1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2012 8:41 AM by philmodjunk

    Link Databases?

    EP

      Title

      Link Databases?

      Post

           Is there any way to link different databases together?  For example, I have a personnel records database for human resources and a contacts database for the marketing team.  Instead of having to flip flop between 2 databases, can I make a layout with buttons that I can click to navigate between databases?  I actually have more databases than 2, but just using 2 as an example.  I feel this would keep things more organized and accessible.  Thanks

            

        • 1. Re: Link Databases?
          philmodjunk

               Once upon a time, the only way to set up a relational database in FileMaker was to establish relationships that linked files the way we now link tables. FileMaker has not lost those capabilities so you have a number of tools for navigating between files and for linking to data in multiple files.

               You have a script step, Open File, that can be used to open another Filemaker Database.

               You also have a script step, Perform Script, that can be used to perform a script in another database. You can pass data to that script in another file as the script parameter.

               Select Window can bring a specified window--which can be from another file, to the front.

               You can also add external data source references that link to tables in other files and then layouts in your current file can display data from the table that's actually from another file.

          • 2. Re: Link Databases?
            davidanders

                 OS version (Win, OSX, xp, vista)  Database type (Filemaker?) FMP version (10, 11, 12, server?)

                 Databases stored on same computer, server?

                 Assuming Filemaker

            http://www.filemaker.com/help/html/odbc_ess.20.3.html

                 To add a FileMaker data source:
                                                                                                                 
                                     
            1.
                                
                                     
                                          With the database open, choose File menu > Manage > External Data Sources.
                                
                 The Manage External Data Sources dialog box appears.

                  

            • 3. Re: Link Databases?
              EP

                   This is great. Thanks.  I'm running everything off of FMS12 from a mac mini server.  FMP12.   Mac OS X and Windows 7 Clients, iOS devices.

              • 4. Re: Link Databases?
                philmodjunk

                     If the posts made to date are not enough to get you going, please post back with a more specific description of what you need to do.

                • 5. Re: Link Databases?
                  EP

                       Thanks.  I think I'm ok for now.  I'm going to create a special layout for management that will contain buttons to jump to other databases easily.   Not something I'm going to do very soon though, as I'm still creating databases.  Thanks guys

                  • 6. Re: Link Databases?
                    philmodjunk

                         If you are creating the databases, it would be simpler just to create all the tables, layouts, etc in a single file.

                    • 7. Re: Link Databases?
                      EP

                           How would I segregate each department then?  For example, marketers only need to use the CRM database, while HR will need to only access the HR database.  I know I can set permissions, but not sure how to cleanly implement this.  Perhaps a navigation dashboard of some sort?  I already have one database active, should I upgrade to FMP12 Advanced and copy and past my tables/layouts from the new databases I'm creating into the the active database?  This would potentially be better as I can reference data between tables.

                      • 8. Re: Link Databases?
                        philmodjunk

                             You can set access privileges to limit who can access a given table, layout and/or record. Your scripts can check account names and privilege set names to make the process more user friendly by refusing to take the user to places for which they do not have permission.

                             Note that password access is simpler to manage if you have a single file instead of multiple files. With multiple files, you often have to create accounts with identical account names and passwords in multiple files so that the user only needs to log in once and still be able to navigate between files.

                        • 9. Re: Link Databases?
                          RickWhitelaw

                               Phil,

                               my understanding is that once a user logs into one file with a password all external data files become accessible without further logins or scripting as long as the tables in the external files are related.

                          • 10. Re: Link Databases?
                            Sorbsbuster

                                 @Rick

                                 Not quite the full story.  If you open one file with a username and password it will try and open all the other related file first using that same username and password, and will seem to open them seamlessly.  But if that combination of name and password is not created in all of the other external files then the user will be prompted with another log-in dialogue for that file.

                                 @EP - like the toss-up at the start betwen repeating fields and a related table, will I, won't I...? - just go for one file, all tables.  From the start.  You will not regret it.  But if you don't do it now, then as every hour of development goes on you will a) find it harder to do, and b) wish more and more that you did.

                            • 11. Re: Link Databases?
                              Epa

                                   Ok, I'm convinced.  Thanks for steering me in the right direction gentlemen.

                                   I have one active marketing database live on the server that has been used for the past month and is being used every day.  Should I upgrade to FMP12 Advanced and import all tables and layouts to this active database to make it my "main file" and develop on the active file?

                                    

                                   Lastly, can anyone provide screenshots/samples of how I might make this look? I like clean, simplisitc UI's and don't want a marketer to see options to navigate to the "human resources" layouts (even though they can't via permissions).  I want it to "appear" that they are on a separate dedicated database, even if they aren't.  

                                   Thanks

                              • 12. Re: Link Databases?
                                davidanders

                                     The White Paper for FMP Novices is good for design guidance.  The free open templates listed are decent for copy pasting design elements to save time.  The Starter Solutions for various versions of Filemaker have simplistic (elegant?) designs.
                                     These forums do not allow for Sticky Readme posts this link is for My Standard FMP Links.
                                http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/39ab6dcf1c?commentId=217671#217671

                                     UI Theory  (user interface)
                                http://www.zerobluetech.com/blog/ui-design-10-tips-for-excellent-ui-design-not-just-for-filemaker/

                                     My BlankTemplate Version 00 (for copying elements)  (http://cx.com  gives free 10Gb online storage)
                                https://www.cx.com/mycx/share/vz6TRiBeEeKbZxICPRQ27A/BlankTemplateVER00.fp7

                                      

                                • 13. Re: Link Databases?
                                  EP

                                       Reading the whitepaper and learning a ton.  Thanks

                                       Does anyone foresee a problem in making a clone of my current active database, and build the main comprehensive database using it?  The active database will still be used by multiple users, and I will export the records and import them into the new comprehensive database when ready? 

                                  • 14. Re: Link Databases?
                                    davidanders

                                         That is a good strategy, channel your OCD self and note every change. Especiallly scripts.

                                         Screen Captures are nice.

                                         Backup a version numbered copy as you work.  Sometimes, rolling back to the third last major change is handy.

                                         I work on MyMainDatabase.fp7  and save copy as  MyMainDatabase Copy01.fp7,   MyMainDatabase Copy02.fp7,  etc.

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