9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2016 3:15 PM by COBrien

    Where to start


      Hi All,

      I'm a new community member, but have been using simple filemaker on and off for many years. I now want to develop the functionality for my business a bit more proactively. I am hoping to be able to develop some simple but 'use specific' databases to help myself and my colleagues move away from repeated manual data preparation. I'm an architect based in Dublin, Ireland, where we are seeing a growing relevance for flexible databases in our industry. I have a number of basic questions (I think) and would love to know where to start.

        • 1. Re: Where to start


          The best place to start is the Database Skills, FileMaker Pro Training | FileMaker This is the FileMaker training series. This will get you oriented to the platform so that you can figure out where to go next. I recommend reading through this. There's an advanced version as well. It requires the Community Subscription or a downright purchase of it. The former choice is pretty good for the perks you get.


          There's a ton of great blog posts out there as well. These tend to be sporadic in their content. Lynda.com has a great FileMaker training course as well.

          The starter solutions that come with FileMaker are great as well. You can tear them apart and see how things were constructed. Find one that is close to what you want to do.


          And of course, this community. Most of us are helpful, patient, and will answer any question you throw at us.

          • 2. Re: Where to start

            Hi Jeremy,

            Patient and helpful are always good. I'll continue doing my reading. I agree, the videos are great as they inform by example. Thank you for your pointers.

            • 3. Re: Where to start

              So - I'll start with a question if thats ok. I have prepared a FM database whose purpose is to issue certificates. This involves 3 tables -

              The first is a simple list of Contacts, with a field allocated to the contacts role. This role status is a value list. - All good so far. I can enter new companies and people and assign each record a role.


              The next Table is the Project. In each project, there is a field which identifies the roles for that project. I have 4 roles - Employer, Contractor, Sub-Contractor and Quantity Surveyor. I want to be able to assign the people in the basic contacts list to those respective roles for each particular project. - Again - straightforward.


              The difficulty is that in a Project layout, when I select for example the 'Employer' field, the relevant drop down shows all of the contact list - not the subset of these who were designated as 'Employers'


              So how can I set a filter in the Project Layout, to only display a subset of the Contacts - based on the field 'Role'


              All assistance appreciated.


              • 4. Re: Where to start

                Here's a video that can explain it:



                Basically you're creating a filtered value list. You set up a relationship to the contacts table with the relationship of



                PROJECT::Role = PROJECT_Contacts_RoleList::Role

                (I named my table occurrences to remind me this will be a TO for a value list)


                Create a value list from this related table and, in that set up, choose "Include only values related values from " and choose the PROJECT TO.


                Then, when you change the role on the project record, that relationship will allow the value list to see only those contact records that match that role.

                • 5. Re: Where to start

                  Well, I did ask...

                  Ok, I had actually seen this video but I could not get it to work. The epiphany is in your comment that I set up a specific relationship. I had not realised that one can set up specific relationships using existing tables....

                  I don't understand the comment about 'PROJECT TO'


                  Really appreciate this, its been bugging me for ages.

                  • 6. Re: Where to start

                    Sorry, "TO" is table occurrence (I always misspell occurence, so I hate writing it out).


                    You create a relationship for this related value list. You use the relationship in the value-list set up. As with any relationship, the parent table sees only the records in the child table that match the relationship.


                    Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.34.00 PM.png

                    Where my example says "include only related values starting from: ConditionalValueList, you would replace "ConditionalValueList" with "PROJECT" since that is the side of the relationship you are on.


                    I'll attach a demo file that shows this for a different scenario, but it should apply to you. Look at:

                    1. Relationship I set up between "ConditionalValueLIst" table and "ValuesForList" table.

                    2. The value list "RelatedChoices"

                    • 7. Re: Where to start

                      Ok, this is (I think) not the same type of problem...(I think)

                      In your example and the video, there is a set of records in place where each type has an equivalent choice i.e. -

                      there are individual records where 'Food' has a choice of 'Pasta','Hamburger','and 'Pizza'


                      I have a situation where the Contact 'Company Name', is tagged itself by a value list ('Role')

                      See below.

                      Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 22.00.46.png

                      When I move to the Project Layout, I want to select an 'Employer' for that Project. I can get a value list based on 'Company', but not one which selects only those records where 'Role' was assigned to that record.

                      Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 22.02.40.png

                      I am having real difficulty in understanding function specific relationships.

                      • 8. Re: Where to start

                        See if this example is better.

                        Here I have two tables: contacts and Records. I created 5 contacts records and assigned them a role


                        Over on my projects layout, I can create a project and assign an Employer to the project. I set up a value list that only shows contacts that have been assigned the role of "Employer". Same for Contractor.


                        See if that helps.


                        You mentioned three tables. I only read two: Contacts and Projects. Do you have a company table that is in play here? If so, how?  Maybe take a picture of your Manage database relationship diagram. That might be helpful.

                        • 9. Re: Where to start

                          Hi Jeremy,

                          Sorry for the silence. I have not had the time to sit down at this again until today.

                          Thanks so much for taking the time to do a sample. I have followed through your logic and the build of the selected value list in your example and it seems to work fine.


                          I had my relationships incorrectly set up, and also had an error in the reporting fields.

                          I have finally managed to get it to work, but am only 50% aware of why(!)


                          However this represents a serious hurdle for me in the discipline required to do this, so the exercise was worth it.


                          Thank you so much!