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    Multiple Tabs like Excel?




      I'm new to Filemaker and did some google searching and looked in the communities here. Maybe my search terms were not the appropriate ones. I have an Excel Worksheet with multiple tabs. Each tab has the same fields but the specific data is different for each one. I don't want to have a separate database for each Excel tab. Is there a way to have 1 overall database with individual tabs or instances? I appreciate any help!!



        • 1. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

          FileMaker has Layouts that can be designed as forms, lists or table-grid. Layouts are associated with Data collections defined as tables and fields. It gets more complex. You can look at examples provided with install (trial version if not purchased yet). You can even google 'filemaker' and choose images to see example screen shots.




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          • 2. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

            "don't want to have a separate database for each Excel tab."


            "database" is an inexact term in Filemaker. The word could refer to a single table in a file, a single file with multiple tables or a set of files that all have many tables but which have been designed to function together as a complete system.


            "Is there a way to have 1 overall database with individual tabs or instances?"


            FileMaker is not a Spreadsheet App. It will not do things exactly the same as Excel. In FileMaker, each row of data is a record and each column is a field. So the answer to your question is "yes but..." Yes you can pull up different groups of records at a time on the same layout, but no, it probably won't look like tabbed Excel worksheets. You have a great many more options for flexibly pulling together different groups of records for data entry, reporting, and/or analysis in FileMaker than you do with Excel.

            • 3. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?
              Jason Wood

              Technically yes, if there is a single table of information and you include a field to indicate which "tab" each record should be on, there would be ways to build a tabbed interface with portals inside to drill down to each grouping. BUT, since you're new to FileMaker, I would strongly discourage you from just trying to duplicate the behaviour you're used to in Excel, because you're going to end up building weird, suboptimal designs that don't appropriately take advantage of all the new capabilities you now have. Take some time to learn the basics of FileMaker first, and along the way you'll  figure out new and better ways to do things.

              • 4. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                Hi Everyone,


                I appreciate the information. I do have a lot to learn about Filemaker. Maybe if I describe why I need the separate "tabs". I previously used Bento by Filemaker. It was basically a drag & drop database program. I used it to keep an inventory of my coin collection. Bento was discontinued a few years ago. I continued using it and have the iOS versions as well. However the iOS versions will eventually stop working. I ended up putting the same data into Excel and so have been keeping 2 duplicate records.


                So I was thinking of going to Filemaker Pro because I doubt it will be discontinued anytime soon. I would then also be able to use the iOS app for it as well. So on Excel I have a separate tab for each country. I was hoping I would/could do something like that. I was able to do it on Bento and since that was a less complex app I figured I could do something like that in Filemaker. Not sure if it can be done or not. What search terms should I use to google this? I tried tabs but kept getting results for tab control which is not what I'm looking for.

                • 5. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                  Forget the word tab. You could set up a tab control to do what you describe, but it's really not a good idea.


                  You need one table for countries and another table for coins and a relationship that links coins from a given country to the record for that country.


                  Then, on your layout, you can easily pull up a list of coins for a given country. You can use a portal or you can simply perform a find for all coins of a given country.

                  • 6. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                    Some may be able to assist you in converting your Bento (depends on version) solution into FileMaker.


                    It sounds like you are "grouping" by Country and can then view just those records. The same can be done in FileMaker (a narrowing "find"). It can be simple or complex. The conversion may get you there or you may need assistance revising a bit.



                    • 7. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                      Unfortunately the Bento Migration Tool is no longer working with the current version of the Mac OS and FM Pro 15. So I was thinking I will need to have a separate database for each country. I looked online, at the basic tutorial, and I couldn't seem to find another way to do it. Is my thinking correct? The fields will all be the same. It's just the actual data, in those fields, that will be different.


                      I did try to create separate layouts for each country. But when I imported the data, from Excel, it put the data into each layout rather than the one layout I had open. I'm guessing that because all the layouts were in the same database that's why it happened.


                      So that's why I'm thinking I'll need separate databases or "solutions" for each country. Is that correct?





                      • 8. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                        Let's see if TSGal or TSPigeon can assist you with the Bento migration.


                        Answer: not a separate database (or even separate Table) per country. Then it's a matter of "finding" the country as needed by script (and there are various ways do find, including relationships).


                        You can, for example have separate layouts per country, but I would not recommend that. You can change headers, titles, colors, and other things to make a layout change dynamically based on a country. If you have a few countries, you could even simulate a 'tabbed' interface look with a button bar (on country per each) which basically finds that countries records and displays.


                        If you can get any screen shots of the Bento as it works now, that may help here.


                        • 9. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                          So I was thinking I will need to have a separate database for each country. I looked online, at the basic tutorial, and I couldn't seem to find another way to do it. Is my thinking correct?


                          To repeat, do not do that. Make a table with with one record for each coin. If you need to record more information about each country beyond just the name, make a table with one record for each country and link it to the Coins table. This is all in one file.


                          I did try to create separate layouts for each country


                          Don't do that either. Use just one layout for all your coins. Perform a find, specifying the country, to pull up all the coins from a given country.


                          If you have all your data in your excel file, I'd just import that data, but I'd import the data from each worksheet (tab) into the same table, combining all the records into a single table. Just after each import, you get a found set of all imported records so you can, at that point, use Replace Field contents to put the name of the country into a field added to the coins table for this purpose for all the just now imported records all in one batch update.

                          • 10. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                            Maybe a very small simple demo will help you picture what we are talking about. This file has only 4 coin records from two countries and I'm sure that you'd want to add a lot more fields to record info about each coin, but it shows one way to list the info for each coin with a pop up menu for selecting the country.

                            • 11. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?



                              Thank you for your posts.


                              If you want, I can migrate your Bento data into FileMaker Pro.  I do have access to older machines, so I would be able to run the Bento Migration Tool with your Bento database file.  If you want me to migrate your data, I have sent you a private message with instructions where to send your Bento file.



                              FileMaker, Inc.

                              2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                                A single layout with buttons/drop-down that filters by country would probably serve you well.


                                When I was learning FMP, I found going through "FileMaker Pro 14: The Missing Manual" By: Stuart Gripman; Susan Prosser an enormous help. Still needed the forum for specific issues, but the book covered the foundations and gave me ideas. (My library had it in their technical eBook collection.)

                                • 13. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?



                                  In your CoinCollection demo, I am not able to reproduce the 'Country' selector pop-up.


                                  My problem, I believe, is with the script.

                                  How can I make a find request without putting in the name of a country?

                                  • 14. Re: Multiple Tabs like Excel?

                                    The field formatted with a country pop up menu has global storage specified as a field option. Find the field in Manage Database and double click to open field options. You'll find that global storage was selected on the Storage tab.


                                    The script that that is performed when a country is selected from that menu is performed by the OnObjectModify script trigger. You can open the scripts workspace to see how it is written. This script cannot work correctly unless that menu's field has global storage specified. You can also right click the field while in layout mode to see how a script trigger was selected and to see what other triggers might have been selected for a layout object.


                                    I've used a number of terms that may be new to you. You can look them up in Help or training materials to learn more.

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