11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2015 6:25 PM by MacAddict4

    Calculate sales tax within a given field?


      A newbie (or maybe a "dumbie") to FM Pro. Can someone please explain exactly what I need to do to automatically calculate (and enter) Sales tax within a field titled "Sales tax" that I have already created within my data base. The calculation would be based on the original purchase price (which is another field that I have already created). Although irrelevant, the sales tax in my State is 6.25%.  In a spreadsheet, I would know exactly how to do this but in this database, I'm lost..... (how does one create a formula based on a relationship between "cells" but do this in a database? Please, please don't hit me with something like, "use or create a Script" because I would have NO IDEA how to do this.

        • 1. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

          You would use a calculation field. 


          FM comes with a invoice starter solution that I would recommend you review. 


          See the following link for FM training the basic is free, then you can purchase the advanced

          Database Skills, FileMaker Pro Training | FileMaker


          I would also recommend "Filemaker missing manual"  http://www.amazon.com/FileMaker-Pro-14-Missing-Manual/dp/1491917482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447871949&sr=8-1&keywords=Fi…

          • 2. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

            This is not FileMaker Community Feedback, but rather a Discussion (which can be a question). You should probably move it to Discussions, as other may see it better.



            p.s. you should see a "move" link to the right of your screen (when logged in and next to this thread).


            NEVERMIND! I see Mark moved it.

            • 3. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

              Thank you but just reading even more books that explain, to a large degree, in highly technical terminology, specific to FileMaker is not going to be of any help. An analogy would be if you contacted me asking what and where is  the "high cam oil solenoid regulator control valve on a 2008 Honda V-tec 4-cylinder.................and I reply: "Read a book"...........and the book describes procedures in highly technical terms of which you do not knowing their meaning, you would be just as confused as your were before you read the shop manual.  Now, on the other hand, if I were to physically show you or show you a video demonstrating step-by-stop instructions, then you would probably comprehend and understand exactly how and what and why this component works, what its function is, where it is located and how to repair or replace it. However, merely explaining in highly technical terms, something without your having any specific educational or background experience, would leave you at a confusing impasse.............. make sense?   This is where I am with your statement: "You would use a calculation field". Yes I know what a "calculation" is............but I certainly do not know how or where nor exactly what to enter. Again, there are no specific steps provided to assist one in completing this (or many other) FM procedures.........just a lot of technical jargon of which I do not know their meaning. btw- I have a Masters degree but certainly not in the field of computer data base management and script writing.

              • 4. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                You've already added at least one field to your database, for the original purchase price. Add another one, but for field type, choose "calculation" instead of "number". When you select this, you'll automatically go to "options" where you can enter a formula very much like you would in Excel. (Except the "=" at the beginning is assumed, and the current record, or "row" is also assumed. It's easier in that sense.) You can pick fields ("columns") the same way that in Excel you would click cells, and use mathematical operators (there's buttons for them, or you can just type them) that are nearly exactly like they are in Excel. For example: "Purchase Price * 1.0625"


                I hear your frustration, but I think you're getting overwhelmed and making this a bit more complex than it is. If you can write a function in Excel, you can write one in FileMaker, too. Sure, there are plenty of things you can do in FM that you couldn't do in Excel, but what you're describing isn't one of them.


                For what it's worth, most of us don't have advanced computing degrees, either. I have a (mere) bachelor's in Business Administration. FileMaker is meant to be, and is, easily approachable for non-IT types. It makes the easy things (like this) easy, but also makes hard things possible. There's technical jargon to be had, for sure, but don't get tangled up in worrying about that when all you need to do is something that's very, very similar to what you'd do in Excel.



                Chris Cain


                • 5. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                  Ok, so instead of "read a book" how about, "watch a video"? Have you googled videos of basic FileMaker tutorials? Have you googled "sales tax filemaker video"?


                  Taking your car analogy, if I say, "first, pop the hood, then get out a 5/16ths socket wrench..." and you say, "How do I pop the hood? What's a socket wrench? Stop using these technical terms!" Then how do we proceed? Few people are going to hold your hand learning the most basic terminology.

                  • 6. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                    If I don't know what a high cam oil solenoid regulator control value is then I would need to buy and read a service manual and or take training classes, if this service manual / training class is over my head then I would take my vehicle to a trained mechanic.  Sounds too me you need to hire someone.    

                    • 7. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                      Also unmark the do not replace value box, If marked it will not update the tax, if your total changes because you add or remove something.

                      • 8. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                        I was proposing an actual calculation field, rather than a number field with an auto-entry calculation. Trying to keep it simple, for one, and it's the way I'd do it, myself.


                        Chris Cain


                        • 9. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                          Chis, Thank you for your explanation and your general consideration. Although I still haven't grasped the total concept, I know I need to "jump in with both hands......or is it "feet"? and just start playing around. Once I actually see and do and accomplish a procedure in FileMake, I feel confident, I will be able to move forward fairly efficiently. I appreciate your understanding of someone being a novice to something that is totally new to them.



                          • 10. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                            Been there.


                            I dabbled in Servoy for quite a while some years back, and in retrospect (and with a bit of regret) I'm sure some of my posts on their forum seemed at least as irate as yours.


                            Welcome to FileMaker. It may seem hard to believe while you're still a bit overwhelmed, but I think you'll like it here.


                            Chris Cain

                            • 11. Re: Calculate sales tax within a given field?

                              My frustration probably goes deeper than merely "having" to deal with FileMaker. For many years I used what in computer years, was considered ancient - AppleWorks database. I had over 1500 records (comprised of 5-6 databases) stored in A/W. When I was recently "forced" to buy another new iMac computer with, of course, a totally new OS which no longer supported A/W, I had to go on the hunt for a replacement. Nothing except FM seemed plausible so when I received an email (out of the blue) from FM announcing a special 2-license price, I bit the bullet and purchased it. I  knew there was going to be problems transferring my old A/W records into another DB. Prior to actually buying FM I contact FM sales and was told to simply save my current A/W data as ASCII files. I strongly suspected it was not going to be this easy to import and expect all the fields to be populated correctly......... sure enough, I was correct. Some (very little) of the data came over into FM automatically - most of the data has to be copied and pasted manually. Yes, frustration.


                              Now back to my original question in this forum (the question that created so much controversy). Well I am not really getting the hang of it...or certainly not getting the results I want. Don't know if I should explain in more detail in this forum or, as others so helpfully offered: "go read a book" or "hire someone" or "find someone to hold my hand". Gee, some people are so helpful aren't they?


                              Because you have shown a willingness to actually help me, I am leaving this up to you Chris. More detail or not more detail?





                              PS: I am 71 years old do maybe I can blame my alleged ignorance on "senility"