13 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2014 9:48 AM by philmodjunk

    Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts

    KevinRoach

      Title

      Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts

      Post

           Hello!

            

           I have modifed one of the quickstarts to work with my service company but can't figure out how to link a layout(service report to the customer. I want to keep track of each service report under that customer as well as keeping track for other customers also. I need to customer information to show up on the service report and right now I have tried to do it all but the fields I have put on my layout for the customer always go blank when I try to start a new service report. I am using the Invoices QuicK Start.

            

           Any Help is greatly appreciated!

           Thanks,

           Kevin

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
          philmodjunk

               And on what table have you chosen to base this layout? Invoices? Or some other table. You'll need to use a link between your layout's table and an occurrence of the customer table. If you base this layout on INvoices, it would look like this:

               Invoices::Bill To Customer ID = Invoice BIlling Customer::Customer ID

               which already exists in your file. If you base it on a different table than INvoices, you'll still need to match a Customer ID field to the Customer ID field in Customer. Then, to link a new record on this layout to a specific customer, you'll need to select that customer from a drop down list or pop up menu of Customers set up on that Customer ID field.

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
            KevinRoach

                 I created a new Layout called Service Inspection Sheet. I want to link it to the company on the Customer layout and the date on the inspection sheet layout.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
              philmodjunk

                   But it's the TABLE you select for that layout that's important here. You don't actually "link layouts" in FileMaker, you link the tables on which you base those layouts.

                   Open Layout Setup... For this layout. What name have you selected in "show records from"?

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                KevinRoach

                     In my Inspection Sheet Layout I have Customers as the Show Records From.

                      

                     Sorry new to Filemaker, I used a different database before this and only used it as a flat file.

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                  philmodjunk

                       That would appear to be the wrong table for your layout if you intend to create multiple Service Reports for a given customer. And then there are Inspection Sheet which would link to Service Reports in what way?

                       I can deduce the first part from you posts. You need these relationships:

                       Customers::Customer ID = Service Reports::Customer ID

                       But how will you use Inspection Sheets with your service report?

                       And how does all of this connect to any invoices that you plan to create?

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                    KevinRoach

                         I just need the Inspection Sheets only linked with a customer,  no service reports. I was calling them one in the same.

                         I don't need the Inspection Sheets to relate to Invoices at all.

                          

                         Can you step me through how I can do this?

                          

                         Thanks,

                         Kevin

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                      philmodjunk

                           Have you created a table for Inspection sheets?

                           That would be step one. Go to Manage | Database | Tables and create a new table for this purpose.

                           Click the Fields tab and define any new fields that you need for this table. You don't have to get them all defined, you can return and add more and make other changes as you get things figured out, but you must define a Customer ID field so that you can link an Inspection Sheet record to a given customer.

                           Then click the relationships tab and drag from a table occurrence of Customers to your new Inspection Sheet table occurrence to link the two by Customer ID. You may want to create a new table occurrence of Customers to use in this relationship. To do that, click Customers, then click the duplicate button (Two green plus signs). You may need to select additional options for this relationship. Double click the relationship line that you have just created to open the Edit Relationship dialog. Select the "Delete" option for Inspection sheet if you want all related inspection sheet records to be automatically deleted each time you delete the customer record that is linked to it. Select "allow creation..." for Inspection Sheets if you plan on using a portal to Inspection Sheets on a Customers layout and want to be able to create new Inspection Sheet records by entering data into the "add row" of the portal.

                           You'll find that adding a new table also created a new layout for that new table. You can edit this layout to serve your needs or create a new layout and use the new layout wizard to create a layout to use for inspection sheets.

                           The next step is to make some basic design decisions about how you want to work with your Inspection sheet records in your database. Here are several possible options and there is no reason why you can't use more than one of them or come up with other options different from them:

                           Option 1: Put a portal to Inspection sheets on a Customer Layout. Make sure to select the name of the specific table occurrence that you linked to Inspection sheets in Show Records from for this layout. You may need to create a new layout for this purpose. If "allow creation" is enabled, you can create new Inspection Sheets simply by typing data into the fields of the portal. But this approach generally works only if your related table has fairly small number of fields you want to fill out for each inspection sheet. But it has the advantage that FileMaker links each new Inspection Sheet record to the customer record that's currently shown on your layout for you.

                           Option 2: Use an Inspection Sheet layout for creating Inspection Sheets and linking them to a customer record. This takes more work but you have the whole layout to use for your inspection sheet. The simplest, but not the only way to link a new Inspection Sheet record to a customer is to take the Inspection sheet's customer ID field and format it with a value list of customer names and ID's. You probably have such a value list already defined in this file. It should specify Customer ID as the first field and a customer name as the second field when you open up the value list in Manage  | Value lists and drill down to the dialog that shows what fields are supplying data to the value list.

                           Please note that such value list is the "beginner level" option for selecting a customer for your Inspection sheet. It often becomes cumbersome to use as your database grows and you get lots of customer records. There are a number of ways to trim that value list down to size and make it easier/faster to select the right customer.

                           Option 3: On a customer layout, you can add a button for adding a new Inspection Sheet. It's script can change layouts to an Inspection Sheet layout, create a new record and link it to the current customer record shown on the layout where you placed this button.

                           Option 4: On the customer layout, a similar button can switch you to the Inspection Sheet layout and find any existing inspection sheets for that customer, offering to create a new record if none are found. The same script can copy the customer ID to a global variable and an auto-enter calculation set on the Inspection Sheet's customer ID field can auto-enter the value of that field each time a new inspection sheet record is created. This can make it possible to click over to Inspection sheets for a given customer and be able to create several new inspection sheet records with each new record automatically linking to the customer that was current on your customer layout. The caveat here is that you have to design your interface carefully or a failure to get the right value into this global variable can keep a new inspection sheet record from linking to the correct customer.

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                        KevinRoach

                             Ok, I redid everything so I could start a fresh Table. It seems to be working except I did not create a Portal. Do I need the Portal to show just each Customer Inspection Sheets?

                              

                             Right now it doesn't seem that each Inspection Sheet is connected to the one certain Customer I put it in for. I created 2 Inspection Sheets when I had Hardin Memorial Hospital selected in Customers, when I change customers I still see the same Inspection Sheets.

                              

                             At least now I am able to creat new Inspection Sheets instead of it wanting to create new Records like I had it!

                              

                             Thanks,

                             Kevin

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                          philmodjunk

                               If you review my previous post, I described portals as one option. It offers some advantages for working with multiple inspection sheets from the context of a specific customer but it is not by any means a required feature.

                               

                                    I created 2 Inspection Sheets when I had Hardin Memorial Hospital selected in Customers, when I change customers I still see the same Inspection Sheets.

                               And what design options did you use in setting this up? Depending on those details, this could be normal behavior by the database even though it is not what you expected.

                               Example. If you are create 2 new Inspection Sheet records on the Inspection Sheet Layout for customer A, if you then switch back to the customer layout and find or create a record for Customer B, the records shown on the Inspection Sheet layout won't automatically change to records for Customer B unless you put in place a script to find those records when you return to the Inspection sheet layout.

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                            KevinRoach

                                 Ok I can figure out a script possibly to do this. For some reason it won't allow me to choose fileds other than Similiars when I try to do a Portal on my Customer Layout.

                            • 11. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                              philmodjunk

                                   You'll need to describe what you tried to do in much more detail before I can suggest a way to fix that. You'll need to describe what relationship you set up and the exact steps you took when trying to create your portal.

                              • 12. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                                KevinRoach

                                     I didn't setup a relationship. I guess I just need to get a book and go step by step on how to do this instead of me trying to muddle through it. There is a lot more to it then I thought there would be.

                                      

                                     If I could just get Filemaker to show just the Inspection Sheet for the customer I have showing in the Customer Layout I would be happy, instead of having to just search for just those records. I want these or new ones to create linked to my touchpad and when I do service I want to be able to fill out the Inspection Sheet on each piece of equipment then be able to print those for the customer or send to them at the end of the day for their records.

                                      

                                     Thanks,

                                     Kevin

                                • 13. Re: Filemaker Pro 11 Adv help needed with Layouts
                                  philmodjunk

                                       It's a relational database system that you are using. Almost everything you do with FileMaker will start with what relationships you define for your tables by Tutorial: What are Table Occurrences?.

                                       

                                            If I could just get Filemaker to show just the Inspection Sheet for the customer I have showing in the Customer Layout I would be happy,

                                       And that requires linking the new Inspection Sheet table to an occurrence of your customer table. That enables a lot more than just making it possible to add a portal to Inspection Sheets on your Client layouts.