File Manager 22.2 Getting Started Manual

Contents > Introduction


What is Fileman?

In discussing what Fileman is, it is probably best to begin with what Fileman isn’t. Fileman isn’t a clinical package like Laboratory or Pharmacy, and it isn’t an administrative package like IFCAP (Integrated Funds Distribution, Control Point Activity, Accounting, and Procurement). Fileman is an infrastructure package, meaning it is part of what makes VISTA run. Programmers use the features in Fileman when creating those other packages: Lab and Pharmacy and IFCAP and so on. Because the same infrastructure packages and tools are used throughout VISTA, similar commands, keystrokes, and shortcuts can be used in all of them. In learning to use the features in Fileman, you are learning to use features in all of the other packages.

“Fileman” is the shorter, more informal name of the package; File Manager is its formal name. As you may have guessed from the name, the specific part of the infrastructure that File Manager handles is files. That is, Fileman manages VISTA’s massive database. Fileman commands are all about data: entering it, editing it, retrieving it, sorting it, printing it, making it into reports.

Although Fileman was written for VISTA, it does not need to be used with VISTA. It can be installed as a standalone database management system.

Before You Start

In order to use Fileman, you should have a basic working understanding of VISTA, including how to sign on, how to navigate using menus, and how to access help by typing one or two question marks. Because Fileman is a database system, you should also have a basic understanding of what a database is, and the meaning of basic database elements such as field, record, and file.

Before starting on the second section of this book, you should make sure that you are reasonably familiar with the material in the first section. It is not necessary that you already have a “super-user” job title, just that you are interested in learning the material.