How did these customer names get added to your database? By any chance, did you import them from another file? If so, there's a likely reason for this problem and it can be fixed fairly simply.
Yes Phil I imported these names from another FileMaker file, though I deleted the ones I was having trouble with including their invoices and retyped them in. The ones I've been having trouble with continue to be a problem. I certainly am interested to hear a solution. Thanks
When importing data into tables, it's often necessary to enable the auto-enter operations option that pops up in a small dialog just before you start importing the data. This way, each newly imported record is correctly assigned a unique ID number and the "next serial value" setting on this field automatically increments with each newly imported record. It sounds like you have records in this table that do not have unique ID numbers and this would produce what you are reporting here.
If you do not have any real data in the system yet, this is easy to fix. Go to a layout based on customers such as Record Detail-Customers and add the Customer ID field to this layout (You may have to give it a white fill color to avoid invisible black numbers with a black background). Return to browse mode, select Show All Records and enter click in this field. Now select Replace field contents and use the serial numbers option to assign new serial numbers to every customer records. Also select the update serial number in entry options check box so that any new records you add don't get values that match any of your existing records.
If you have real invoices already recorded in your solution, this gets a lot messier to fix as you'll need to make matching fixes in invoices for each Customer record where you change the Customer ID. If this is the case, let me know and we'll explore a method for manually fixing the ID numbers, working with one customer record with a duplicate ID at a time...
Thanks Phil, I'll have a go and let you know how I get on
Thanks again Phil,
It was great having your expertise. I'm still puzzled as to why FileMaker left that loophole, as I was only moving names from one FMaker to another. The other problem is that without a major change around we cannot sort "Bill To" names in alphabetical order. MYOB and others seem to have a better system for finding names; when one begins to type them in they seem to appear. But we can live with this.
I got the invoices sorted out also.
The older system v.6 had lots of reports and finished statements etc. which I found really helpful, but with a little time we should be able to get them built up again.
Again many thanks for your help.
It's not really a loophole but I do think they could have provided more info on how to import contact info into the starter solutions.
Where are you having trouble with the sorting? (I'll take a closer look). On what layout?