6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2011 12:19 PM by philmodjunk

    Using trial and have a few questions

    KylePainter

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      Using trial and have a few questions

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      Hi everyone. I am doing a demonstration soon on File Maker's capabilities to hopefully get our IT dept to switch to it. It will primarily be used for IT inventory tracking (computers, who has them, etc), and tracking software license info and which users have it, etc.

      I have created and edited two databases. One for hardware/software info and another for user information. Each database is laid out differently. My biggst hurtle really is that I want both databases to be ONE database but it appears each record in a database must share the same fields. Is it possible to have one record follow one "preset" and another follow a seperate "preset". I know you have layouts.. but that is just a different way to display the same information/fields. If I must keep these two databases separate is it possible for one database to read and display information from another?

      I can attach screen shot examples of each database if it helps but they are both rather basic .. mostly just fields with information regarding user contact and another regarding inventory/software licensing.

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
          philmodjunk

          You can create two tables in your database, one for your inventory list and one for user information. Each table can have a different set of fields as need to store the data you choose to store in that table. Then you can link the two tables in a relationship.

          You can open up Manage | Database | Tables to define a new table and you can then click the relationships tab to link them in a relationship.

          • 2. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
            KylePainter

            Thanks, I will try this out in a bit when I have time and report back. I knew there had to be a way to do this. This is my first time using File Maker on the creation side but I have tought myself things like Flash action script a good amount in the past so some of the basics make sense but I will need to dig more into relationships since I it seems like a new idea at ths point to me.

            • 3. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
              KylePainter

              So I created a new table and I realize your can now link record fields to either table but that is not quite what I am looking for. For example, my inventory database looks very different from my User/Accounts database. One has an insert file and one has an insert picture. I linked a picture of each to illustrate. Basically, I want to be able to have one record look exactly like one database and the next to possibly look just like the other. So basically each record can look entirely different.

              http://www.statikcatstudio.com/inventory.PNG

              http://www.statikcatstudio.com/user_account.PNG

              Is it possible for one record to look like inventory.PNG and another to look like user_account.PNG or must each record have the same appearance?

              Thanks!

              • 4. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
                philmodjunk

                I think you should invest some time in learning how relational databases work and how to design them.

                I see fields that look like they should be in several different tables--not just two.

                No reason why you can't put records from each table on the same layout and in differnt tabs of the same tab control, but the relationships you define to link them will be crucial in how this looks and functions for you. Portals, for example are a way you can use to put a list of related recors on one of these tabs so that you can have one record for the current layout, but view and work with multiple records linked to that one record. Thus you can have a table of users with one record for each user, but display a list of equipment records for that user in the portal.

                • 5. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
                  KylePainter

                  I typically learn best by taking something complete and deconstructing it. Do you know of any of the templates that might have a good working example of portals? I know most templates have relationship examples and I am still learning the concepts. Waiting for the big picture to click and the light to turn on :-). I know this is newbie of me and I certainly dont expect anyone to hold my hand I can get pretty far on my own just wanted to make sure I was not trying something that was not possible. I do appreciate your help Phil I think I under a better understanding of how everything jives I just need to learn the details and tricks to them.

                  Although, we don't really need anything too complicated. Currently, we are just using Excel and Word docs to log everything and it is a mess. Even on a basic level this will help put everything in a easy to read and search database as well as attach license docs, etc to records and also the security / accounts feature is very useful to have for management and accountibility reasons.

                  Almost forgot.. about the tabs. I had the idea to just make an Inventory and User tab but the problem I ran into was each record defaults to the first tab. So if User was first you would have to click over the the Inventory tab to see anything on an Inventory based record. I was reading about the possibility of a script that would make the tab "stick" to where it was last. That way if you flipped through records it would just alternate to where it was used last which should be the proper tab. Any advice on this being possible?

                  Thanks again Phil.

                  • 6. Re: Using trial and have a few questions
                    philmodjunk

                    FileMaker comes with a set of starter solution templates. You can create a new database from one of these starter solutions and then you can take them apart as you like to see how they are put together. Most of them have portals as this is a very common layout element in FileMaker solutions.

                    There are also books and training videos available--even some on You-Tube you may want to investigate.

                    You can create scripts that keep track of what tab is currently the front panel. If you were reading about this script here in this forum, there's a good chance that you've found a script posted that outlines this method. It typically uses script triggers on the tab control, a global variable to store the current tab's object name and giving each tab in the tab control an object name so that the script can select them. Are you sure you are ready to take that on? (If I were you, I'd wait on that until I got my tables and relationships working for me first.)