Experiences of a FileMaker Pro Database Developer

Helping Our Soldiers Quit Smoking, Part 2

Recommendations for Resources: Where to start with FileMaker Pro

This is part 2 of a case study that will follow the development of a FileMaker database by a military psychiatrist to assist with his smoking cessation program for his Marines & Sailors in Afghanistan.

FileMaker Inc. has some great resources directly within FileMaker Pro and online at FileMaker.com. Before you get started, it’s important to have an understanding of some basic database and relational concepts. Start here and read all 3 parts.

This will give you basic concepts of relational databases. You’ll need to understand this before we can dive into FileMaker. After you read about relational databases, open up FileMaker Pro 11 and click on Help from the menu, then on Product Documentation and select Tutorial. This will provide a good read on how to use FileMaker Pro as well as hands on lessons. You can also access this from the Quick Start Screen or online directly here:

Also from the Quick Start Screen under Video Tutorials, click “Visit the Resource Center” or click this link:

There are some videos there that will help explain some of the features of FileMaker Pro as well as other video tutorials. You can also review starter solutions and access the tutorial and other resources under the Learning Library tab.

FileMaker offers intensive training and you can choose self-paced or instructor-led training. Information about FileMaker’s Training Series (FTS), finding a course that is right for you and how to order the manual that is used for training, can be found here:

Once you get through the above resources, check my Favorites for third party FileMaker Pro books and other resources. I will be updating my favorites in the next few days and listing some additional getting started resources and books, so please check often for updates.

Another link that I find helpful, is FileMaker’s Webinars. These are Web Seminars conducted by FileMaker Experts, other developers like myself as well as engineers and presenters from FileMaker, Inc. Click here for a current list:


After posting part 1, I was contacted by Kevin Mallon, FileMaker’s Sr. Public Relations Manager:

Kevin Mallon: We caught your blog about the military psychiatrist creating a database to assist with smoking cessation among the marines in Afghanistan and I wanted to know what you think we could do to help.

We could provide our FTS along with third party FileMaker Pro “how-to” books.

I was also wondering if he could use FileMaker Go running on an iPad?

Look forward to hearing from you.

I forwarded the email to Commander Baker and also asked him what computer equipment he was currently using. FileMaker Go would also be a great addition, especially if going paperless (more on this later). Here’s Commander Baker’s reply:

Commander Baker: Gentlemen:

Greetings from Afghanistan. Wow, I am overwhelmed from the great support. In terms of equipment, I have been an Apple user for the last 2 years. I have a Mac Book Pro and I used the iPad for my daily operational, administrative and medical practice. By having the information and database in the iPad definetely sounds like a superb idea.

Kevin, I would love to have a book or training material so I can learn FileMaker. I am kind of a visual/kinesthetic learning so a lot of pictures help my learning. I have FileMaker Go on my iPad but I have not used it yet as I didn’t have any database at this time.

Matt & Kevin, you both have been heaven sent angels and I greatly appreciate your support. As my mother always says, there are indeed angels among us.

Thanks guys

Part 3, Designing the Database

Back to Part 1

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