There is no substitute for experience when it comes to using a computer application, so if you haven't already done so, it's time to get in front of a computer and begin to use FileMaker. You can take the book with you if you wish (in fact, we encourage you to do so).
For the purposes of following the descriptions in FileMaker Pro 9 Bible, you'll need a copy of FileMaker Pro 9 or FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced, installed on a supported version of either a Windows or Macintosh operating system. In most respects, the Pro and Pro Advanced applications look identical, although there are a few additional menu commands and features in the Advanced version. Our screenshots are generally applicable to both versions and to both Mac and Windows systems, though the appearance of window frames and dialogs differs slightly between platforms.
If this is your very first use of FileMaker, you may need to first run the installer to get the software set up and ready for use. After FileMaker is installed, launch it from the Dock (Mac) or by choosing Start → All Programs → FileMaker Pro (Windows).
The first time it's launched, FileMaker Pro 9 may require that you activate your software license. This confirms that your copy is legitimate and has been installed within the terms of the purchased license. Normally, activation is required within 30 days and is completed automatically over an Internet connection.
If your computer ...