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Book Review: FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman

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FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman is a powerful database program that is easy to learn and use. The program uses simple commands like find, sort and connect. FileMaker Pro 12 can even handle a database as large as a municipal school district. There are a plethora of user groups, websites, chat rooms and professional consultants all devoted to making FileMaker Pro workable for its extensive community of users.

The authors show how creating a new database is a snap on FileMaker Pro 12. Just double click the FileMaker Pro icon to launch the program. Click the “Create a New Database Option.” In the ” Save As” field, name the file. Click “Save” and you’re done. An important feature of the program is the ability to customize a report layout.

FileMaker offers ten fundamental chart types. The column chart is the classic method for visualizing data. The Bars can be set to be flat, 3-D, shaded, or solid-colored. Stacked charts can depict how multiple columns of data combine. The formatting options for Bar charts are identical. The software does Pie Charts, Line Charts, Scatter Diagrams and Bubbles.

FileMaker has a significant computational capability beginning with the Let() function which facilitates computations. An advanced Case() function allows users to add conditions later on. Test conditions can be set up with the If() function. These are just a few of the computational tools the authors provide. A ScriptDebugger feature gives users constant feedback about running scripts once invoked. There is an extensive section on scripts and security, sharing data and privilege sets.

Filemaker comes with lots of extras like guides for installation, users, tutorials, advanced development guides, and instant web publishing, to mention just a few. In addition, the program comes with unlimited free technical support for installation purposes. There is a Filemaker Technical Network(FTN), Filemaker Business Alliance (FBA), and an annual Developer’s Conference (DEV) for venting new ways of using the software.

FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual is a powerful software tool for use in a variety of complex data processing contexts. The software is easy to use and understand. There is an extensive support network and an update conference is held annually for avid users. The presentation is very readable with lots of diagrams and pictorial representations of the data and concepts. Most importantly, the technical support network is extensive for users of virtually every level of sophistication and complexity.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.