2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 4, 2009 9:25 AM by comment_1

    laying out a 2-D array of records



      laying out a 2-D array of records


      Hi,, my name is Perry, and I work in a biomedical research lab. I'm a total newbie at Filemaker, so I apologize for any green mistakes.


      I'm trying to create a database of vials containing frozen cell stocks. They are organized physically in boxes with 81 individual slots arranged in rows A-I and columns 1-9. These boxes are stacked in racks of 12. All these racks are stored in the liquid nitrogen (LN2) storage unit.


      So far, I've been entering records with the following fields. (I put some info just for example.)


      Storage unit: LN2

      Rack: 1

      Box: 1


      Column: 1

      Sample name: Frozen cells

      Date frozen: 6/3/09

      Frozen by: Perry


      Simple enough, right? Now, what I want to do is arrange the vials contained in any one box into a row/column format, not record by record, like so.

         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9










      And there would be a small box at A1 looking like this, referring to the above record. The other spaces would refer to their respective records.



       A     Frozen cells



       How would I do this? Is there a way to modify the list or table view into this arrangement?


      I thought that I might have to do some sort of related table with portals. The step I've taken towards that is to create a 'Location ID' field, which is a auto-entry of <Storage unit & "." & Rack & "." & Box & "." & Row & Column>. So for the above example, this would be <LN2.1.1.A1>. This way, every location has a unique location ID I can relate to. I haven't gotten any further with this, and I'm starting to think it's the wrong way to go.


      Thanks for any help!



        • 1. Re: laying out a 2-D array of records
             Ok, I've figured out how to create a new layout, organize into groups by box, and then print in 9 columns. But this only works when I preview or print! How do I make columns in the layout itself?
          • 2. Re: laying out a 2-D array of records
               You are right: you need a portal, based on a relationship that matches the selected rack (in a global field) to the slot's rack (and also the storage unit - if you have more than one).

            This way there will always be 81 related slot records. Create a portal of 9 rows, and duplicate it 8 times. Set each instance to start at the appropriate row (1, 10, 19, 28, etc.).

            To ease the sorting, give each slot a serial number. The slots will show in a "down first" pattern - and you can calculate the row and the column from the serial number using Div() and Mod().