1 2 3 Previous Next 32 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2016 3:37 PM by rkutcher

    Value Lists


      I originally thought when I created a relational value list it was magically stored somewhere in the database.  Having unsuccessfully tried to use these value lists on layouts and after reading thru numerous articles on relationship base value lists I am starting to suspect things are not quite that way.


      1.  I now believe if I create a relational value list in one of my TOG's it will not be available for use in other TOG's unless I create a relationship from the TOG where I defined the value list to the TOG where I want to use the value list.  Can someone confirm this first point?  I think the reason for this is unlike a "Custom Values" list which is stored somewhere, the relationship value list is "built or populated" by the relationship each time it is called up.


      2.  If I have a relation ship      Main -------<Values     where I have defined the value list to show only Values related to the Main, and I want to have the value list show on a layout base on another table I'm thinking the relationship would be     


      Other Table---------Main   


      or maybe


      Other Table-------Values


      Can anyone tell me if this thinking is correct?


      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Value Lists

          Good morning rkutcher,


          I hope your day is going well. As I'm sure you are already aware, there many ways to accomplish a given goal in FileMaker. I'm a fan of Selector/Connector for providing contextually free access to record sets. If your not familiar with this method, you can find more information here. I hope this is helpful to you. Have a great day!


          God bless,




          • 2. Re: Value Lists

            What you are calling a "relational value list" would seem to be what we call a Conditional Value List where you've set up a "use values from field" value list and then selected the "include only related values starting from" option.


            Note that "starting from" option. it, in combination with the table occurrence from which you selected your fields as values sources in the upper section of the same dialog, identifies the relationship that controls which values will appear in your value list.


            So yes, if this is what you have, the value list is determined by context. It has to be since all relationships evaluate from a particular context. So changing context to be a different TO will either keep your value list from showing any values or it will show a different set of values than you might get if you used it on a layout based on the "starting from" TO.


            This is only one of many types of conditional value lists that are possible.


            This file:


            Adventures in FileMaking #1 - Conditional Value Lists


            Demonstrates multiple variations for setting up conditional value lists. It's a working FileMaker file so you can tear it apart to see how each works and it comes with very detailed documentation on how they were set up and how they work.

            • 3. Re: Value Lists



              Thanks for that.  I'm just now trying to convert a couple of old Spyder Graph databases to Anchor Buoy.  I think Selector Connector is a different way of organizing a database and trying to move to it now would certainly cause me no end of additional problems.


              Perhaps in the future.

              • 4. Re: Value Lists

                Yes, I did mean Conditional Value List.  I do have both of your Adventures in Filemaking downloads and have been looking at #1 quite a bit.


                I finally got my "Basic Conditional Value List" working in one TOG.


                If I understand you correctly, I would have to define another value list (even though I want the same values to show up) in order to use the values in a different TOG? 


                To define the value list I would have to add TO's that contain my values to the different TOG and define the value list using the new TO's (and TO field's)?


                The graph might look like this:


                Category-------<Values      first TOG



                Different Table-------<Category 1-------<Values 1       I would have to define a value list for this TOG


                Another Table--------<Category 2------<Values 2        then define a second value list for this TOG

                • 5. Re: Value Lists

                  Good evening rkutcher,


                  I think using methods you are comfortable working with is a wise choice. There are lots of great people in this community that can help you achieve your goals, whatever method you choose to employ; it's a great resource. Have a great evening!


                  God bless,




                  • 6. Re: Value Lists

                    Thank-you Bill.




                    Richard Kutcher

                    Kutcher Engineering & Inspections Inc.


                    • 7. Re: Value Lists

                      Selector connector is a form of Anchor Bouy so you may find it a reasonable option.


                      As to your other question, my answer is "it depends". You have to look at your relationship graph in evaluate all relevant relationships. If you have completely separate table occurrence groups, then yes, a basic conditional value can't be used in both context. This is one of the problems selector connector helps you deal with.


                      You might also take a look at the CVL that is created by a script.

                      • 8. Re: Value Lists

                        Good evening rkutcher,


                        I've attached a very simple Selector/Connector file that you may find useful. There are a few gotchas to be aware of:

                        1. The Selector and Connector tables should only contain fields with global storage and must always contain at least one record
                        2. In my sample I used buttons to change the value of the Selector parent record field responsible for the relationship filtering for the value list content, you may find a different method for setting that field more user friendly.


                        I hope this is helpful. Have a great evening!


                        God bless,




                        • 9. Re: Value Lists

                          It would be helpful to have some specific examples of the types of values and conditions that you are thinking about.

                          Also: we don't know anything yet about your data structure; but if you have defined different tables yet those tables have common attributes, then it raises the question of whether the tables should really be different.


                          One example where this comes up is "people" tables, where there might be customers, suppliers, prospects, etc. Yet each person record may have a Gender field. Addresses might be another example. You might have a table of USA States. Should you really have a table of Business Addresses; a separate table for Home Addresses; etc.?

                          • 10. Re: Value Lists

                            Thanks for your help.


                            I have finally got the value list working in one TOG and will try to duplicate the success in the other TOG's.

                            • 11. Re: Value Lists



                              Thanks.  I'll find something online about Selector-Connector and try to make sense of what you sent.


                              Anything different from what I'm used to scares me.  (the Globals in particular)  I've headed of down more than one rabbit hole in this process.  It all looks simple, but never is.

                              • 12. Re: Value Lists



                                I spoke a bit soon.  It looked like I had it working but just noticed that regardless of which value I select for the second value it always shows the first record.  So when I select the MACCAT value I get a set of MACTYP values to select from.  Then when I select the MACTYP value I always end up with the first record.


                                I have attached a couple onscreen shots but they are not very clear.  In the first screen shot you see I have Item connected to item_MACAT which is in turn connected to item_maccat_MACTYP.  In the second shot you see a layout that I have added a portal to so you can see that the Machine type field (lower left field) is always "artic" regardless of which _fkMachineTypeID I select.


                                If there is a better way to send screenshots file please advise.


                                Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 4.41.09 PM.png


                                Screen Shot 2016-11-04 at 4.40.19 PM.png

                                • 13. Re: Value Lists

                                  Your screen shots are fine, but please supply two additional pieces of info about your layout.


                                  In Layout Setup, what do you see named in "show records from"? This is also shown as "Table" to the right of your layout drop down when your layout is in layout mode.

                                  Then tell us what you selected in "show related records from" in portal set up for your portal.


                                  We might also need to know:

                                  Which table occurrence you selected just before selecting fields for your value list and what table occurrence you selected as the "starting from" table occurrence for that value list.

                                  • 14. Re: Value Lists

                                    Show records from is   ITEM


                                    The value list dialogue box is attached.


                                    Screen Shot 2016-11-05 at 10.14.42 AM.png

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