4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2017 3:33 PM by davebb




      I am not a developer so this issue may have a simple answer but the question leading up to it requires some explanation:


      I do online sign ups for sports classes.  Each class has it’s own sign-up form, info for which is stored in its own file which I can export.  Typical info - name, address, email, phone, payment amount, and I already know the class since the file itself represents only that class.  Currently, I manually enter this info into my fm database where I attach the student to the class.  (I have class “tags” in the database for every class offered online).  I plan to have a developer set up a way for me to import the online files and attach each student to their class automatically.  These imports would be initiated manually.  I think that this initial process can be done and is not the direct topic of this writing.  It is related though.


      The process I anticipate will involve having to do more than one import for the same online file simply because I need to get the info into the computer by certain dates, and inevitably people still sign up after those dates, so I have to re-import the file a week or two later to catch the late sign ups.



      1) When I do the second import, can filmmaker identify and add ONLY the late sign ups into the database (and attache the associated class)?  Keep in mind that a student name might already be in the database from a past class.


      2) After the first import, I would create and print a report of the list of students for the class.  After the second import, I would need to create and print a report of ONLY the late sign-ups for that class.  Can this be done?


      3) Does the fact that I have multiple classes (multiple files to import) affect the database’s ability to do this?


      Currently using FM10 but willing to upgrade if necessary.  Please respond in layman terms best you can.

      Thanks, Dave

        • 1. Re: Imports/reports

          Yes to 1 and 2. No real problem for 3.


          Talk to your developer about your concerns as that person will have a much better understanding of all issues than we will.


          Yes, a newer version of FileMaker is a very good idea.


          A concern to discuss with your developer is how to handle cases where you get two students with identical names.

          • 2. Re: Imports/reports

            Great!  Thanks for the response.  As far as the identical name issue, I was not so concerned with that because I thought the email would be the identifier.  The problem for me is if the customer uses a new email in a subsequent sign up!  As a follow up question, is it possible to have Filemaker, as part of a script perhaps, do multiple tasks with if-thens, like to first look at the email, then look at the name and address if necessary?


            So if the email is the same - it looks no further and Filemaker knows it’s the same person.

            If the email is different, but the name and address is the same, then Filemaker knows it’s the same person.

            If the email is different, and the name is different, but the address is the same, well, that’s a question for a thinking computer because the name could be totally different (indicating a new person), or just a letter off.  A letter off would probably indicate the same person, like Dave or David being entered in the form.  So I would just deal with that best I can.





            • 3. Re: Imports/reports

              Possible, but not all that practical. You have identified the key (pun deliberate) issue with any externally supplied unique identifier--it might be changed in the future.


              Better to have an internally generated unique ID such as an auto-entered serial number and then, use other methods to attempt to "look up" the correct student record in order to then link the new record to the correct student by ID. When the preferred method such as an email address comes up empty, the system can present the user with the option of either creating a new Student record or using other search methods to search out and select an existing student records such as name, address, or other external ID (adults students might have a DR license, In California, grade school and high school students have a state issues ID)


              Having a spot on the form where the students indicate whether they are a new or returning student will also help and if you replace your individual forms with a web published form where a student fills it out on a computer or smart phone screen can make this much better as they can enter an email address or other "search ID" as part of filling in the form and get immediate feed back if it doesn't match to any existing student record. This can tell the that they need to use a different value or at least flag the record for personal attention in order to resolve the problem of linking the new class registration to an existing student record.

              • 4. Re: Imports/reports

                Thank you for the follow up.  I think I have to go over that slowly with a developer to fully grasp all the nuance of what you are saying, but sounds like I should be able to accomplish most of what I want and need.  Cheers!