9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 6, 2015 12:46 PM by ChrisJohnston

    Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?


      Recently I was asked by a colleague to help them construct a catalog style FileMaker layout for a set of products. I remembered reading about a way to do this. I had saved a page that showed how here. I found this article to be very helpful. I used the same technique, but only the relationship method (not the filtered portal part), and modified it to fit my need by adding portals that start a different record. I understand that this relationship is selecting subset of the records into a multi-key that is the amount of the records per page. The part I do not understand is why the matched field of the relationship needs to be an Auto-Enter Calculated value? Why could It not just be a calculation? I have to admit that I have never known how to reliably work with Auto-Enter Calculated value in the first place. Could someone explain why it is necessary here, also maybe explain anything important to know about them. Thanks


        • 1. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

          Auto-Enter Calculations are computed when the record is created.  Serial number fields should not change so the only time the serial should be computed is when the record is created.   FM has a serial number Auto-Enter Calculation that will enter a new serial number and keep track of the serial numbers.  A stored calculation field will updated/recalculate when the field has focus, which you don't want to happen because it should not change, same with  a non-stored calculation which  update /recalculate when the record loads.

          • 2. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?
            Markus Schneider

            with auto-enter calculations, You can use normal text-/number/-etc fields, that are calculated once, that are as fast as possible in FileMaker, that can be indexed, can be manually/scripted altered etc.


            CAlculation fields can really slow down the workflow (depending on # of records, calculation, etc)


            I love the auto-enter functionality - together with virtual lists IMHO a 'must'..

            • 3. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

              OK, great answers so far from both of you. Here is where I don’t seem to understand. I already know that Auto-Enter happens when a record is created. I see this being used where I can’t see record creation. Like the example I show above, these records already exist. Could it be that it also matters when a record gets evaluated? The field in the example generates via the Auto-Enter Calculation based on a global value (in this case “Records To Show per Page”). Is that what is going on, this record is being created every time global field is updated? Thanks

              • 4. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                A record is not created when a global field is updated. 


                Your question asked "Why use an Auto-Enter instead of a regular calculation field"  that has been answer.


                If you have a another issue then you will need to explain what that issue is. Explain what you want to do then state what it is doing.  If you are using a script then it would be helpful to attach a screen shot of that script.

                • 5. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                  from Filemaker's help:



                  To make an auto-enter calculation self-modifying, leave the Do not replace existing value for field (if any) option unchecked.

                  • 6. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                    If the auto-enter calc has a formula that is dependent on other fields in the same record, it will update when one of those fields changes. Let's say you had fields FirstName; LastName; and N.

                    Field ShortName has a calc:

                      Left( FirstName; N) & "." & Left(LastName; N)


                    Then any time you edit FirstName; or LastName; or N; ShortName gets updated.

                    • 7. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                      Thanks don't really have an issue, what I was able to do with the concept worked out well. I just am trying to further understand what is really going on so I have access to more in FileMaker. Your answers helped a lot. Thanks

                      • 8. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                        This I had figured out by doing it a couple of times. But glad to know about the formal FileMaker specification. Sometimes I find once they state it it resonates well at time of use. Thanks

                        • 9. Re: Why Auto-Enter Calculated value?

                          OK, that is what I think that I was missing. That makes sense to what I am seeing and now I understand it better. Thanks