In Part I, we provide a range of background information concerning databases, their uses, and FileMaker Pro and its role. We introduce you to many of the terms and concepts that we feature throughout this book. Much of the information thus far has been theoretical rather than practical — but that's about to change, so roll up your sleeves.
As we indicate in Chapter 3, the Quick Start window that appears when you first launch FileMaker, or when you choose File → New Database, includes lists of Starter Solutions. These Starter Solutions provide ready-made files for a range of common purposes. However, the real strength of FileMaker Pro is that it gives you the ability to custom-build a solution to meet your own needs. If a ready-made, one-size-fits-all solution were all you needed, then you could probably have found a suitable shareware solution for a few dollars and you wouldn't be reading this book.
Starter Solutions, then, are what you might use on occasions when you don't want to create a new database file (that is, when you're happy to simply use or adapt a solution that somebody else has created for you). Here, however, we lead you through the process of creating your own database from scratch, working through several stages of development to arrive at a workable and useful solution.
The example we've chosen for this exercise is the creation of a simple system to keep track of inventory. Although this is only one of the many situations where databases ...