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Ugly value lists, and can this approach be simplified

Question asked by wendy on Apr 27, 2016
Latest reply on May 2, 2016 by wendy

Good day, all. I am working on a new data entry layout for a user to enter die information. The user wants a “complex” drop-down value list similar to what he had in Oracle (which corporate has dictated is going away) and I’m not sure how to duplicate it in Filemaker. (Aside: we’ve been importing data from Oracle into FM fields; now data will be entered in and exported from FM.)


IN ORACLE: The screen capture shows the blue popup window and value list for the Group field. (The blue window is separate/movable, but CAN be just a drop-down list in FM.) Only the short description “Corrugate” is actually entered in the “Group” field. The Type field will also have a drop-down (with different choices), as will many additional fields.



So in Filemaker I have:

- Existing Die table, and new data-entry layout with the attribute fields (Group, Type, etc.)

- a Description table with a record for each category drop down. Fields are:

  Category DropDown (e.g. Group)

  Description Short (e.g. Corrugate)

  Description Long

  A calculation field for EACH category, e.g.
    GroupShort_calc: Case(CategoryDropDown = “Group”; DieDescription_Short)

   TypeShort_calc:  Case(CategoryDropDown = "Type"; DieDescription_Short)

- A value list for each drop-down that displays two fields (e.g. GroupShort_calc and DieDescriptionLong).

The screen capture shows what my Group drop-down looks like.



I have two problems:

1) Really ugly drop-down lists that will likely result in user eye-rolling, and

2) Individual calculation fields and value lists for each drop-down that are really going to add up.


Before I get too far, is there a prettier and/or more efficient way to do this?

(Note: Also planning individual tabbed layouts to show only fields required for a certain type of entry.)


Files are served via FMS13; user will be on either a Mac running FMPro 13 or a PC (Windows 7 Enterprise) with the same. No mobile. I have Advanced, and I’m working with a legacy/inherited database.


Thank you for any direction…