Beyond documenting your solution within its structure and code, FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced includes a Database Design Report (DDR) feature that is quite useful and may very well stand as the centerpiece for your system documentation. The report includes an overview of the system, along with detailed information about your database schema, including tables, fields, relationships, layouts, value lists, scripts, accounts, privilege sets, extended privileges, and custom functions. The report can be created as an integrated set of linked HTML documents or as a set of XML files.
Using XSLT, you can transform the XML output of the DDR into a Microsoft Word document that your constituents may find easier to digest and more commonly associated with what they think of as documentation.
Creating a Database Design Report is a simple task. But first, you must have FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced and you must open all the files that you want to include in the report. The files must be opened with an account that has full access privileges. After the files have been opened, choose Tools, Database Design Report to display the dialog box shown in Figure 27.4.
By default, all tables in all available files are included in the report. You can uncheck files or tables you do not want to include. You can also specify the types of information to include for each file. Choose either HTML or XML for the report format. Finally, click the Create button and specify the location to which to save the report files.
If you e not sure whether the HTML or XML version of the DDR is more useful to you, think of it this way: The HTML version produces a set of linked web pages that you can open and navigate immediately in a browser. The XML output is more appropriate if you need the data in a raw form and plan to manipulate it in some way before viewing or presenting it. One type of manipulation might consist of writing one or more XSLT stylesheets to transform the DDR XML data into a form suitable for importing into a FileMaker database.
The HTML version of the DDR includes a Summary.html document along with three additional HTML documents (
If you want to distribute the HTML-based DDR, one way is, of course, to host the files on a web server and distribute the URL (making sure that you give it only to people who should be allowed to see the internals of your database!). If you feel that hosting the files on the Web is insecure, or web hosting is impractical for other reasons, you can distribute the HTML files as a group. If you do this, be sure to keep all the files together, in the same relative positions and with the same filenames they had when they were first generated.
The DDR includes many hyperlinks that make it easy to navigate the report. For instance, the Fields section lists every layout, relationship, script, and value list that uses each field. Each of the listed items is a link that displays the element.
When you choose to generate the DDR as XML, youll get a file called Summary.xml, and an additional file called
Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8
Using FileMaker Pro
Defining and Working with Fields
Working with Layouts
Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker
Relational Database Design
Working with Multiple Tables
Working with Relationships
Getting Started with Calculations
Getting Started with Scripting
Getting Started with Reporting
Part III: Developer Techniques
Developing for Multiuser Deployment
Advanced Interface Techniques
Advanced Calculation Techniques
Advanced Scripting Techniques
Advanced Portal Techniques
Debugging and Troubleshooting
Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro
Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing
Importing Data into FileMaker Pro
Exporting Data from FileMaker
Instant Web Publishing
FileMaker and Web Services
Custom Web Publishing
Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution
Deploying and Extending FileMaker
FileMaker Server and Server Advanced
Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions