8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2009 12:59 AM by DRW

    FileMaker Pro10 Questions

    DRW

      Title

      FileMaker Pro10 Questions

      Post

      I think my last posting got lost in the ether. Apologies if this is a repeat.

       

      I have been looking for a valid path for updating a legacy VB6 application, which uses MSAccess97 for data storage. The db does little if any data processing. It is not being used as a DBMS merely a flat file. There are no links in the db, no cascading updates etc. All of the data processing/integrity is handled by the VB6 application, including record locking.

       

      I have done some work using SQL server and .Net but face an exhausting rewrite. I have also looked at MySQL but found it difficult to put together a front end.

       

      I have also looked at File Maker V8 and again did not progress very far. However now that V10 has arrived I am taking a fresh look. I have downloaded the trial version of Pro10 and have ported across a part of the legacy db, mainly customer records. I have a couple of questions.

       

      Firstly is VA possible to create custom designed toolbars. The 'New' button on this version appears to be greyed out. Is this because it is a trial version or is this function not available yet?

       

      Secondly is it possible to put a drop down list on a form that is not linked to the current record. i.e. Is not linked to the data source. I can do this in VB and it is very useful for providing a search list. I created a control in VB6, which consisted of a ComboBox overlaid with a TextBox. The ComboBox was used to move to a record, data from which was displayed in the TextBox(s). It works well and operators like the way it works so I am trying hard to replicate its functionality.

       

      Fingers crossed I may have finally solved this upgrade problem.

       

      Thanks for your help.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
          TSGal

          DRW:

           

          Thank you for your post.

           

          You cannot add custom icons to the Status Area.  However, you have the ability to not show the Status Area and create your own buttons/icons that function like the icons in the Status Area.

           

          Yes, you can create a drop down list on a form/layout that is not linked to anything.  Pull down the File menu and select "Manage -> Value Lists..."  Select a Custom List and put your own values in there.

           

          If you need clarification for any of the above steps, please let me know.

           

          TSGal

          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
            DRW
              

            Thanks for the response TSGal.

             

            I was hoping that it would be possible to create a custom toolbar but have been looking at the Tab Control as a way around the problem. It is a plausible solution but I will have to play around with things a little before I feel entirely comfortable with it. I need an interface that is very simple and intuitive.

             

            I have created a drop down list i.e.. a customer list, which is based on the customer field in the customer table of my db. What I wanted to do was to put this drop down list on the form and when the user makes a selection from this list to show the appropriate record from the customer table. The problem I have is that making a a selection actually changes the current customers name to that selected from the list.

             

            My apologies if there is an obvious solution, which I have missed. I realise that if I am going to pursue FileMaker I need to do a significant amount of reading. I am trying to mimic the functionality of an existing VB6 application. Although this application is working well it is not future-proof and needs to be updated. I am also looking at porting it over to .Net but that would be a lot of work.

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
              TSGal

              DRW:

               

              What do you want to do with the drop down list?  Do you want to find the records?  If so, then enter Find mode, select the record you want to find and then press return.  It will find this record.

               

              Otherwise, if you are in Browse mode, you are replacing the value in that record with the drop-down list value.

               

              TSGal

              FileMaker, Inc. 

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
                DRW
                  

                Thanks for the response TSGal.

                 

                I am trying to mimic the functionality of a legacy VB application that allows the user to browse through records using a drop down list. Simply hitting the up or down arrow key moves to the next or previous record. This works very well and the users like it. You have to understand that these users struggle with the concept of day and night. Browse mode and find mode would freak them out.

                 

                My background is in application development. In VB I have almost total control over all objects on screen. If I cannot make something do what I want then I can create a new object that does what I want. I am trying to move from this to FileMaker, which I perceive as more restrictive. This might be a good thing because it offers more standardization and repeatability but I do not want to loose to much of the functionality I have built up in the VB interface.

                 

                My latest thought is to keep the interface in find mode and fill the text boxes on screen from variables. The problem I have is that it drops back to browse mode when I hit the enter key. Can I stop this?

                 

                I will bash on for a while and see if I can get what I want. Many thanks again for your time.

                One more question. The scripts that run when an object like a drop down list 'drops down'. Are they accessible?

                 

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
                  Sorbsbuster
                    

                  I think what you are trying to achieve is an 'Instant Search' box - select a customer from a pop-up list, and that customer's details appear on the screen.  Yes?

                   

                  If that is the case it is very easy: just create a field 'CustomerToDisplay', make it a Global field (in the Storage Options screen of Define Fields) and create a relationship between that Global Field and the CustomerName field.  You can then easily display all of records relating to that Customer in a portal (say, all their sales orders) if you have related the Global Field to the CustomerName field in the Sales Order file, for example.

                   

                  You can then have a button on each line of the portal that would allow you to select a record shown in the portal and click to see it in detail.

                   

                  You can 'daisy-chain' several global fields together to include additional filtering, like start and end dates, for example.

                   

                  HTH,

                  Alan.

                   

                  Edit: What I mean is, you don't have to worry about going into 'Find' mode and performing a search.

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
                    DRW
                      

                    Many Thanks for this Sorbuster.

                     

                    I have created a drop down that selects a customer record and associated fields in browse mode. It also selects the various addresses associated with this customer in the address table.

                     

                    One question if I may. Are the duplicate tables in the relationships diagram actually real or are they just links that show as tables in this view? I think what I am trying to ask is whether the whole of the table and its data have been duplicated? If so what effect this will have on the database size and performance?

                     

                    If I am to provide a 'drop down' search on other fields in the customer table (such as account number) will I have to create all of these extra tables again?

                     

                    Sorry that is 2 questions.

                     

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
                      Sorbsbuster
                        

                      The 'Duplicate Tables' in the relationships diagram are more correctly referred to as 'Table Occurances', so not it is not the same thing as having 2 table occurances = 2x the size of a file with 1 table occurance.  It is simply a way of logging how two tables are connected if there are two ways to connec them - say, by AccountNumber or by OrderNumber.  If you are to pick up a relationship between the two tables to use in a calculation, say, then Filemaker has to know whether to relate the tables by AccountNumber or by OrderNumber.  You define the calculation correctly by using the name of the 'Table Occurance' for the one you mean.

                       

                      I think I can see where your second question is coming from, and hopefully this answer heads your query off at the pass: if you want to refine the relationship to be by OrderNumber AND OrderDate criteria, then you can define multiple criteria in the one relationship.  Whenever you create the relationship from the CustomerTable (say) to the OrderTable (say) by 'GlobalCustomerName = CustomerName', just add another set of criteria, such as 'GlobalOrderNumber = OrderNumber, and then it will show the related records whenever both criteria are matched.  If you look at the relationship operators available you will see the usual range of '=', '<', '>', etc.

                       

                      I am still slightly unclear whether you are 'searching on other fields in the customer table' by going into 'Find' mode and performing a search (and nothing wrong with that), or you are using a global field formatted to have a drop-down list of CustomerNames and using a relationship from that field to immediately, dynamically, show you the list of related records.

                       

                      HTH,

                      Alan.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Pro10 Questions
                        DRW
                          

                        Thanks Sorbsbuster.

                         

                        I suspected that the tables were diagrammatic rather than 'real'. I have reached a point in this assessment where I almost have the search facilities of the VB application I am trying to replace. I have a top toolbar to change layouts, a tab control, which works well and a bottom tool bar, which I intend to use to switch the form between 'View', 'Edit' and 'New' modes. I will be looking at this bottom toolbar later in the week. I have to catch up on some VB stuff now and earn a crust.

                         

                        Many thanks for your help. I am more inclined now to buy V10 pro and persevere with this development. A couple of days ago I was of the opinion that I was going to have to convert the whole application to a .Net app.