Saving Your Databases

Everybody knows that it's important to save files early and often, right? So you're working along in FileMaker entering information about your office birthday roster, and as good habit dictates, you type the keyboard shortcut that saves in practically every program in the known universe (that'd be Ctrl+S on Windows and -S on the Mac). Up pops the wrong dialog box. This one's asking you how you want to sort your data! What gives?

Don't worry, FileMaker has you covered. The program automatically saves all your work in a cache, which is part of your computer's RAM (Random Access Memory). Then, periodically, FileMaker transfers the information from the cache to your hard drivewhere it's secure.

You can control how much work is held in cache before it's saved to your hard drive, as described in Figure 1-7. In Windows, choose Edit images/U2192.jpg border=0> Preferences, then click the Memory tab. On the Mac, choose FileMaker Pro images/U2192.jpg border=0> Preferences, then click the Memory tab.

Figure 1-7. Specify the size of the FileMaker's cache and how often your work is moved from the cache to your hard drive. (Nerds call that flushing the cache.) A larger cache yields better performance but leaves more data in RAM. If you're working on a laptop, you can conserve battery power by saving cache contents less frequently. Just remember, in case of a power outage or other catastrophe, the work that's in cache isn't as secure as what FileMaker's saved to your hard drive.

 

1.4.1. Saving a Copy of Your Database

Chances are the data in your database is important (would you really go to all this trouble if it weren't?). Although FileMaker automatically saves your work as you go, what if the database file itself gets lost or suffers some digital harm? It's in your best interest to back up your database periodically. You can perform a backup by simply copying the database file. For example, you can copy it to a CD, email it to a friend, or duplicate it and tuck the copy away in another folder. The easiest way to make a backup is to choose File Save a Copy As. Youll see the typical Save dialog box. Just make sure that "copy of current file" is selected as the Type option. When you click OK, FileMaker makes your copy in the background, then you can continue working in the original file.

But if you want to start working in the copy you've just made, select the "Automatically open file" option before you click OK. FileMaker makes the copy of your file, then helpfully opens it for you. FileMaker doesn't close the original file for you, so if you're finished with the original, choose it from the Window menu, then close it to avoid confusion. Now only your new copy of the file is open.

If you want to make a copy of your database to send to an associate in another office, chose the "Create email with file as attachment" option. FileMaker copies your file, then launches your email program, creates a new email, and attaches your newly minted file copy to it. All you have to do is provide an email address, type your message, and click Send. See Section 17.2.1 to see how you can use similar options if you only want to send data to your associate in another format, like Excel or a PDF file.


Warning: You should always make sure a database is closed before you copy its file using any of the desktop methods (like Edit Copy in Windows Explorer or the Macs Finder, for example). If you copy the database file onto another disk while it's open in FileMaker, the copy you made may be damaged or missing information.


1.4.1.1. Saving a clone of your database

There's no ban on cloning in FileMaker. Clones are clean copies of your database, but without any of your valuable data. Clones are really useful, like when you've designed a killer database for running sales in your Dart and Billiards Supply Shop and you want to send the files to all your franchisees without giving away your store's sales data. Just make clones of your files and give them to your proud new owners. To make a clone, chose File images/U2192.jpg border=0> Save a Copy As, then make sure "clone (no records)" is selected as the Type option.

Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro

Your First Database

Organizing and Editing Records

Building a New Database

Part II: Layout Basics

Layout Basics

Creating Layouts

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

Advanced Calculations

Extending Calculations

Part V: Scripting

Scripting Basics

Script Steps

Advanced Scripting

Part VI: Security and Integration

Security

Exporting and Importing

Sharing Your Database

Developer Utilities

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A. Getting Help



FileMaker Pro 8. The Missing Manual
FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596005792
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 176

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