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Need to solve a problem involving value lists and serial keys

Question asked by WilliamMartin_1 on Jan 11, 2016
Latest reply on Jan 11, 2016 by bigtom

Hello everyone,

Many thanks to the people who have helped me in the past - I'm learning and growing as a filemaker developer every day thanks to your help.


There's a set of fields on one of my layouts at work that I'm having an issue with.

Before I was hired and started learning filemaker myself, the owners hired a professional filemaker dev to help them code this ink section of our database. I'm sure that what he did is very clever and functional, but for our purposes it just doesn't work quite right.


I've attached a few screenshots that I will be referencing as I type this.

You'll notice that in the first screen shot there is a series of fields that are labeled "INK". These are drop down menus pulling from a value list that the developer created. I've attached a screen shot of said value list so you can see what he did and hopefully make sense of it, since I can't.


I need to change this value list, but unfortunately that retroactively changes the contents of that field to a serial number that my guys on the floor can't use. Essentially making all of our records of ink before the change useless. I've attached a screenshot of the same area of our DB (same record) with the value list changed so that you can see this in action.


Here are my ideas for solutions to this, they may not be great ideas but I don't know how to make them happen, regardless.

  1. Somehow convert all of these serial number to their text-based name across all of the records they appear in. Somehow the serial numbers are being converted to text based temporarily - I'd like to convert them permanently
  2. Add a button / function that allows the user to change the value list that the field is pulling from. This would kinda suck but bandaid fix it until these serial numbers are far enough behind us that the button function becomes obsolete.


Thank you all in advance. Excited to solve this problem with your help.