3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 30, 2013 8:50 AM by philmodjunk

    Is this possible? Creating bibliographies from book inventory

    seaduck

      Title

      Is this possible? Creating bibliographies from book inventory

      Post

           I'm new to FM, a convert from Bento, and am wondering if a project I have in mind is do-able.  I've done some forum searching, but I suspect I don't have the right vocabulary to search on.

           Here is what I have in mind:  I have a book inventory in FM, essentially a flat file, that I am continually adding to. (Let's call that Book File for the sake of this question.)   I would like to be able to easily create a series of subfiles to Book File.  These subfiles are essentially bibliographies for various research and writing projects. (For the sake of the question, let's call one subfile "History Article" and another "Economics Chapter.")  So it is possible that a book (a record) in Book File would eventually appear in several subfiles. Or in none.  I would like to be able to simply copy ("duplicate"?) a record into a subfile.

           I would also like any changes to any of these records to appear automatically in all occurrences.  Similarly, if I invent a new layout in, say, Book File, I would like it to appear in the History Article and Economics Chapter subfiles.  Ideally, I would like to be able to add a new record from within a subfile and have it appear in the master Book File, but I would be OK if I had to enter it in Book File and then copy to a subfile.

           I assume this is possible with a find function.  But I don't want to have to 'find' the biblios for each project when I open FM -- I would like to be able to open a subfile.   And it feels like it would be really klutzy if I had to add a field representing each new subfile every time I started a new project. I have a vague (really vague) understanding of using buttons to control scripts, which I assume would be run from a Book File layout.  But over time and several projects, that could be a whole lotta buttons.

           I know this is possible in the database that is behind Adobe Lightroom, where you can create subfiles called 'collections' and you can drag photos into them.  Is there a similarly simple way of doing this in FM?

        • 1. Re: Is this possible? Creating bibliographies from book inventory
          philmodjunk

               Well you aren't describing "files" you are describing "tables" in FIleMaker. You can add a second table to your file for bibliographic entrees. These can be linked in a one to many relationship like this:

               Inventory-----<Biblio

               Inventory::__pkInventoryID = Biblio::_fkInventoryID

               Enable "allow creation of records via this relationship" for Biblio in the above relationship.

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

               This allows you to put a portal to Biblio on an inventory based layout and you can create as many bibliographic entrees for a given book in Inventory as you need by entering data into fields in the portal. Data that will be part of your bibliographic entree such as the Title and authors that is already entered into fields in Inventory need not be copied into fields in Biblio. The relationship allows you to directly reference that data and if a record in Inventory is then edited any changes to bibliographic data in that record will automatically update.

               This isn't likely enough to get you to the final system that does all that you want, but it should be a start in the right direction and one that you can build on in a number of different ways.

          • 2. Re: Is this possible? Creating bibliographies from book inventory
            seaduck

                 Hi Phil--

                 Thanks so much for your prompt response!

                 I used "file" meaning "database" as this is the terminology I see when I open FM. It says 'Open a Database' then lists 'Recent Files' and under "Create a Database" it gives choices, including "create a file."  I mention this just so you  understand what I meant conceptually.

                 But I think I understand  your second table suggestion, and as I was reading, I thought, Aha -- that's the trick.  But then I got confused by the use of a portal. (I've done a layout with a portal for another DB, so I have a preliminary idea of what they are about.)  I may be missing something here (very likely!), but my sense from your description is that this would allow me to look at a record for a book and with the portal, see all the bibliographies where it has been included.  That is useful, and a good trick that hadn't occurred to me. But I'm not sure if this approach will give me what I'm looking for.

                 I think I understand the keys.  Would the Biblio table then consist of two fields, one being _fkInventory ID and the other being, say, BiblioName?

                 What I'm hoping for is to be able to open, in effect a sub-database.  If I am doing research for a book with ten chapters, I would like to be able to generate a bibliography for each chapter, understanding that some books might appear in the biblio of several chapters.  I can't quite visualize what your solution would look like in this case.  I'd like to be able to open FM, and in that Recent Files list, be able to open the sub-database for, say Chapter Three. I would then be able to view the books in that biblio in form, list, or table view.  Is that possible?

                 I am guessing that with the solution you suggested, I would see Bibliography on the recent files list, open it, and then I would have to search for the record for Chapter Three, and on that record have a portal to Inventory that would just show the books in rows.  Not quite what I had in mind.  But is that correct?

                 I would think this is a common need in concept. 

            • 3. Re: Is this possible? Creating bibliographies from book inventory
              philmodjunk
                   

                        I used "file" meaning "database" as this is the terminology I see when I open FM. It says 'Open a Database' then lists 'Recent Files' and under "Create a Database" it gives choices, including "create a file."

                   And I will repeat my statement that a file is not a table. FileMaker does not use the term File when it should say Table either. A File is an actual file saved on a computer hard drive. Any given FileMaker file can contain any number of tables. You are not limited to one table for each file. While that is possible, I don't recommend it for developer new to FileMaker.

                   

                        my sense from your description is that this would allow me to look at a record for a book and with the portal, see all the bibliographies where it has been included.

                   Not quite. Each record in Biblio is a single bibliographic entry. Pull up a found set of them or set up the right portal and you get your bibliography. What I described as a starting point in my first posted comment would show all the bibliographic entries that refer to the book shown on the layout.

                   To produce what you want will require a more complex set of tables and relationships:

                   Books---<Chapters----<Biblio>----Inventory

                   Books::__pkBookID = Chapters::_fkBookID
                   Chapters::__pkChapterID = Biblio::_fkChapterID   Note: __pkChapterID is NOT the chapter number as that will not be unique.
                   Inventory::__pkBookID = Biblio::_fkBookID

                   Books and Inventory might be two Tutorial: What are Table Occurrences? of the same table. I've renamed the primary key field in Inventory to reflect that.

                   With those relationships, a portal to Biblio can be placed on the Chapters layout in order to create Bibliographic entries for that chapter. The Biblio::_fkBookID field can be placed in the portal row and formatted with a value list for selecting a book to reference in that entry. Fields from Inventory can be added to the portal row to show the Title, Author and Publisher. Fields specific to that bibliographic entry such as a chapter and page reference can be defined in Biblio.

                   And a Portal to Biblio can be placed on the Books layout to list all the Biblio entries for the entire book.