FileMaker Developer Learning Microsoft SQL Server

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

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In addition to my Software Product Management Certification Course at University Of Washington, I recently signed up for an online based Database Management Certification course. I thought it would be interesting and thought it may stretch me due to it having zero Macintosh or FileMaker attributes. That logic turned out to be solid as a rock and I thought I'd share a recent experience about it with the FileMaker community.

Here you can see the homework assignment from week 5. The class isn't meeting my expectations mostly because it isn't organized or executed all that well. In order to take a swing at completing it, I needed to look outside of the UW resources provided for this class.


As many of you may know, I'm a big fan of the online libraries from Lynda.com and VTC.com. They have an empowering collection of FileMaker training videos for both beginner and intermediate developers. Back in early 2011, I went through the Lynda.com training series for Microsoft SQL Server. In fact, I even blogged about it with a posting titled "Dude, you like mentioned FileMaker twice!"  At the day job, my group has a corporate Lynda.com account, so I beat feet over to their site for illumination.

In essence, I was able to complete this homework assignment from scratch within a few hours with very little practical experience about Microsoft SQL server. The way Lynda.com lays out the content in shorter videos with superb documentation was a life saver!

Although easy in hindsight, the process is completely different how FileMaker accomplishes the same tasks. So I thought I'd jot down my notes in this posting.

PART 1: Installation Of Microsoft SQL Serer
That was pretty straight forward (at least for a Microsoft product install) and I didn't really need much guidance. The UW MSDN license came in very handy! I did this on my Macintosh running Bootcamp.

PART 2: CREATING THE DATABASES
After the install and launch SQL server, you simply right click the databases folder to create a new database. Give it a name and then right click the Tables folder to create a table. Out of the gate it wants you to define your columns, so you go ahead and do that. If you don't, you don't get a table. You control S to save. You repeat these steps for all the tables you need to create.

Creating the primary keys is a bit of a hassle and I can only imagine there is an easier way. I ended up creating my column and then right clicking the column to choose "Set Primary Key". The scrolling down in a lower accessed box to open up a Properties setting and then setting the identity spec to "Yes". The movie on Defining Keys was very helpful here.

PART 3: IMPORTING DATA
This was more challenging than I expected because FileMaker has always made this so easy for us. I had to review the movie about "Importing Excel files in SQL Server" a few times as I worked my way through some of the settings.

PART 4: BACKING UP THE DATABASE
This was a snap using the Lynda.com video. I submitted my backup file on line and got a 100% grade for the assignment almost immediately! 

©2012 Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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