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    User Modified Value Lists


      I have built a FileMaker Pro 15 system with 1107 value lists (custom values) providing data options to virtually all of the data fields in the system. My end user can alter/update/delete almost any data field in the system. The time is now: My user is on a job with her version 2.4 Runtime module , entering data and changing/modifying value lists while I am working on version 2.5. The time is next week: I am releasing version 2.5 and created a Runtime module for it. My user has this 2.4 Runtime module that I cannot access to see what changes she has made to the value lists. If she updates to version 2.5 she loses all of her modifications that she put in 2.4. This is not acceptable. What do I do??? I cannot believe that this has not come up in all of the commercial applications running FileMaker Pro. Do they not allow users to modify drop-down lists? Help. Help.

        • 1. Re: User Modified Value Lists

          Currently, as of FileMaker 15, FileMaker provides no way to import custom value lists from one file into another (or even copy-and-paste custom value lists from one file into another).


          The best solution for you is to base all of your custom value lists on fields in their own tables (i.e. each value list would get its own table), instead of using the built-in "custom value list" ability. Then, you can import all of those fields from the old file into the new file. And, an extra bonus is that it also gives you a much greater variety of interface choices for how you allow your user to edit those value lists.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: User Modified Value Lists

            Also, be sure to check out RefreshFM, which easily lets you automatically move all the data from one version of your solution to another version of your solution -- except for moving custom value lists & security, the only 2 things which cannot be moved from file-to-file.

            3 of 3 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: User Modified Value Lists

              good answer, scott!


              there may be custom value lists that need to remain so that sorting can be done based on the order of the values in that list (I have a few that way). there may be ways to have the list with the sortOrder and the Value in a table, such that the sorting can be based on the sortOrder and not the Value. However that still presents places where the value list needs to be displayed (checkbox, radio, drop-down or pop-up) in the exact order in the list.


              We definitely need more control of import/export of these custom value lists!!

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                Thanks for the reply. I can certainly keep the static value lists for the checkboxes, etc as custom values but over 500 value lists remain for variables associated with data fields. I would think having 500 additional tables would cause problems (but I'm just a beginner at this).

                • 5. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                  Thanks, Beverly.

                  • 6. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                    FileMaker supports up to 1 million tables per file, so that wouldn't be a problem.


                    However, you can also get creative here as well. You can also designate one individual text field to hold all of the values for one value list... just have the user separate each value with a carriage return (which is what they're already doing now when they edit custom value lists). When you call upon that one field to be used as your value list, FileMaker will automatically interpret the carriage returns as multiple values for that value list.

                    • 7. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                      Also, are you sure that you need 500 different user-customizable value lists in the system? Is there a different way to design the system that doesn't depend so heavily on this many value lists that need to be customized by the user?

                      • 8. Re: User Modified Value Lists
                        Markus Schneider

                        You can have a bit of flexible value list using the 'magic value list' technique


                        The principle behind is a list that has to be created when clicking in field - on the fly. Since a SQL query by default gives back a list, eSQL is smart!


                        The list has to be created via a script-parameter-definition... not a script-call, just the script-parameter is needed (therefore the script is used as a handle and has a 'dummy-purpose'...)


                        You can have one table for all value-lists, the desired values can be extracted by eSQL with all the select-methods


                        Drawback is (ie), that in find-mode, one has to do some more efforts to get the desired result...

                        • 9. Re: User Modified Value Lists
                          David Moyer


                          I agree with Scott, there are better ways.  I believe that you can replace all lists programmatically with a single global text field, two tables with two fields each (or less desirable, a single table using redundant text keys) and a single value list.  It would utilize the OnObjectEnter script trigger to populate the global text field with the active table/field name to link to the table of values, which would be based on the table/field names.

                          • 10. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                            Do you have an example file and explain more in details, it seems good but can't figure it out exactly. So what is, and how do you really implement those "Magic SQL Value List".



                            • 11. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                              I'm in search of a "better" way too... For updating and maintaning solution - doing FileMaker's developer JOBS!

                              Do you have an example file... because, it's a bit vague... "One or Two table", global field, key... etc.


                              Could you give us a step by step in FileMaker terms.


                              tx a lot.


                              Sure FileMaker is getting better and better, now after the layout deseign them of v13, and the script workspace, and typing for dev in v14. and web and go in v15, it's now time (in v16) to have real world, solid and dynamic relational database that rocks more and more Androïd and unix/linux support!! One day, like Apple, Filemaker will dominate them all!!! We all love FM, and it sure is one of the best tool to develop on, but still it glitch a lot. They have to come out of the box!! and bring a real database IDE, with full customization for the dev, and great feature like the sql world.

                              • 12. Re: User Modified Value Lists
                                David Moyer

                                I'm sorry - I couldn't quite get it to work.  But here's an ultra-simple exploratory example that almost works, but doesn't.  Maybe you can figure it out.  It's v.14.  It's supposed to let you choose from different value lists based on the field you click into.  The OnObjectEnter trigger can cause an infinite loop - just Escape.

                                • 13. Re: User Modified Value Lists
                                  David Moyer


                                  is this all click-click-click data entry?  If so, I think you can make that example work via buttons, instead of OnObjectEnter triggers.

                                  • 14. Re: User Modified Value Lists

                                    tx I'll have a look post later on...

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