Guide to FileMaker Certification

Guide to FileMaker Certification

by Duane Maas

So you want to get certified in FileMaker. I will attempt to help prepare you for the exam. I have taken all the FileMaker Certification exams since FileMaker 9 and have taken over 25 Apple, Microsoft, and other companies certification exams. In order to succeed you need to know what is covered on the exam. It is also essential to know how to approach the exam to maximize your score.

Claris publishes a great guide to the certification exam giving you a look at the topics on which you will be tested. 

Here are the General Areas tested and items in the areas to review.

Technical Specifications

  • OSs and versions that support FileMaker 18 and FileMaker 18 Server
  • Web Browsers and versions that support WebDirect
  • SQL Databases that you can access with ESS
  • Capacities of FileMaker and FileMaker Server

Defining Database Schema

  • Auto-entry options for fields
  • Script Triggers and the order they fire
  • Different types of Storage options for calculations and container fields
  • What the symbols mean on the relationship graph
  • Properties of global fields
  • Using external data sources
  • Effects of deleting a table occurrence

Building Layouts

  • Portal creation, behaviors, and how to modify them and their states.
  • Using Themes to modify fields and layout objects.
  • Describe the types and attributes of script triggers and the order that they fire.
  • Describe the setup and behavior of layout parts.
  • Basic charting
  • Use and limitations of web viewers
  • Working with related tables

Working with Calculations

  • Text manipulation functions
  • Behavior and use of calculation functions (review FileMaker Function Reference)
  • Creation and use of custom functions
  • Text manipulation functions
  • Recursion
  • JSON
  • ExecuteSQL

Writing Scripts

  • Use of various script steps (review FileMaker Script steps reference)
  • Updating data in related or unrelated tables and/or when navigating between tables or windows.
  • Effects of scripts in a multiuser environment.
  • Use of Script Parameters
  • Effects of the Set Error Capture command

Securing FileMaker Systems

  • Security and accessing External Data Sources 
  • Script access to privilege sets and accounts.
  • Use of SSL on FileMaker Server
  • Use of Encryption at Rest
  • Effect of Privilege Sets on Scripts
  • External Authentication and Oauth
  • Extended Privilege Sets for the Rest API, External script access, php, WebDirect, etc

Deploying Custom Apps

  • Tech Specs for FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud
  • FileMaker Server Admin
  • FileMaker Server Admin API and fmsadmin (FileMaker Server command line)
  • Backing Up Filemaker Server
  • Running Scripts on FileMaker Server
  • Configuration fo FileMaker Server Worker and Master machines
  • Encryption and FileMaker Server
  • Use of Perform Script on Server command

Data Integration

  • Importing and exporting data and formats supported
  • Setting up an external Database as an ESS
  • ESS and Shadow Table fields and records
  • ODBC setup 

Taking the exam

If you have not taken the certification exam before, here are some things to note to help you score better.

You have 110 minutes to answer the 60 questions on the exam. Some are multiple-choice with a single correct answer.

For Example here is a single answer multiple-choice question.

Where do you edit or add a privilege set?

(a) File > File Options

(b) File > Manage Database

(c) File > Manage Security

(d) Edit > Privilege Sets


Here is a question that has more than one correct answer.

What are supported external SQL data sources?  (choose 3)

(a) MS SQL Server

(b) Mongo v 4

(c) PostgreSQL

(d) IBM Informix

(e) IBM DB2

In order to maximize your time, don’t dwell on a question too long, but instead if it will take you a long amount of time to answer a question, such as one that requires analyzing a script, spend a little time on it and it isn’t immediately clear, check the flag for review checkbox. This will enable you to return to the question later. You want to make sure you get through all the questions within the 110 minutes allotted for the exam.

I also highly recommend checking flag for review on any questions you are not 100% certain that you have answered correctly. It is a good way to check your work. A lot of times I have corrected mistakes where I misread a question in my haste. When I take the FileMaker exam, I usually have at least 30 of the 60 questions checked to review after the first time through the test. It is more important to get the answer correct than to finish fast.

When you are ready to take the exam register online at the Pearson|Vue site. ( 

MC Services provides great training classes (  to help you gain the knowledge required to pass the certification exam. We are also a Pearson|Vue exam Test Center. So when you register for your test, select MC Services as your testing facility.

Good luck with your certification.