1 Reply Latest reply on Nov 2, 2009 9:22 AM by philmodjunk

    Populate flatfile data to portals



      Populate flatfile data to portals



      I have a consolidated personal and professional contacts database which I want to serve as BOTH a flatfile and relational database.

      My database consists of 4 physically seperate tables (contact,contactphone,contactdates, contactemails).


      The contact database consists of an entry screen with portals to contactphone,contactdates and contactemails.

      I want my filemaker to be the master data and update my outlook contacts.

      So in my contacts database I have a contactcounter (serial number,autogenerated) which is also used in my contactphone,contactdates and contactemails (to link).

      a)Some fields in contacts database:

      contactcounter,lastname,firstname,company, jobtitle, notes)

      b)Fields in contactphone:

      contactcounter,type (Business,Home,Businessfax...= in valuelist),Phonenumber

      c)Field in contactdates:

      contactcounter,type(birthday,anniversary,spouse birthday..=in valuelist),date

      d)Field in contactemail:

      contactcounter,type (email,emailaddress2,emailaddress3..=in valuelist),email


      I have been entering data manually one by one to populate my fields (ie convert my flatfile data into relational data).


      Is there an elegant way to import 500 records from excel and populate the respective portal fields?

      ie. first name, last name, company, job title (in contact); business phone, cell phone (contactphone); email, email2 (contactemail); birthday, anniversary (contactdates).


      It is really painful to sync filemaker (has more data and is relational) to outlook (data changes constantly and is flatfile).

      I am thinking of giving it up and making it all flatfile (one table).  Any suggestions will be appreciated.


        • 1. Re: Populate flatfile data to portals

          If your data is subject to frequent revision in another application and the exported data from that app is a flat file, it may indeed be easier to manage as a flat file.


          If you want to import from a flat file into related tables, you need to develop some way to manage the relational key fields that link your different related tables and that can be a real challenge. You might, for example, import the data into a temporary table and then use scripts to analyze the data to match the imported data to records in related tables and update them if they differ. That can be a lot of work to set up, but once you get it up and running, it'd work pretty smoothly for you. Since this is contact data, you might find you are matching records by a company or person's name. That can be tricky as names change nor are they always unique.