2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2009 8:57 AM by etripoli

    Need help in deleting non-current fields in FileMaker Pro 9



      Need help in deleting non-current fields in FileMaker Pro 9


      I have inherited a FileMaker database at a new job that is loaded with fields that are no longer relevant.  I have not been able to delete the fields directly from File/Manager.  I figured out that perhaps I could not delete fields from 2005 until I had deleted all the layouts that included 2005 fields.  Once I deleted 2005 related layouts, I could delete the 2005 fields.  Now I'm working on 2006.  I think I have deleted all layouts with 2006 fields, but try as I might, my instructions to delete 2006 fields and then do the final "discard" still does not work.  Does anyone have a clue about what I should try next?  Am I right in thinking that I can't delete the fields until I've deleted the layout(s) that include them?


      By the way, I have "graduated" from FileMaker Pro #5 at home to FileMaker #9.



        • 1. Re: Need help in deleting non-current fields in FileMaker Pro 9

          You should be able to delete fields with out deleting the referencing layouts. The fields will just disappear from those layouts. Relationships, scripts that reference the fields and calculation fields that refer to the field you are deleting are another matter. I jumped from 5.5 to 10, but assume 9 didn't change behaviour in this area. You should get warning messages when you attempt to delete a field used in a relationship or a script but still be able to delete the field. If a calcualation refers to the field, you should get a message identifying the referencing calculation field and you will be prevented from deleting the field until the referencing calculation field is either edited or deleted. As filemaker stops and reports on the first such referencing calculation only, it can be very tedious deleting a field that is referenced by a large number of calc fields.


          Getting a copy of FMP adv and making careful use of its Database Design Report makes this kind of "prune out the dead wood" job a lot easier. (While upgrading from 5.5 to 10, I was able to use the DDR to identify and remove hundreds of fields that were no longer used.)

          • 2. Re: Need help in deleting non-current fields in FileMaker Pro 9

            Hmm, I smell a database normalization problem.  If I understand correctly, you actually have fields created in the database to store information for different years?  Now that you are using FM9, there is a much better way to do this - really, the right way.


            Create a table that contains the information you want to store for the year.  Add a field that you can use to specify which year the data pertains to.  Link this to the previous table by your 'key' field.  Now, when you want to remove data from previous years, you just delete records.