Even outside of the members-only FSA, the FileMaker developer community is a congenial bunch. There are lots of resources on the Internet, including free newsgroups and Web sites. Lots of independent consultants' sites have free or low-cost resources, too, like lists of custom functions free for the taking or sample files that demonstrate specific techniques.
A.3.1. Mail Lists and Newsgroups
A list of email lists is available at www.filemaker.com/support/mailinglists.html, but new sites are cropping up all the time and URLs change even on established sites, so use the link above, or check your favorite search engine to get the latest link for these groups. To get your feet wet, try general lists, like the one run by Dartmouth University or FileMaker Today, New kid on the block fmpug.com is a member-ship-based, online user group with forums, reviews, resources, including podCast interviews with subject-matter experts. For more specialized topics, have a look at FileMaker XML Talk, FileMaker Pro CGI Talk, and Troi FileMaker Plug-in Talk.
FileMaker's Web site lists trainers and consultants who are members of the FSA. And the FileMaker Resource Guide also lists the FSA group, plus it takes paid advertisements. Your favorite search engine will yield hundreds of results. FileMaker has a certification program, so look for the FileMaker Certified Developer logo or ask the consultant if they've been certified as part of your selection process.
If total FileMaker immersion is what you seek, the annual Developer's Convention (DevCon) is the way to go. Each day you can attend as many as seven sessions on about 30 different topics, ranging from running a FileMaker consulting firm to Web publishing, so you're sure to come away from the three-day conference with a brain-pan full of new ideas: www.filemaker.com/devcon.
Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro
Your First Database
Organizing and Editing Records
Building a New Database
Part II: Layout Basics
Advanced Layouts and Reports
Part III: Multiple Tables and Relationships
Multiple Tables and Relationships
Advanced Relationship Techniques
Part IV: Calculations
Introduction to Calculations
Calculations and Data Types
Part V: Scripting
Part VI: Security and Integration
Exporting and Importing
Sharing Your Database
Part VII: Appendixes
Appendix A. Getting Help