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Hello and plea for help from a noob


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Hi guys,


This is my first post and what will be my first database. I have the 30 day trial of filemaker and want to see how good it's going to be for me. I have loads of ideas for personal databases, I just need to know if I can actually make them happen.


First off the bat I am looking to develop a database for family members to track their ebay transactions. They want to be able to work out the profit per item and overall profit to date. Fees can either be entered as an actual but preferably, automatically generated from the sale and starting price. The database would include the following as a minimum:-



Item Number



Payment Method

Paypal Fees

Shipping cost

Total cost

Sale price


Total profit

Buyer details which will include name,ebay id, address


Can anyone help me in terms of what I should be doing. I have figured out how to create the fields etc. The design aspect is something I can work on alone. But, how do I figure out the fees part? Or the running total box that automatically adds the fgures from one record to the next.


Finally, how do I manage to give this information to my Father or is he going to need a copy of filemaker?


Any help is always greatfully appreciated no matter how small. Even if it's a reference to read something somewhere else.



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Having had some files from a member (Norma_Snockurs') I have come to decide that it will be easier to input the fees manually as my Father does this already with Excel.


So, how do I have a running total of the profit show from record to record or is that not possible? What would be an alternative way of achieving it?


Any help appreciated as always.




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Hello Steve


the running total would probably be achieved using a summary field - which is set up in the field definition part of the field -check the FM help on summary fields..

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Thanks, thats exactly what I needed, thanks.


How do I distribute the database to my Father? Is the only way to export it to Excel? That is only the equivalent of what he already has but, it means I've made a database :-)


Is there a way to use the database through a webpage? I'm sure if I do buy it, I will be able to buy some books and learn properly but, for now, I need to know if there are ways of doing things before I invest.


Many thanks again,




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FM advanced version has the ability to make run time versions of the programme for distribution of the database - so your father would be able to run the database without needing the programme installed - see the help file on Developer utilities, You can also very easilly import the information that is already in the excel spreadsheet into the database ( indeed you can open an excel spreadsheet with FM). FM also has web publishing features and an inbuild web brouser feature that allows you to referencee and open web pages directly in the database. Cheers

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Brilliant, thanks. The runtime solution will work perfectly for my Dad. I looked into the web publishing side of things and if I'm not mistaken, I would need to have my computer on and connected to the net, with filemaker open and the DB open also for someone to use it. Is there not a way I could publish it via .mac or is that just plain old silly?


I am making strides with the database thanks to the help I've had. I'm including my DB as is for any thoughts or ideas you may have to make it better. I know it's not pretty and it's not big and clever but, it's my first one so spare the harshness :-)




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Sorry Steve I can't access files because I can't join due to the fact that I didn't answer an e-mail from pay-pal some years ago and I've been on the banned list since despite a number of attempts to sort it out - you might e-mail it to me - (see profile). Re the web - I havn't had to use the web features but as I understand it you can 'upload' your database to an ISP and the public can assess it and fill in forms or browse product catalogs etc - obviously your accounts and privilages need to be secure. The other feature - the web browser allows you to Draw a box on your layout and access web pages directly in that box without having to leave filemaker. So if you had data on sharks you could have a url link directly into a web page about sharks and show/navagate the web page on your layout. Cheers

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