7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2016 11:26 PM by Johan Hedman

    Merge identical documents/files


      I have many identical documents/files with different data. The files are 100% identical (lay-out, fields, relationships, portals etc) as they have been copied a number of times. Now I need to merge them all in one.

      I thought it was a simple process by using the IMPORT RECORDS under FILE and simply add each document to a source. Yes, it works but the PORTALS data do not import and stay empty (without data). I thought that it is a matter of changing the related tables in TARGET so it would be identical to the SOURCE (when using IMPORT RECORDS) but those are all grayed-out.

      What is the easiest and best way to merge or import identical files?






        • 1. Re: Merge identical documents/files
          Johan Hedman

          If you use unique keys for your records you most probably have duplicate record keys.


          To merge that you need to create scripts that first goes through each record and reset unique keys for primary table and all it´s related records.


          When you know you have all data unique for primary table and related records you can start to import records to the right table

          • 2. Re: Merge identical documents/files

            Wow Johan, that goes way beyond my knowledge of FileMaker. Creating scripts and understanding those concept is not really my thing.

            I am bit disappointed though with FileMaker as I expected that importing identical information is a basic thing to do. Having the portals with relationships is the issue I guess. There is no simple solution then?

            I regret I created portals for this survey


            Is there anybody out there who can help me out with this?





            • 3. Re: Merge identical documents/files

              Why import identical data? It's already there after all I assume.

              • 4. Re: Merge identical documents/files

                Importing a folder of documents is not the same as importing a table with fields.  In fact, many databases don't even support binary imports.  FileMaker has a method upon importing to compare fields to assure uniqueness usually with what is called a primary key.  When you are importing a folder of documents, there is no primary key to compare.  All there is is a binary file to store in a container field. 


                Once the file is there, FileMaker's scripting can do all kinds of comparisons like comparing size or content or modification dates or whatever.  The purpose of scripting is to make sure comparison's happen automatically instead of you manually having to go through all the imported documents and compare each one to what is already there. 


                Some things that might make it easier would be if you already know something is unique about the documents such as the name or the creation timestamp.  Or maybe it is a combination such as name and size or name and creation timestamp. 


                Note that imports do not go into portals, they go into the table occurrence of the layout you are in when you run the import.  With a script you could go to the related table, do the import, remove duplicates, and return to your original state. 


                It may be that you have hit a point in FileMaker development where to more forward means it is time to learn some scripting.  I remember using FileMaker for years before getting into scripting and remember I was a bit afraid of trying it at first.  But it is also what makes FileMaker so powerful even if you just know the basics.  You have people here that if you try a script and it doesn't work, you can paste them here and we can help you figure them out.  Or we can even help you get started with a script if you tell us what you need. 


                Alternatively you can hire a FileMaker developer to do this type of work and maybe do some learning from them too. FileMaker Consultants, Data Consultants, Database Consultants

                • 5. Re: Merge identical documents/files

                  "I have many identical documents/files with different data..."

                  • 6. Re: Merge identical documents/files

                    Yes Taylor, I have been using FileMaker for many years and, indeed, never truly explored the scripting - some basic stuff yes, but not that I can solve issues like this.

                    It was my assumption that it is easy to combine/ merge / import similar documents with data. Without checking first. So I did a community research with our team in a squatter area here in Manila for education purposes. Now I'm 'stuck' with 50 or so FM documents that are supposed to be made into one.


                    I am happy to call on consultants to do it for us so we can continue our research in the community.





                    • 7. Re: Merge identical documents/files
                      Johan Hedman

                      Search for FileMaker FBA and find your developer partner there