5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2008 6:39 AM by TSGal

    Inventory Database question



      Inventory Database question


      I have been asked to take over the mess of a design of an Inventory Database here at work.  Basically what is needed is records of what was ordered from who, how much, and re-order levels (conditional formatting I guess)


      What would be ideal, would be to click on an "Order" button and have 7 categories pop up, then click on one of those and 100-300 items would show up on a drop-down list.  Also, another button for Vendors, that when hit would show in a list I guess, all our vendor information and contacts. 


      Currently we have 7-8 tables including "bridging" tables which I am no pro, but I dont even think are necessary, and the layout is a mess.  There are no shortcuts, no buttons.  I am thinking about starting from scratch.


      Any advice?  New to Filemaker, some Access experience


      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Inventory Database question

          Cleaning up a system that has become a mess can be very daunting especially as you are new to Filemaker.

          Before you make any decisions about what to do, take a step back & look at your criteria first.

          For example:-

                            How quick do you want to achive your project?

                            How much of Filemaker do you actually know?

                            Do you know completely what you are trying to achieve- Write the whole process down).


          If you are limited on time, then I would put a rebuild on hold for now & get stuck in to what you've got to get it working how you need- you will find this very rewarding when complete, in addition you are getting self paced insite to how the whole system works as well as learning Filemaker.

          Undoubtably you will come across things in the system that you probably dont even know about yet.


          If you decide to build form scratch then make sure you write down what your goals are for the system first, do you have list of all the necessary info, is it all really required, is it outdated?

          This may take you more time to achive your goal but the system will be 'yours' & will any future development much easier.

          Again very rewarding but beware!!! Once you start you may not want to stop!!! FM Developing can be adictive!!


          In both cases, when you need help just ask! thats what we are here for.

          There is whole world of experience here from Hobbyists to Pro's, New & Seasoned developers who are only too willing to help you when you need it.


          I hope this helps you out with your decision & am sure all on here look forward to helping you out where necessary.




          • 2. Re: Inventory Database question

            Thank you Blackcat,


            I would rather build this from scratch, as time is not urgent on this.  I am new to FileMaker but have made some basic designs. I talked to my manager and basically this is what we need:


            We use a network system online with our company for ordering, and we want to keep records for ourselves.  Basically we want to mimic what we enter into the system so we can do searches, keep better records, see trends, etc etc. So, that said...we need...


            To enter an order into a table (item, amount, from what vendor etc etc).  When we receive a PO number back from Purchasing, we want to be able to enter that number with the corresponding item that was ordered for tracking purposes, and enter the item as "received" (Im guessing a checkbox or whatever).


            We want to "query" (Access term I know) items that have been ordered but not received, items that have been ordered but not given a designated PO number etc etc. 


            So my guess, and I may be wrong here, is we need 3 tables?  Order table (with all fields necessary), Items table(with descriptive fields), and Vendor table(phone, address, pertinent info etc etc) that all link together?  Or am I wrong here?


            Also, we would want to generate reports based off the data


            I guess I am wondering if I have the tables correct?  And what would be the best way to approach this?



            Ideally, and this is not urgent...we would want to update our current inventory as orders are placed.  i.e. there are 6 cases of Printing Paper currently, we order 4 more, it shows up as 10 etc etc...or if we deplete some, same idea.



            Any help or tips would be great!! :)



            • 3. Re: Inventory Database question

              Hey, this is the same guy that posted the original...I have no idea why, but this forum won't let me log on at 2 different locations, so I have one username for work and one for home.  Very strange...


              Anyway, I just wanted to add that I envision the Order table to have Value Lists for categories as a drop down menu, clicking on a category, and having the items under that category appear in another dropdown menu.  


              Thanks for any help or advice! 



              • 4. Re: Inventory Database question

                jd2775, JDen2775:


                I have sent you a private message (top of this page - right side - X Messages) combining the two accounts.



                FileMaker, Inc. 

                • 5. Re: Inventory Database question

                  Yes, having an Order table, Items table and Vendor table seem plausible.  You may also have a Customers table to specify the customer that is purchasing the item(s).


                  In the Order table, make sure you have a way to link the Order to the Items table (Item ID?), and the Item table to the Vendor Table (Vendor ID).


                  Yes, in the current inventory, you can show availability, levels for reordering, back orders, etc.


                  Having a checkbox for items received is fine, or you can have a date field for Order received.  In any case, you can search for an empty checkbox or empty date field to signify and order is not complete.


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



                  FileMaker, Inc.