MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 48 of 147

MacDirectory 47 BOOK REVIEWS FILEMAKER PRO 10 > IN DEPTH REVIEW BY RIC GETTER As database programs, go, FileMaker Pro has always been fairly easy to learn, at least in terms of the basics. Mastering the program is really the challenge. Aside from spending hours (or days) learning the quirks and tricks through trial and error or camping out on user forums, there haven't been many paths to becoming a power-user. Fortunately Jesse Feiler, a FileMaker consultant and pretty darn good writer, has published a book that will help you make the leap from user to guru. FileMaker Pro 10 In Depth delivers exactly what the title promises, a comprehensive guide to this powerful program. Even though the target audience for In Depth may not be the new FileMaker user, the early chapters cover all the basics (not just about the program but database theory and design, as well). Even though it may be tempting to skim quickly through these pages, we'd recommend taking some time and seeing what Feiler has to say. It contains a gold mine of tips and techniques, many of which an experienced user may have missed. It also offers a roadmap of all of version 10's new features and how they can be integrated into system designs and end-users' workflows. The latter chapters, which comprise the bulk of the 670-page book, cover the more advanced topics including scripting, security and server-based environments. The latter features some great lessons on maintaining and optimizing FileMaker servers and using ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) to access large SQL databases. In Depth's coverage of FileMaker scripting is some of the best we've seen in the program's long and venerable history. It provides an extensive catalog of script functions and includes ample coverage of FileMaker's newest scripting features, integrated Web and mail as well as a full chapter on version 10's script triggers. It's not likely that every reader will want to digest all of these advanced chapters. There is an abundance of knowledge here and not all of it may be essential to your projects. However, these chapters are written in a way they can be read as freestanding guides and a useful reference to help you approach a specific design issue. Throughout the book Feiler offers useful troubleshooting tips and excellent, experienced-based real-world examples of the program's features (and, occasionally, limits). These are presented in a way that proves the author is a master of the FileMaker developer's as well as the writer's craft. The path to becoming a true FileMaker Pro guru will never be easy, but Jesse Feiler's FileMaker Pro 10 In Depth, will be one of the best guides you can find. FileMaker Pro 10 In Depth by Jesse Feiler; $39.99, Que Books (; 670 pgs. ISBN 978-0-7897-3946-9

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