A global field is a field that has the same value for every record in a table. If you are using global fields for storing preferences it does tend to make organization or your database a little easier if they all reside in one table. This is not necessary for it to work, but makes it easier down the line.
Here is an example of global field use. The solution I am currently working on is a inventory management/ invoicing system. On all of the invoices it prints the companies logo at the top. This is accomplished with a global field. It is a container called logo. It is in the table settings. On the layout invoice, on the top left I put the field settings::logo.
This would work out just the same if the field logo was in the table invoice. No mater which record you changed the content of the field logo in, this change would be reflected across all records in the table invoice.
Thank you for the information - Now can you clarify can I use a global field when trying to filter the information a portal will display?
i.e. If I work with tours in cities. So In my supplier table I have a portal to enter pricing for a particular tour
The portal is already displaying the tours that I operate lets say in all cities so I may see
Miami City Tour
Orlando City Tour
Orlando - Disney
So If I want this portal only to display the tours in Miami then I envision having a drop down arrow that shows me a list of tours in Miami and when I click through them the right of the screen display the pricing fields for this tour so I can edit accordingly.
Can you let me know if I need a global field for this?
"Thank you for the information - Now can you clarify can I use a global field when trying to filter the information a portal will display?"
Yes, you can use global fields on the "parent table" side of a relationship. Using a global field to filter portal records into more manageable sub-groups is a frequently used technique.
Note that global fields behave differently when a file is Hosted over a network.
1.- How do these global fields behave differently over a network in which way - My database will probably hosted with an Internet Provider that supports filemaker or uses filemaker server - I am currently hosting the database only on my computer- Is this going to present a problem?
When a guest modifies the contents of a global field, only that guest can see the change made and the field reverts back to its original value when the session ends. In order to make a permanent change to a global field, you have to open the file as the host to make the change.
In a sense, each client gets a "virtual copy" of each global field to use. This is different, but potentially very useful in networked environments. In your case, one client can use a global field to filter a portal to show "Western Europe" records while another can use the same field to see "Asia" records. That's pretty useful.
Where I trip up from time to time, is that I'll take a file down off the server, work with it and put it back up without carefully putting all global field values back to what I want the default values to be. Then I get complaints such as "everytime I start to work with the portal, it's always set to show "Africa" records...."
You can protect yourself, if you set up an scripts that initialize any global fields to their desired starting values before the user sees them or the relationships that they might control.
I believe there's a Knowledge Base article on using global fields you can check out for more information.
Taking the cue from "PhilModJunk" (Thank you very much by the way), here are two Knowledge Base articles that you may find helpful:
#3604 - "Global Fields: An Overview"
#5895 - "Working with Global Fields"
Thank you. You are great