FileMaker for IT Support Staff - 16
4.7 (25 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,690 students enrolled

FileMaker for IT Support Staff - 16

Learn the Basics of Supporting FileMaker Users in Your Organization
4.7 (25 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,690 students enrolled
Created by Richard Carlton
Last updated 1/2018
English [Auto-generated]
Price: Free
This course includes
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What you'll learn
  • Learn basic FileMaker server configuration.
  • Learn the security options and encryption options for the FileMaker Platform.

  • Learn how to work with a FileMaker Developer in a cooperative role.

  • Learn when it’s time to insist that your organization uses FileMaker Server or FileMaker Cloud .
  • Learn basic FileMaker Server admin controls.
  • Students should be those who have a general IT support background.
  • Students should understand networking basics, including concepts of Latency, Pings, Static IPs, and significance of Port Numbers.
  • Advanced network skills NOT required.

Get up to speed with this exciting software development platform... from FileMaker Inc... a subsidiary of Apple Inc. This FREE course provides a high-speed brain dump specifically tuned for IT support staff and managers.   This is not a coding or development course.  This course is designed to specifically to jump start... the IT support they know the minimum basics of supporting mission-critical FileMaker customer apps within their organization.

If your looking for a course to jump start you as a developer or end user, check out our other free videos course.

  • Useful for people new to supporting the FileMaker Platform.
  • Learn about the individual software products that make up the platform.
  • Learn the basic capabilities of the platform.
  • Learn about FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud, and which one might be a better fit for your organization.

This course is broken down into multiple sections, including

  • Platform Overview
  • Basic operations and usage of FileMaker Pro (Mac and Win)
  • Supporting FileMaker Users
  • Building Native iOS Apps for Apple's App Store
  • Common Tech Support Issues
  • FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud
  • Basics of Security and Encryption.
Who this course is for:
  • Manager or staff that needs to learn about supporting FileMaker in the organization
  • Manager or IT staff who needs to understand IT concerns of supporting the FileMaker Platform.
Course content
Expand all 30 lectures 03:11:42
+ 0100 - Introduction & Overview
4 lectures 23:21

* Overview - teaching IT staff to supporting FileMaker in an organization

* Expect to see 2 different groups of people who use FileMaker.  Power Users who can work on FileMaker...and end-users who use the tool.  End-users  don't make edits... and as a general rule, they don't care about customizing FileMaker.  They just do their job.

* This course... looks at FileMaker 14, 15, and 16...with an eye towards the next release of FileMaker.

0101 - What is this Course?

FileMaker is a Box of Tools

* Overview video of all the FileMaker clients and hosts

* The FileMaker platform consists of many powerful products that allow you to build any type of custom solution you solve any type of business need

* FileMaker has a great collection of tools and products that can be extremely helpful to small and large businesses

* Building and customizing databases in FileMaker is much faster than other types of database systems

0102 - What is FileMaker - Summary

* FileMaker is conceptually similar to Excel...which is a very basic database system.  Colums and Rows.

* Some people comes from Sales Force or Quickbooks.

* FileMaker is a Database Engine, Front End GUI, with a Scripting or Business Logic Layer.

* Users with none support hardware or operating system, cab try to level WebDirect... if their browser is up to date enough.

0103 - How is FileMaker Different from other Products...

 * What is your corporation’s expectations for your level of FileMaker support?

 * You may encounter a wide range of issues in FileMaker support. These can be divided into categories. 

 * Work stations upkeep(possibly mobile devices too)

 * Network upkeep - Either maintaining an on premise FileMaker Server, or a FileMaker Cloud Server running on AMS.

 * Enforcing and setting up file security - FM database files can be set up with their own security restrictions. Will maintaining the security involve a FM developer?

 * Reporting and Fixing Bugs - what kind of bugs can you fix? How quickly?

0105 - What is IT's Level of Responsibility
+ 0200 - Basic Operation
7 lectures 37:37

• Tour of interface, dependent on OS type

* Manage Database allows you to define Tables, Fields, and Relational Schema.  Support fields types are Text, Number, Date, Calculations, Containers, Time Stamps.

* Script Workspace allows your to write scripts or "code" in your FileMaker Custom Application.

* Layout Mode allows you to structure the UI.

* Difference between a brand new Blank file...versus a more completed FileMaker Solution.

* Compares Rows and Columns ... as they would be in a Excel file.  

* The database Structure and data are saved in the SAME file.  File may get large....due to data growth.

* A FileMaker Solution... may be a single File... or multiple files.   A solution with multiple files... should stay together in a single directory.

• Status Tool Bar is a standard part of the FileMaker Application.  The developer who built the solution May or MAY NOT choose to display the Status Toolbar.

0201 - Quick Tour of the FileMaker Interface (Pro)

 * Quick crash course of how to use FM Pro

 * Launch Center allows you to browse through the local files, or open files on a server/host.

 * A server connection can be set up from Hosts tab. Click on the "+" symbol on the lower corner of hte window. Enter the correct IP address and label it with a easy to remember nickname.

 * The top status bar allows for navigation/interaction with records. Creation or deletion of records. This tool bar can be risky if you don't what you are clicking on. Displays the current found set of records.

 * Layouts is just a GUI (Graphic User Interface) that is based on a specific table. It's a way of displaying information from a table/record on screen. 

 * Layouts and tables are created by the FM developer.

0202 - Opening Files, Types of Layouts, Found Sets, Navigating

 * Saving data in FileMaker is easy. Making an edit will automatically save once you leave the field you are editing. Be careful, there is no undo function. Edits are permanent.

 * Multiple users cannot edit the same record at the same time. But they can view the same record at the same time. 

 * Something to be aware of when employees leave the workstation. Danger of record locking a key record.

0203 - Saving your Data & Record Locking

 * Multiple database files can communicate with each other. But there must be as many windows open as there are different files.

 * Having multiple windows/files open at the same time can be confusing for the user. Up to the Developer that the interface and navigation make sense.

0204 - Multiple File Solutions ...Means multiple Windows

 * Layouts are based on tables and displays the data from records in that table. 

 * Tables can be related to each other. Data links can be constructed which allows for record data to be seen from other tables/layouts. This is the main feature of a relational database. 

 * Changing data from one table, in a record that belongs to another table, causes the data to permanently change. 

 * Editing a record = Record Locked

 * Commit a record = Record Unlocked and Saved, no undo for this process

0205 - Changing Data on one Screen... might also change it elsewhere

 * Deleting Records is Permanent.

 * There is no undo for record deletion. Deletion is a permanent action Furthermore there is no log of the delete action.

 * Generally speaking, deletion should be a last resort, instead consider marking a record as "dead" or "inactive".

0206 - Deleting Records

 * Records can be locked in a Multi-user setting.

 * When a user clicks in to a field to edit it, on a layout, that record is called locked. This means that no one else can edit fields on that record.

 * Each database that is opened will have at least 1 window open at any given time. Close all windows on an open database file will close the file.

 * Having multiple windows open on a single database file means you can look at 2 records at the same time. Or you can maintain 2 found sets.

 * FileMaker treats having multiple windows open on 1 database file kinda like a second user.

0207 - Recording Locking - Muli-Users or Multi-Window
+ 0300 - Supporting FileMaker Users
8 lectures 47:49

 * IT may need to coordinate with a FM developer.

 * Having an in-house developer is nice, since they are always accessible, and more likely to understand your business process. They save time, requires less data entry, and generally commit fewer mistakes.

 * The IT staff should not feel threatened by the developer. They are there to help. IT staff should come to the developer with questions, and learn it's behavior. Understand the requirements to support the files the developer is creating.

 * Once a user has a finished solution, and it is thrown on to a server, it can still be developed and edited. This is the advantage of FileMaker.

0301 - Coordinating With the FileMaker Developer

 * Custom Application is also known as a database or template. 

 * FileMaker is a database engine, custom application, and scripting environment. 

 * FMS can mean the hardware or software. 

 * FM Go can connect to hosted files on FM Cloud or FMS.

 * FM Go does not include development and is used for remote access. 

 * FM Direct allows users to remote access onto html.

0302 - Terminology

 * 5% or less packet loss is usually okay. 10% loss is bad. 

 * Users in a multistory building accessing the server on different floors will connect in 1-2 milliseconds. This means FMS is fast!

 * It's important to measure latency and keep servers as close to possible, so your application doesn't lose performance.

0303 - Basic Networking Need

 * Asking questions is not a sign of weakness. 

 * Ask questions related to security policies to ensure your add correct safety features. 

 * Ask the FileMaker Developer a question for specific information to complete a project accurately. 

 * Can reach Richard Carlton Consulting at

0304 - Asking for help

 * FileMaker Cloud is FileMaker Server on Amazon Web Services.

 * FMS can still be installed on an Amazon Server.

 * FMS can be on Vultr or Rackspace. 

 * Server side plugins are highly recommended. 

 * Make server plugins are available on your platform. 

 * FileMaker has a QA process for FileMaker Cloud servers. 

  * FIleMaker Cloud is tuned for Linux and Amazon Web Services. Does not work with Microsoft Azure. 

 * FileMaker server supports the latest and last version of Oracle and SQL.

 * FileMaker Cloud is moving towards running on REST API engine. 

 * FileMaker Server you need to PHP, XML, and/or ODBC. 

 * If you have data center centers, turn on point-to-point and encryption at rest to protect your data. 

0305 - FileMaker Server or Cloud

 * One FileMaker plugin is the PayPal plugin to process a credit card. 

 * There a plugins for QuickBooks and for Word. 

 * Make sure you have proper licenses purchased and make sure it works for your version of File Maker. 

 * Windows for a server require a 64-bit plugin. 

 * Some plugins may have to be recompiled for LInux if you are using Linux.

0306 - Plugins

 * Have a layout devoted to reporting bugs. 

 * Have users attach screen shot of bug, location where bug occurred, and result of the bug.

0307 - End Users Reporting Issues - Mechanism to Report Issue

 * If bugs are reproducible on multiple machines, definitely report it to FileMaker Inc. 

* Log into FileMaker website to report an error. 

 * It's important to include what the behavior should be in the bug report and what actually happened.

0308 - Reporting an Issue to FileMaker Inc
+ 0400 - Common Issues
4 lectures 16:08

 * FileMaker Knowledge Base is found on the website and it contains a list of all software patches and various other common topics related to FileMaker.

0401 - FileMaker Help & Knowledge Base

 * An issue that can happen in FileMaker is the web viewer will crash. Restarting FileMaker can fix this and also restarting the computer can fix it. Restarting can fix many issues. 

0402 - Restart Your copy of FileMaker if there is an issue...then Restart the bo

 * Companies with fifty or more employers can integrate Active Directory in FileMaker. For the smaller, companies FileMaker has its own security features.

 * Passwords can be hard-coded into the FileMaker System or managed by scripts or can be integrated with Active Directory through FileMaker Cloud. 

 * Most developers will have admin credentials that can access layout modes and then have user credentials to read and write. The user credentials are usually shared and this is a bad idea

0403 - Security - Passwords will be either individual...or shared

 * Can add timer script step to automatically lock.

 * Can also manually lock screen.

0404 - Security - Lock your Computer if your stepping away
+ 0500 - FileMaker Server
7 lectures 01:06:47

 * When you build a server you give it a static IP or a domain. 

 * An important part of setting up a FileMaker server is the creation of an approved SSL certificate. 

 * Local host port is 16000 and remote connection port is 16001.

 * Under statistics, you can tell what clients are currently on the server. 

 * Also in statistics, you can FMS collect various data and create charts.

 * The tab to the left is split up with operation and settings for FMS.

 * FM Cloud does not have XML or PHP engine. It also doesn't have statistics or logging.

0501 - General Overview

 * Status will show errors

 * Displays IP address

 * Shows server version rather it's 16.0.1, 16.0.2, 0r 16.0.3. After three is usually a new release.

0502 - Status Tab - Detailed Explanation

 * In the activity tab, you can open folders and get backups. 

 * Anytime you do anything even in activity, the log will report you opened the file. 

 * Log file can tell you if you didn't close the file properly. 

 * Cloud backup usually occur every 15 to 20 minutes. 

 * Best backups prepare for stolen servers and drive failures. 

 * Schedule tabs tell you when your last backups occurred. Usually should have several backups. 

 * Database server setup restart crashed files.

0503 - Activity Tab & Scheduled Backups

 * After two minutes of inactivity are disconnected. 

 * FMS is backwards compatible for clients in 16 who can access 15.

 * FM Cloud you must be on the same version or newer. 

0504 - Managing Users

You need to setup your backups... or you will pay!

* 3 Types of Backups... Bootable, Scheduled, and Offsite.  You need them all.

* (MAC Users) Sync2Folders... is the old shareware version.  They now have a updated professional app... called "Sync Folders Pro" on the Apple App Store for $7.99... which works pretty well.   This App will not Zip the files during Sync.

* (MAC Users) "Get Back 2" is a similar App... but compresses the backup during the transfer.   Very clever.  

* How many backups should you have. Onsite or off?

* What is a cloned drive and what value does it offer?

0508 - Scheduling Backups

AKA Incremental Backups... Super fast!!!

* These backups are highly automated and result in FileMaker only saving "changes" to databases during a backup... and not entire copies of a database.   So if a 4 gig database has 20K of new data... progressive backups will only write 20K of data instead of the whole 4 gigs... so its super fast!!!

0509 - Progressive Backups

* NOT * A Crash from FileMaker Cloud

* Always restore from the last good backup.  DO NOT use crashed databases.

* If you're using FileMaker Cloud, you're procedure is different

* There is a specific procedure for restoring from a crash on FileMaker Server.  

* You may want to create your own variation of this procedure for your organization... but keep your eye on the fundamentals.  

* Discussion includes conversation about "HardLinks"

* FMS has a default preference of ALWAYS trying to open the local files automatically... whenever it boots up.  TURN this OFF.

* When the database Server crashes, take the crashed files out, date them, and compress them.  Do NOT delete them.

* After the Restart of the server... Find the last good backup, and make a COPY into the Data/Database folder.

* Crashes CAN occur in the middle of a backup.  DO NOT use these.

* Restoring the files on a Mac... requires reset the correct Permissions to the FileMaker Files... BEFORE you start them up on the FileMaker Server.

* If you fire up files... and you find that you cannot EDIT the data and the Files are set to "Read-Only"... the permissions are WRONG.

* To fix FMP12 files that have the wrong permissions....CLOSE the files FIRST... then Fix them... then Reopen then in FileMaker Server.

0510 - Restoring Databases from a Backup