with much needed illustration and explanation. Unlike my experience with other books, I am able to understand every concepts portrayed in the books.

 
4.0

excellent reference to filemaker 8

By michael stewart (2mike.co.uk)

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual:

an excellent introduction for new users and a handy reference for filemaker developers (such as myself).

it contains not just the basic outlines of what things do and how things work but lots of tips ,techniques and warnings. well worth the cost.

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