14 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2016 1:59 AM by mz5005

    How to set-up contacts import properly?


      Our staff have contacts on LinkedIn (LI). We have a central system for company contacts.

      Linkedin exports all contacts in a text file per person(=one staff member) - rudimentary export module - nothing to steer - all contacts dump.

      Our staff sometimes have the same contact. Because we don't want to have double contacts

      in our system, we want to import every text file first into an FMP table and then sort out

      who we want to add/update. The checking is done on the email address of the contact.


      Per contact there are 3 options (with > action)

      1. contact is yet unknown > import in CompanyContacts

      2. contact is known and of same staff-member that LI account is from >  import in CompanyContacts (overwrites previous data because contacts can change jobs etc)

      3. contact is known already but from different staff member > skip /ignore


      Q: I am struggling how to do this best - With relationship / omit-include somehow?  with Lookups?

      Any help greatly appreciated!

        • 1. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

          I would imagine you just want to import each file to a temporary holding table, and process it according to find/match rules you specify. You can establish a relationship from your temp table to the permanent table via a foreign key in the temp table that related to the primary ID of the permanent table, allowing you to write/update values across. Make sure to check the box to allow records to be created in the permanent table from the temp table to handle new records.



          Set Error Capture [ on ]

          Set Variable [ $staff ; get(accountname) ]

          Go To Layout [ tempContacts ]

          Show All Records

          Delete All Record [ no dialog ]

          Import Records [ linkedin.csv ]

          Go To Record/Request/Page [ first ]


             Set Variable [ $email ; tempContacts::email ]

             Enter Find Mode [ no pause ]

             Go To Layout [ CompanyContacts ]

             Set Field [ CompanyContacts::email ; "==\"" & $email & "\"" ]

             Perform Find

             If [ get(foundcount) > 0 ]

                If [ patterncount( CompanyContacts::owner ; $staff ) > 0 ]

                   Set Variable [ $condition ; 1 ]


                   Set Variable [ $condition ; 2 ]

                End If


                Set Variable [ $condition ; 3 ]

             End If

             Go To Layout [ tempContacts ]

             If [ $condition = 1 ]

                //Record is in the system and matches the $staff trying to import. Update if needed.

             Else If [ $condition = 2 ]

                //Record is in the system but does not match $staff trying to import. Update and add $staff to owner list.

             Else If [ $condition = 3 ]

                //Record does NOT exist, write the new record into permanent contacts.

             End If

             Go To Record/Request/Page [ Next ]

             Exit Loop If [ get(recordnumber) = get(foundcount) ]

          End Loop

          Go To Layout [ home ]

          Show Custom Dialog [ "Import Complete" ]

          • 2. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

            hi mike,


            thanks for thr great effort!

            i will try to make it as you say. give me a few days.. little busy week.

            then i will report back.

            • 3. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

              Or just do an import

              Match the fields that make a record unique

              Check :update existing records (This will give you only record for a contact even though it occurs 10 time in your import data. with the last occurrence being the data kept.)

              Check: Add remaining data as new records.

              The disadvantage of this method is it will over-write any data in matching field that you have changed but, it will update any changes in their LinkedIn data.

              Of course you can use a temp table or file and import all new lists to it and then import your existing data to it keep your current data intact and then import your temp data to you main table.


              • 4. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                thanks GreatGrey for this.


                first: all LI info is a in separate table apart from our own added data.

                this is done on purpose so that you can import "straight"   without having

                to worry about other data.

                in case a contact exists,  the data is always overwritten (no need to check

                if it had changed).


                therefore the first option seems to be the  way to go: if 3 people know the

                same contact, then still have 1 occurence.

                will read the manual about that option to be sure it works like how I

                understand it to. thanks again!

                • 5. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                  One more thing. Any existing records that don't have a match will be omitted from the updated/new records so you will need to do a show all records step.

                  However it does give you a chance to look the imported data by its self and the records that weren't updated by themselves.

                  • 6. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                    I see... that is important indeed. need to study that and see how to

                    proceed. thanks

                    • 7. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                      Script something like this. The import will only make a match to the current found set. if any are omitted they won't be updated and a duplicate record will be made.

                      An easy way to eliminate duplicate records from your master file is to export all the records to merge file, delete all records and then import the merge file.

                      • 8. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                        ok it's all on my to-do list ☺


                        • 9. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                          @ mike beargie / great grey


                          i have been studying both your advice. i am sure that both your ways will work, but i have chosen to do it

                          mike's way. the reason is that we have about 40% double/triple contacts with our staff.

                          filtering these out before writing to the permanent contacts table seems a cleaner way to me then

                          adding them all and removing duplicates after.

                          however, i am still working on it so i might bother you again for advice

                          • 10. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                            My comment about removing duplicates in the master table, would handy no matter how you choose to add new contacts. Because if somebody added a contact list the wrong way you could have a lot of duplicates to remove.


                            The only way you get duplicates with standard FileMaker update matching records import option is by not having all records showing. which if Scripted should not be a problem.

                            • 11. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                              i agree with your last statement, but that solution unfortunately doesn't

                              work (would have been by far the simplest way). it works for new records

                              (unknown in master table) and it works for known records of staff X. but

                              where it goes wrong is that it would add as a new contact an already known

                              contact but from another staff (because the key email+staffID does not


                              • 12. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                                forgot to say.. you can't know but the importing is scripted so nobody can

                                do anything wrong. (assume import for staff X)

                                - select all staff X records

                                - delete them all

                                - import all the records from the text file


                                if the staffID is not the same as it finds in the text file, the script


                                • 13. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                                  And that why we get the gray hair trying do something simple, that has that oh you need to do this too.

                                  • 14. Re: How to set-up contacts import properly?

                                    @ mike beargie: everything works and thanks for the help again!