Chapter 17. Exporting and Importing

You may have forgotten it by now—building a big database can make you feel like a slave to your computer—but the point of a database is to make managing information more efficient. Nothing illustrates this point more quickly than FileMaker’s ability to suck data into your database from various sources, and dump it back out again in assorted ways.

If you have data of almost any kind—spreadsheets full of figures, lists of names and phone numbers, a vast corporate database, electronic orders in XML, folders full of pictures or text documents—FileMaker can import it directly into your database. On the other hand, if your data is already in FileMaker, you can export it to lists, other databases, XML, or almost any other format imaginable. FileMaker takes a wonderfully flexible approach: It lets you handle simple imports and exports with just a click or two, and provides the features to tackle the most complex cases as well—if you (or some hired help) are willing to do the necessary work.

Exporting a File

When you export data, FileMaker needs to know what data to export. You tell it with the Export dialog box (Figure 17-1). The Table pop-up menu shows you what FileMaker considers the current table—in this case, Customers. Below it, the Field list shows every field in the current layout for that table. But click the pop-up menu, and you’ll see that you can choose Current Table (“Table Name”), which shows you all the fields defined in the current table. ...

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