4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2011 12:53 PM by philmodjunk

    Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats



      Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats


      I am hoping this forum will be able to offer some advice as I put some polish on a large database project I'm finishing up. I've gotten the user interface mostly finished, and the underlying structure of the database is working great. I was never able to resolve the issue I had Two Tables, One Layout so the entire database has been redesigned to accomodate FileMaker's limitations, at the cost of reduced functionality and indexing.

      Hopefully, the members of this forum will be able to help out with these final issues.

      Problem #1 - Scroll Bars and Portals
          I have a portal that pulls records from a related field. Everything is working well, except there is no scroll bar. All my other portals have scroll bars. It's still possible to scroll through records using the mouse wheel, but my users will be confused by the lack of a scroll bar. I've checked the boxes to "show vertical scroll bar" and "reset scroll bar when exiting record" under the Portal Setup window, but there still isn't a scroll bar. I've tried creating new portals and they don't have scroll bars either. What can I do to force a scroll bar to appear? Are there any tricks that I'm missing?

      Problem #2 - Large Text Field
          I have a large text container that is mostly free form data entry. What resources are available for formatting it? I can paste in bold text, different fonts, etc. from MS Word, but can I let users format text as they enter it? It would be great if they could bold, italicize, and underline text without changing the font. Also, more importantly, is there a way to display a vertical line from top to bottom? I know horizontal lines sometimes are displayed in other databases (like lined notebook paper). I'd like to display a vertical line 2.5 inches from the left of the field to remind users how far over to tab before entering certain lines of information. 

      Problem #3 - Time
          Will FileMaker accept a time without the colon? My users are accustomed to typing four-number times. However, if 1500 is entered into FileMaker instead of 15:00, calculations don't work. I haven't found a workaround, but is FileMaker smart enough to convert 1500 into 15:00?

      Problem #4 - Pulling data from web page
          I've got a web view panel that displays the current weather forecast. It's incredibly useful to have that information available next to the data entry page. However, would it be possible to go a step further and automatically insert text from a web page into my text area? I can create a simple web page that extracts data from the full formatted site and returns a string. Would it be possible to take this text and append it to a large FileMaker text area? It would be great to press a button and have a string of data appended to one of my text areas.

      Problem #5 - Cumulative Statistics
          I'm trying to do some statistics on records, and am having trouble with cumulative and aggregate statistics.

          Pie Chart - Right now, my pie chart has a separate slice for each record. I'm running it on a data field that pulls from a value list, and is strictly one of 4 options. The goal is to display a pie chart of the percentage of each option in the database. The field name is "Code" and for the Label Data settings, it is configured "MyTable::Code" and the value data is "ValueCount ( MyTable::Code )" I have the box "Show data points for groups of records when sorted" checked.  

          Bar Chart - Same deal, this time for days of the week. Each record has a date, and I need to view a bar graph of which days of the week have the most records.

      I'd appreciate help with these issues. Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats

          1) Make sure the portal object has a visible border or the scroll bar will be invisible.

          2) There's a formatting bar you can expose that allows the user to format text during data entry just like a small word processor page. The vertical line is a no go as far as I know, but you can set a tab stop on the field so that tab aligns to where you want this vertical line.

          3) You can use a script trigger to make this happen. Essentially, you use the OnValidate trigger to perform a script that inserts the colon for them to create a valid time entry.

          4) It's possible to use the OnLayoutObjectAttribute function with an object name of a web viewer and the Content parameter to extract all the text from a web viewer. From there, it's possible to use various text functions to extract information from that mass of text. These can be very complicated expressions and will break if the web site changes its format.

          5) Both aggregate functions and summary fields can compute basic statistics. More sophisticated statistics are possible with the right expression or possibly by using a custom funciton. (FileMaker Advanced is required to create or install custom functions.)

          Pie chart: Did you sort the records by the value list item? In what layout part did you position the chart?

          Bar chart- same questions as the Pie Chart

          • 2. Re: Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats

            On number 5 you may also want to script and store some of these statistics in metadata tables. Identified by timestamp entries you can do further trend statistics. You can also use a number of scripttriggers to advance counter fields both at the table and record levels.

            Setting a field to found(count)  and or processing through the found set to do statistical analysis can also be very useful.

            Returning a found set for records entered/closed processed etc in a month/week etc and then passing the analysis to metadata tables can be very useful. Running same process again and comparing results can show unaudited edits.


            • 3. Re: Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats

              Thanks for the quick reply. I'm working on researching the first four solutions you provided, so I don't risk sounding like an idiot on the forum. I'll read the manual and post back if there are any problems. Sometimes, it seems, the greatest obstacle is figureing out which feature in FileMaker will accomplish what I'm trying to do.

              I did not sort records by the value list name. How would I go about doing that? Do they have to be sorted in browse view, or can I just sort them before passing them to the charts? The chart is on the Form View, on a separate layout for displaying statistics. It's in the body section of the layout.

              • 4. Re: Miscellaneous Issues - Scroll Bars, Large Text Fields, Data Validation, Web View, Cumulative Stats

                You Sort your records by selecting Sort from the Records menu. You then would select your value list formatted field as the field on which you want to sort. One option is to use the value list to determine the sort order instead of "ascending" or "descending" if that is what you need here.

                If you sort your records while on the layout where the chart exists, this will work. Sorting before you get to the layout may or may not work, it depends on the layout that is current at the time you sort the records. If the layout refers to the same table occurrence in Layout setup...|Show records from, it will work. If it does not, it will not work.