7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 9, 2014 10:48 AM by philmodjunk

    Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?

    TroyDurrance

      Title

      Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?

      Post


           I have a Client, Invoice, LineItem and Products table.  Client and Product table are working perfect.  The Invoice table is about 75% working.  I have my Invoice pulling info from Client for Name and address via calculation field.  I don't know if its right, but it seems to work.

           What I'm *trying* to do is have a drop down menu so I can click on the product (From Client table) and have it added to the Invoice.  Is this possible via the Portal Tool?  I want my Invoice to be functional, not just a display tool.

            

           Any advice?  I'm willing to email my project file over to anyone willing to help.

           Thanks a bunch!!

            

        • 1. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
          philmodjunk

               The typical invoice uses a portal to LineItem for selecting a product to add to the invoice. You can examine the starter solution that comes with FileMaker 11, 12 or 13 to see an example of how this can be set up. (in versions 12 and 13, the LineItem table is called InvoiceData.)

               

                    I have my Invoice pulling info from Client for Name and address via calculation field.

               A calculation field for this is usually not necessary. If you want all invoices for given client to always show the most recent contact info for that client, just add the contact fields from the client table to your invoice layout. Many businesses, however, don't want that. They want the contact info that was current at the time the invoice was created. If the client's address changes at a later point in time, they want the previous address to still show in the invoice as a record of exactly where they shipped the customer's order. In such cases, they define corresponding contact info fields (address, phone, etc.) in invoices and set them up with an auto-enter field option such as "look up" or "calculation" to copy over this info from the client or customer table.

               In either case, no calculation field is used to do this.

                

          • 2. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
            TroyDurrance

                 I do appreciate your help and fast response.  Looking at those examples is pretty overwhelming.  I'm just learning to use FM for my business needs.  For a beginner, these are pretty complex.  I know what I've done and how it works, up to this point.  When I dig in to the examples.  Its like having to relearn everything the way the original designer wanted to do it.  {sigh}

            • 3. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
              philmodjunk

                   If you are having trouble setting up a portal to LineItems, please post a question where you identify specifically where you are encountering trouble in setting it up.

                   If you have never set up a portal before, you may want to look up "portal" in FileMaker Help and any training materials that you have.

              • 4. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
                TroyDurrance

                     Well, I may get blocked or banned for this... but give me a F'n break here! You don't think I've looked it up?  Or spent hours watching videos and reading others comments?  Don't make it sound like I haven't TRIED to help myself here, I have!  Its obvious I'm doing something wrong. If I knew what or where the problem was, I would GLADLY narrow it down for you.  I don't, as stated I'm new to this.  Therefore, I may not have all the technical jargon down or know the proper uses of all the tools.  "10+years" ago you were one new to this, lets not forget.

                      

                      

                • 5. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
                  philmodjunk

                       I cannot see into your mind and thus have no idea what you have or have not done before posting here for help. Please give ME a break and realize that I have to start with the obvious basics before moving on to more specific assistance--help that I cannot yet provide due to the lack of concrete info in your posts.

                       You still have not posted a specific question that enables me to to help you.

                  • 6. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
                    TroyDurrance

                           My question is "Is the Portal Tool the right tool for the job?"  What I'm *trying* to do is have a drop down menu so I can click on the product (From Product table) and have it added to the Invoice.  Is this possible via the Portal Tool?  I want my Invoice to be functional, not just a display tool. 

                          

                         Based on this video... Where is the information that pops up in the Invoice/Portal Coming from?
                         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMBfN7TkjtI

                         Thank you.

                          

                    • 7. Re: Is Portal Tool the right tool for the job?
                      philmodjunk
                           

                                My question is "Is the Portal Tool the right tool for the job?"

                           And the answer is YES as I have already answered. But you appear to be having trouble setting up that portal. If you want help with that you need to ask specific questions, not the above general question so that others can help you set this up.

                           In a typical invoicing system, you have at least these Tables/relationships:

                           Invoices--<LineItems>----Products

                           Invoices::__pkInvoiceID = LineITems::_fkInvoiceID
                           Products::__pkProductID = LineItems::_fkProductID

                           You then place a portal to LIneItems and format the _fkProductID field to function as a drop down list or pop up menu of ProductID's and a name or description field. Other fields in the portal may be fields from Products or they can be fields in LineItems that have auto-enter field options that copy over data from the selected record in Products (such as a unit price). So the "data that pops up" usually comes from that third related table that I named "Products" in this example.

                           Please note that the value list that I briefly described is the simplest to set up and the one most often found in starter solutions and tutorials. It has limitations that can make it less than the best option for selecting a value from a long list of values. There are other more sophisticated approaches that can be used, but it's best to set up this simpler method first to make sure that you have everything working before exploring other options for selecting a product from a list if you find it necessary to make that improvement to your system.

                           For an explanation of the notation that I am using, see the first post of: Common Forum Relationship and Field Notations Explained