3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 28, 2015 10:19 AM by philmodjunk

    Inventory Categories

    jmyers.svt

      Title

      Inventory Categories

      Post

      Hello everyone. Im fairly new to FM. I am currently setting up a work order system for our technicians to use and am working on Inventory for the products we sell. I am in need of being able to have multiple subcategories as follows...

      Deadbolts>Brand>Type>Color>Grade>Product
      Knob>Brand>Type>Color>Grade>Product

       

      The list will for the most part look like that. Not all products will have that many categories to fall into but thats the overall goal that is trying to be accomplished. What is the best way to do this both in the relational database side and the layout side? When setting up the item, I would like them to select the correct categories that is needed to it falls in line correctly, but also when selecting the item on the work order, I was thinking of using a popover to show the categories and sort by the categories to show the products in each category so it could be added to the work order.

       

      If this has already been answered somewhere, please feel free to point me in that direction. Thanks for the help

        • 1. Re: Inventory Categories
          philmodjunk

          This sounds like what I call a Hierarchical Conditional Value List. Where you select a value in field 1 (Deadbolts or Knobs) , and this determines what values appear in the list for field 2 ( Brands for deadbolts or brands for knobs) and the value selected in field 2 then controls what appears in the list for field 3 ( Types for Knob>brand or Deadbolt>brand). And so forth...

          You also mention popover and there area  number of creative options for using them to make the value selection process faster and more user friendly.

          So I will share some links to a pair of exploration files, one on conditional value lists that includes several types of Hierarchical CVL's and one on "enhanced value selection" that explores additional methods for selecting values--including the use of portals, popover and slidecontrols--sometimes combining all 3 in one control.

          They are free to download.

          Adventures in FileMaking #1 - Conditional Value Lists (includes details on how to set up a basic field based value list)
          Adventures in FileMaking #2 - Enhanced Value Selection (what to do when a simple value list won't cut it.)

          Caulkins Consulting, Home of Adventures In FileMaking

          • 2. Re: Inventory Categories
            jmyers.svt

            PhilModJunk - Thank you very much. That example file has been a lot of help.

             

            Adding to that Hierarchial Conditional Value List, I have a few product categories that have more descriptive categories than others. Can that still be done the same way, just through multiple table occurances?

             

            example...

            Deadbolts>Brand>Type>Color>Grade>ProductID
            Knob>Brand>Type>Color>Grade>ProductID

            Accessories>Brand>ProductID
            Cylinder>Type>Size>Color>ProductID
             

            They vary per top level category because they may have more descriptive qualities to narrow down before selecting the product. Can this still be done through table occurances? Or would I need a different Product table for each category?

             

            I can show you a breakdown of our actual inventory and how I want to sort it, if necessary to get full understanding of the question.

             

            Thanks for the help

            • 3. Re: Inventory Categories
              philmodjunk

              You'll want to avoid different tables for different products. That generally creates more problems than it solves.

              You might want to consider the ExecuteSQL version of the hierarchical conditional value list.

              You can certainly use more table occurrences to do this, however and you might even set up a tab control or slide control that is then managed by a script such that selecting a Brand of product that has color and grade categories brings up one panel and selecting a Brand with a Cylinder category brings up a different panel of the control, thus dynamically reconfiguring your "chain" of drop down list fields.