There are several parts of your post that aren't perfectly clear.
insert a picture (or pictures) and view later would be ideal
what do you mean by "view later"?
While I am using the products from the related product list for pricing the actual products themselves will be different on every invoice.
That means that the picture of the item sold differs each time? From where will you get these pictures to attach? Do you have the pictures on file somewhere? Do you intend to take digital pictures of each item at the time you sell it. If the picture is the same each time the product is sold, you can store the image in a container field defined in products. If not, you'll need to explain how you intend to get these photos into your computer in the first place. (Once you've done that, they can be inserted ito container fields.)
when I send the invoice via email in a pdf format I DO want the picture for each product to be visible.
That can be done once you have some place to put each picture.
Do you have this basic set of tables and relationships?
I already have the basic set of tables and relationships set up between customers, invoinces, line items, and products so that's not a problem. I am creating a data base for a scrap metal yard and laws require that we take picture of everything any given person sells us. So if a customer comes in and has 120 of copper then I will select copper on the invoice and it auto fills in the price from the product list price. But because each customer will bring in a different pile of copper, we have to take a picture of just what that customer brought in. This is why I want to be able to attach a picture that I take of their item on the spot.
While it would be simple to create a container field for the picture and just add it that way I like the layout of the invoice sheet I have and when I print off the invoice for customers they don't need to see the individual pictures. So I was thinking if it just had an icon that would open a new window to take/attach a picture to each line item that would be easy and allow me to keep the layout.
As for veiwing the picture later, I would need to be able to go in and send an email or print off the customer's invoice with the full picture shown to turn in to the police daily. I will probably just need to create a new database for the police report and add it to my tables/relationships.
Does that make more sense or am I making it worse?
I am creating a data base for a scrap metal yard and laws require that we take picture of everything any given person sells us.
The "ModJunk" in my forum name stands for "Modesto Junk Company" and here in California, we need to capture finger prints and pictures of our non ferrous customers and their material unless they satisfy the "business to business" clause.
You can use a container field in LineItems, but not include it on the layout that you print and hand to the customer. It can be stored internally and used on another layout from which you generate a PDF of one or more Invoices (technically they are Purchase Orders, but the industry does call them invoices...).
The trick here is that FileMaker can attach only one file to an email you you need to set up a layout that uses the container field to include that picture with the rest of the line items data when you save it as PDF. This report can be designed to list multiple customers (Give me all the customers with Nonferrous material for today) so that you need only submitt one PDF file to Law Enforcement.
The real challenge will be making it easy to get the right image into the right record. This will depend on the technology that you use to take the customer's picture. If you use and iPhone with FM GO, you can put the image right into the container field of the customer's line item record. With other set up's, you'll need to work out other approaches. There used to be a plug in to assist putting a image into a container field. I don't know if the developer has kept that plug in up to date for recent versions of FileMaker.
PS. Been trying to convince the boss to include the digital images in container fields for several years now and we are only now starting to work towards doing that.
Hahaha. Modesto Junk, huh? That's awesome! So you really know what all I'm trying to accomplish! And I am much less experience in this (obviously). Thanks so much for all of your help! Quick question: Did you download the fingerprint plug in too? Any tips before I buy it? That and the signature one (though it might be easier just to use an iPhone)...
No we have not. THere are a number of hardware and software issues currently in the "research" stage. Didn't know about that once so will be very interested to add it to my list. (The biggest hurdle is getting the boss to OK the technical upgrades needed to make it happen.)
One thing that I've researched is an SD chip you can put in a digital camera and then it can link via wi fi to a network. I've been kicking around an idea where the pictures taken (we have multiple cameras and more than one computer where they may be served by a weighmaster) would upload to a shared directory on the server. Then the weighmaster clicks a button to see thumbnails of all the image files in this directory. They would then click a thumbnail to select it for a particular line item and a script inserts it into the container field of the correct record and then deletes the image file from the directory so that only a few image files are in that folder for selection at any one time...
I am glad my boss is all very effecient-minded and is always ready to try out new things. He was looking at Buy Back Pro. That whole set up is a godsend but incredibly expensive. So using this program plus a few ad ons seems like a steal of a deal expenses wise.
And the Eye-Fi deal is a cool thought! We're a pretty small little company so I wonder if it would be cost-effective. I'm really considering just having our company get an iPad because then you could take the pictures, do the signature and fill in all the information and have it shared over the network to print out invoices and eventually send in to law enforcement at the end of the day. We'll see though. Maybe the Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD Card would be a cheaper alternative. I'll probably have to purchase the fingerprint stuff and I'll let you know how that all goes and if it's worth it to buy (perhaps a trail run from anotehr scrap yard will help conbince your boss!).
You may wish to consider who is using it and in what environment. Our employees tend to get their hands dirty and then would be using dirty hands with a touch screen if we handed them an iPad to use. Then comes the issue that a digital camera is much less expensive to replace if an employee breaks one. That doesn't mean we can't put an iOS device in the hands of supervisory staff, however.