3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 31, 2010 8:35 AM by philmodjunk

    When portals don't behave as expected...



      When portals don't behave as expected...


      I fear I'm beyond my level here... but I'm trying to develop a file for teachers to enter Lesson Plans.

      I have the following tables:

      PERSONNEL:  demographics of the teacher, etc.

      SCHOOL:  the schools in the district

      ASSIGNMENT:  the sections of courses the teachers are assigned to teach

      TEXT:  the textbooks the teachers use to teach

      COURSES:  the course catalog

      PLAN:  the details of each plan...

      STANDARDS:  each course has state mandated standards

      If the program works as I hope, the teacher will login with a unique username/password, then go to a LAYOUT called CONTROL PANEL, where, among other choices, she will click on a button that will take her to a LAYOUT which contains a PORTAL which lists all the sections she has been assigned to teach.  From there she clicks on one of her sections and goes to a LAYOUT which allows her to enter standards for her course.  After she is finished entering her standards, she goes to a PLAN LAYOUT...  So far, so good..  BUT my problem comes when I tried to create a TAB inside the PLAN LAYOUT that contains a portal from the STANDARDS table that lists the standards the teacher entered in the earlier step, I'm getting nothing..  I've (quickly) exhausted my theories on why this isn't working...  Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated...


        • 1. Re: When portals don't behave as expected...

          Got any idea why the background of your screen shot is black? That makes it hard to read the relationship details.

          I suggest focusing on one portal on one layout at a time. Each layout refers to one of the boxes on the above relationship graph in Show Records From in Layout Setup.... Each portal refers to one of these boxes in Show Recors From in Portal Setup... The relationship between them determines what, if any, records appear in the portal based on the values in the key field(s) of the current record of the layout and whether they match to the values in the key fields of the related table. (These "boxes" are called Table Occurrences.)

          Starting with one layout where you have a portal that you can't get working, tell us what Table Occurrence the layout is based on, what Table Occurrence the Portal is based on and in what way that the portal is not working for you. (Is it empty? displaying the wrong records? Can't add new records in the portal  or ? ....)

          • 2. Re: When portals don't behave as expected...

            Thanks Phil...  I thought I knew what you replied, but when I printed it and read it, it seemed new and suddenly very helpful...

            Here's the problem from a design perspective:  One teacher has many classes to teach. Each WEEK she makes DAILY plans for each of those classes. And on those plans she must include standards she covering for the week...  

            So I'm having a terrible time trying to express those relationships...  Many classes will have many plans for many weeks for many days which cover many standards.  I can't decide if Join tables would help, but then I don't know where to put them.

            A teacher should be able to login, choose the appropriate week, add the appropriate standards she's covering that week, then make a plan for each day of the week she's chosen.  M-T-W-R-F  and I am trying to make a portal on the plans which shows the standards she entered for her to check off when they are introduced..

            Is it possible this is beyond what Filemaker can do?

            • 3. Re: When portals don't behave as expected...

              Join tables are exactly what you need here as you have many to many relationships in your Data Model.


              Teacher::TeacherID = LessonPlans::TeacherID
              LessonPlans::LessonPlanID = Plan_Standards::LessonPlanID
              Standards::StandardID = Plan_Standards::StandardID

              Plan_Standards is a Join table that can link a given lesson plan to as many standards as you need. LessonPlans is not a join table in this set of relationships, but when you plans to the school calendar, you'll also get:


              Teacher::TeacherID = LessonPlans::TeacherID
              SchoolCalendar::Date = LessonPlans::PlanDate

              Where LessonPlans does serve as a join table between these two tables.

              The trick to implementing Join tables is to place the portal to the Join table on your layout, but then include fields from the third table in the portal row to show more detail as needed.

              Thus, a portal to Plan_Standard on a LessonPlans layout can include fields from the Standards table to help you identify the standards associated with that lesson plan.

              Here's a link to a demo file that uses a Join table to link Contracts to Companies you can examine: http://www.4shared.com/file/PLhjErzu/Contracts_to_Companies.html

              PS. I've avoided a discussion of selecting lesson plans by week as you'll need to get some of these more basic issues resolved first. Once you can set up a portal to LessonPlans on a teacher layout, there are ways to filter the portal to only show records for that teacher for a selected week.