11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2016 10:42 AM by DanielShanahan

    Newbie with portal issues

    Okanagan.Mike

      Hi All:

       

      New to Filemaker, and my MS Access experience is more than a decade old. I might be missing something obvious, but I can't figure it out.

       

      I have a database that I am creating to manage speakers, attendees, and other items relevant to an annual conference my association puts on. We currently have a serviceable, but ugly looking solution created in Access, but all the association Executive now use Macs, so we want a native solution instead of having to use Parallels.

       

      One layout (EventInfo) is the central clearing house for Conference information, like venue and association staff, and I am trying to add a portal there to display the 9 members of the Executive.  But it is giving me two issues:

       

      1. While looking at the portal I cannot see records created in the Executive table, even though I have created a relationship between it and the EventInfo table. In other words, even though I have a layout that allows me to input records for each Executive member, none of that shows in the portal, despite having the correct table and fields inserted there from the Executive table. Various Lynda and YouTube videos I have watched seem to suggest that if the relationship is there, then putting the fields in the portal should make pre-existing records appear like magic. I am not getting something about the process right, that's for sure!

       

      2. If I create new records in the portal, it increases the number of records found in the Executive table, but I can only see records created this way from the portal. From the Executive table I can see both the previously created and newly created records.

       

      3. A final glitch is that while in the portal, if I click on new record, I get an entirely new blank layout when all I wanted to do was create a new record in the portal itself, not the entire layout.

       

      So much of what I am trying to do in Filemaker has been incredibly easy to do, and I absolutely love working with the program. But this has me stumped and I have spent many, many days on it. Let me know if I have to clarify anything. I am new to asking for advice on a database forum.

       

      I would be grateful for any and all advice!

       

      Mike

        • 1. Re: Newbie with portal issues
          planteg

          Hi Mike,

           

          what FileMaker version and operation system and version are you using ? I wonder here if you have a bad mix.

           

          Regarding points 1 and 2, it looks like the relation is right, but the fields on both side of the relation could have wrong values. As a verification, make sure both matching fields are of the same type. Such a small thing that creates such big pain.

           

          Point 3: in a portal to create a record, you need to click on the row at the bottom of the portal. Then you will see empty fields. Very weird what you get.

           

          Are you able to record a video of what's happening so we are able to see ?

           

          I know that going from Access to FileMaker may be puzzling .

           

          Gilles

          • 2. Re: Newbie with portal issues
            Okanagan.Mike

            Hi Gilles:

             

            My Mac Filemaker machine is at home. I am using the latest version of Filemaker Pro 14, and my Macs are using the latest version of OSX El Capitan. I don't have access to the Mac during my day job. I do have Filemaker Pro 14.0.4 on Windows 7 Pro SP1 on a machine at work. and see the exact same behaviour with my portal issues.

             

            My Executive table has an Field named ExecutiveIDpk that is a number, indexed, and auto-enter serial. The relationship to the EventInfo table is via a field called ExecutiveIDfk which is a number field.

             

            I don't see a row at the bottom of the portal, but that may be because I have set it up to display data vertically like in a business card, rather than like a table row.

             

            I can try to record a video when I get home. I can't do that from work.

             

            Thanks for your interest in my problem!

             

            Mike

            • 3. Re: Newbie with portal issues
              DanielShanahan

              Okanagan.Mike wrote:

               

              1. While looking at the portal I cannot see records created in the Executive table, even though I have created a relationship between it and the EventInfo table.

               

              2. If I create new records in the portal, it increases the number of records found in the Executive table, but I can only see records created this way from the portal. From the Executive table I can see both the previously created and newly created records

               

              Both 1 and 2 sounds like an issue with primary/foreign keys.  The data will not show up in the portal until you have copied the EventInfo primary key and put it into the Executive table foreign key.  You can do this a number of ways:


              1. Allow new records to be added via the portal (set in the Relationship Graph).

               

              2. Create a value list of EventInfo::ID and EventInfo::name (that is, the primary key and some kind of human readable description) and set Executive::eventInfoID as a popup menu using that value list.

               

              3. Create a button that finds the EventInfo::ID and puts it in the appropriate Executive::eventInfoID record.

               

              3. A final glitch is that while in the portal, if I click on new record, I get an entirely new blank layout when all I wanted to do was create a new record in the portal itself, not the entire layout.

               

              The native New Record button in the header creates a new record for that layout, not the portal.

               

              HTH

              • 4. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                planteg

                Ok,

                 

                same issue on Windows and OS X, that means it's not an issue with FileMaker or the OS.

                 

                I don't see a row at the bottom of the portal, but that may be because I have set it up to display data vertically like in a business card, rather than like a table row.


                What do you means by display data vertically ? For sure on each row of the portal you may set the fields horizontally or vertically, but that remains a row in the portal. When the relation is set up to create new records, then the last row is used to create a new record, much like you do in Access. The portal in FileMaker is different compared to subform in Access though.


                Daniel pointed out something important regarding the creation of a new record.


                Speaking of new records, how were created the old records, those that don't display: through import for example.


                One way I use to debug in FileMaker is to create a Layout for a table that displays data in Table mode. You may then display both tables side by side and get a hint at what is going on. You may for example display the Layout for Executive, click Window > New WIndow, a second Window displaying Executive will display and the change the Layout for the EventInfo Table. The you may watch if there is match for the old records


                Gilles

                • 5. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                  Okanagan.Mike

                  Thanks for the replies.  I have had my hard drive or motherboard go on me so I am at a standstill until it is replaced. I am backed up six ways from Sunday, so data loss is not an issue, but spent all of Saturday with Apple support trying to fix the issue. Not sure how long to get back up and running, but I will continue with this once I am.

                   

                  MIke

                  • 6. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                    Okanagan.Mike

                    Hi Daniel/planteg:

                     

                    These shots are from my Windows laptop at my day job. I believe I have the relationship properly setup. See these two screen captures.

                     

                    Relationship1.JPG

                    Relationship2.JPG

                    I don't have enough experience to know what you are saying with your points 2 and 3.

                     

                    The records in the Executive table were created there in a layout. There are 9 records.

                     

                    And finally, when I said vertical layout for the portal, I meant this:

                     

                    Portal.JPG

                    Which brings up another issue. I can't figure out how to change the background of the portal. Right now, the background is white and the fields are white, so you can't see where they are.

                     

                    Thanks for your continued help.

                     

                    Mike

                    • 7. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                      DanielShanahan

                      Thanks for the screenshots, Mike.  They are helpful.

                       

                      Let's backup a bit.  When you create an Event, do you want all 9 executives to be a part of that Event?  Or, do you want to select some Executives.

                       

                      Another way to ask this is to determine if the following statements are true:

                       

                      1. One Event may have one or more Executives.

                      2. One Executive may have one or more Events.

                      3. All Events should show all Executives.

                       

                      If #1 and #2 are True, then you need a join table.  If #3 is True, then you can use a cartesian join (replace the "=" in the relationship definition with an "x").

                      • 8. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                        Okanagan.Mike

                        The intention of the Event Info layout was to have "at a glance" info about the Association (Name and Logo), Executive (Contact information), and Event (Conference Name, Year, and Dates, and Fees).

                         

                        Every Conference will always have every Executive member associated with it. Right now, we have a hodge podge of methods to do all that. The Access DB for the conference, a Google Doc for Executive contacts, etc.

                         

                        So I guess that means I need a cartesian join?

                         

                        Mike

                        • 9. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                          DanielShanahan

                          Okanagan.Mike wrote:

                           

                          The intention of the Event Info layout was to have "at a glance" info about the Association (Name and Logo), Executive (Contact information), and Event (Conference Name, Year, and Dates, and Fees).

                           

                          Every Conference will always have every Executive member associated with it. Right now, we have a hodge podge of methods to do all that. The Access DB for the conference, a Google Doc for Executive contacts, etc.

                           

                          So I guess that means I need a cartesian join?

                           

                          Mike

                          I'm not quite sure yet.  I don't know enough about the Event, Conf, and Assoc.

                           

                          It sounds like:

                          One Association has many Executives.

                          One Association has many Events.

                           

                          When you are on an Event layout, you want to see Association info. 

                           

                          If all of that is correct then you'll need the Association ID listed in both the EventInfo table as well the Executives table.  (I see you have the Association Name in the EventInfo table; you may or may not need that there.  But you definitely need the Association ID).

                           

                          Then, change the relationship between the Event and Executives like so:

                           

                          EventInfo::AssociationID = Executive::AssociationID

                          • 10. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                            Okanagan.Mike

                            Bingo!

                             

                            The cartesian change now displays what I am looking for! All my previously created records in the Executive table now show up. I've also finally figured out how to change the background color. I was trying to change the portal, rather than the row.

                             

                            Thank you!

                             

                            Mike

                            • 11. Re: Newbie with portal issues
                              DanielShanahan

                              Excellent!  Glad it is coming together for you.