Good call on not wanting users into "Manage Database"...ugliness waiting to happen.
Answering rather around your question than to it, if you choose your ID prefixes well...why change them? Since the ID for each record should be a meaningless code, just prefix the FMP installation itself and let it ride.
Homesite ID series = "Base" & #"
Laptop A ID series = "LA" & #
Laptop B ID series = "LB" & #
Now you won't have to update the Dbases every time someone goes to a show, or client, or wherever. After all, the ID# is just a linking tool. The only need for it is to be a unique identifier...you can get this by having each program installation have it's own series.
Did I misunderstand something?
Ninja - thanks for the response.
The thing is that when show season is over we are all back in the office sharing one database on our server - but
your suggestion does give me an easier out if I can't do it the premier way.
And I am assuming with your experience that since you did not pop back with a solution that this might be
the best or only alternative??
I won't tout my experience since many on this board have much more than I, but I will say that intentionally altering or changing primary keys in volume is inherently dangerous. What happens when you want to import related tables of data...that could get ugly real fast.
If your preferred method is to re-ID batches of records on import...you'll want to re-think the preference IMO. Can it work? Sure it can...but it is avoidable risk.
My experience with FMP is that there is rarely an "only way"...there's easy/hard, low/high maintenance and low/high risk of data corruption. Your proposed method strikes me as easy, high maintenance, moderate risk...I'm proposing easy, low maintenance, low risk...I've inadvertantly answered questions here without giving perspective and had folks choose the insecure/unstable options...
At the end of the day, all that is necessary is that the ID# be unique...it doesn't matter what it actually is...K.I.S.S.
Others on the board are more than welcome agree/edit/disagree/add.
Actually your advice seems pretty reasonable and I totally agree with keeping is simple and clean. You have also
given me a way to set up every laptop so even if they add new contacts while in the field I can easily do an import
without duplicating records.
This fixes another issue I had not addressed yet and is a simpler solution!
Appreciate the help and also just want to say that the more I get into working with relational tables the more
I am respecting the simplicity of the Filemaker interface and tools. Not always easy to find an answer with Help
because as you say there are usually a number of ways to implement a solution. But that's what I come to you for ;^)