Updated 7-30-18 for FileMaker 17…

Question: I’m interested in increasing my capabilities with FileMaker. Is the FileMaker Training Series (FTS) book a good option?

Answer: It depends…

When you purchase FileMaker you get a blank slate construction tool for rapidly building powerful custom application solutions. There are some built-in template files that are included but they are quite basic and may require work to make them work specific for your work situation. It’s kind of like purchasing a spreadsheet tool like Excel. Excel doesn’t come with the actual spreadsheets that will really make it truly useful and take full advantage of its capabilities. You need to design them yourself for your situation.

Every FileMaker database is different. Depending on who developed it for you, the skill level of the developer, and what kind of standards or best practices they used to develop the solution. Learning how to use the solution that was built for you by someone (or you built yourself) is very different than learning how to be a developer and create your own solutions.

FileMaker Training ResourcesThe FileMaker Training Series has two versions…FTS Basics (Free) and FTS Advanced. These resources will not be updated for FileMaker 16 or later. FileMaker will be focusing the future on video training and other options. The series is great for learning the ins and outs of developing a database with FileMaker. It goes into a lot of depth. FileMaker says “The FileMaker Training Series is targeted at intermediate to advanced FileMaker developers, but anyone that creates databases can increase their knowledge from these time-tested materials.”  We use it ourselves to review information when we’ve taken the FileMaker Certification exam to become a certified developer. The FTS for FileMaker 15 is now available for FREE via this link.

So, depending on what you want to do with FileMaker, it could help you.

  • Do you want to learn how to better use an existing FileMaker solution that you already have? If so, the FTS won’t help much.
  • Do you want to develop your own databases or enhance an existing database at a developer level? If so, the FTS will give you the background you need to know about FileMaker.
  • Are you a person that will learn well from reading a book and working through it on your own? If so, FTS (without a classroom setting) may be a great option for you.

After acquiring basic FileMaker knowledge, we’ve found many people get more value out of individual coaching/learning sessions with us where we take a given task or something you’re trying to do in FileMaker and build a solution together while you learn. We combine best practices with the training to get you started quickly. Keep your eye on our curated FileMaker News area for updated tips and tricks from all over the internet.

We highly recommend that you learn FileMaker beginning with the latest version available.

FileMaker 17 released May 2018

FileMaker 16 released May 2017:

FileMaker 15 released May 2016:

Here are several other FileMaker training resources and ideas you may find helpful:

For reference, here are some resources on older versions of FileMaker.

FileMaker 14 released May 2015:

FileMaker 13 released December 2013:

FileMaker 12 released April 2012:

If you are working with an existing solution in FileMaker version 5-11, you need to learn about the older version and safely upgrade only after making good backups of your existing database and environment. We suggest having a professional assist with an upgrade to the latest version.


Also published on Medium.

Tim Cimbura

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make your work more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in FileMaker app development (certified in versions 8-17) for macOS, Windows, iPad/iPhone as well as integration with the web using WordPress, and AppleScript. He knows Apple technology and Windows systems inside and out.