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Help for a newbie - Setting up a simple work order solution

Question asked by JasonGriffing on Jul 2, 2011
Latest reply on Jul 6, 2011 by philmodjunk


Help for a newbie - Setting up a simple work order solution


Hey all, I'm brand new to Filemaker and this my first post on the forum, hoping someone can help me out as I'm a bit stuck.  I run a subcontracting firm doing residential Audio / Visual installs all over the city.  I am attempting to create a simple Work Order solution that will eventually be hosted on FileMaker Server and accessed in the field using iPads and FileMaker Go.  I'm having a lot of fun learning the software (I'm currently using an older version, Filemaker 8), and building this solution is a good way to get my feet wet.

My first question is a conceptual one related to Database design.  In order to implement this solution, I have created the following tables:

- Clients
- Projects
- Employees
- Daily Work Orders
- Daily Work Order Times

I understand some of the fundamentals when it comes to Database Design, an I know that Many-to-Many relationships are generally a bad thing.  This is why I have created separate "Daily Work Order" and "Daily Work Order Times" tables (hereafter referred to as DWO and DWO_Times respectively).  Spefically, I saw a potential Many-to-Many relationship between DWO's and Employees (i.e. One DWO can have many employees, and one Employee can appear on many DWO's). Hence, I created the DWO_Times table to sit in between them. So the DWO_Times table has a foreign key to the Employees table, as well as a foreign key to the DWO table.

Does this sound to you guys like I am understanding the concept correctly? Just want to make sure I'm on the right track. Assuming I am, it gets to my next question. 

I would like to create a Layout that I am calling "Daily Work Order Detail".  This will be a form that is filled out at the office by either me or my receptionist.  I have attached a screenshot for reference.  I would like a Checkbox set in the middle of the form to include all of my employees names, so that we can check off which installers will need to go to the jobsite.  Sounds simple enough, but I am having a little trouble with it. 

I drop a field into my Layout, and in the Specify Field dialouge, under related tables, I select the Employees Table, and the EmployeeLastName field.  I then double-click on the field to bring up the "field control / setup" screen.  Select "checkbox" under Display As, and set the Display Values From option to a Value list that i created which populates from the EmployeeLastName field. All of that seems to go fine (SEE SCREENSHOT).  Except now when I go into Browse mode, I cannot select any of the checkboxes.

I am wondering if this is because I do not have a direct relationship beteen the DWO table and the Employee table? But the two tables are related in a sense, via the DWO_Times table I referred to above.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've been stuck on this for quite some time, and I'm not sure where to turn at this point.

Thanks in advance!