You want to create an "On Open" script. Write your script that takes the vendors to their own layout then go to File > File Options. On the Open/Close tab, check Perform Script and specify your "On Open" script.
Helpful hints for the script:
Get(AccountName) and Get(CurrentPriviledgeSetName) are very useful calculation function
You probably want to take away the toolbar and force your vendors to use navigation that you create. This can be done with the Show/Hide Status Area[Hide;Lock] script step
Before you write your script, you need to create an account for each vendor. This involves defining their privilege sets. This can be done by File>Manage>Security
Let me know if you need me to elaborate on any of these steps
ok...this is a great start. so to make sure that my employees don't get locked out, my on open script needs to specify what their privileges do as well, right?
i have created the accounts for the vendors, and a privilege set of "vendor" that only allows them to view, but not alter records. is there anything else i should be aware of? your help is really appreciated!
Your employee's accounts should have different privilege sets than your vendors. Your script should not need to specify the privileges, only to identify the privilege set of the current user's account.
You can also use Manage Security to limit a vendor (or an employee's) access to only records that they are permitted to access.
See "Editing record access privileges" in FileMaker Help and check out this particular sub section: "Entering a formula for limiting access on a record-by-record basis" for a detailed description of how to set this up.
excellent. i was able to get part of that script running through the network. the next kick is going to be running this through iwp. any pitfalls i should be looking out for?