1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2017 10:38 AM by fmpdude

    Please bear with my beginner question


      Dear friends,

      with some studying and help from some of you I think I now have a good schema for my homegrown orders/inventory/sales/customers idea :-)


      Now I'm starting my layouts. First was the Suppliers which works well (both a detail and a list view)


      I now started the Order layout and am stumped on a very basic item :-(


      The layout starts with a generated order number, then I have a status field which I managed to get working with a drop down list of statuses, so far so good.


      Next I want to see a Supplier field which should be an alphabetically sorted list of Suppliers I have from the supplier table plus (for now I can ignore the need to enter a new supplier from here).


      I used the inspector to say the field is to display data from distrib::CompanyName but nothings shows up.


      What am I doing wrong ?


      Of course the Orders table has a FK (fkSupplierId) to the Suppliers table (pkSupplierId).


      Thanks for helping.

        • 1. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

          You might take a look at   FM Starting Point - Free FileMaker Template by RCC   This a free and very complete template that might adapt for your use which could save you a lot of time. They also have a very good training series.

          • 2. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

            Hi Kurt,

            tried looking at that file but it's way too complex for me to understand :-(

            • 3. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

              rjalex - Totally agree, FMStartingPoint is much to complex to toss a new developer into. I would much rather recommend the Invoices starter solution included with filemaker.


              However, two things on your setup:


              1) How is Orders::fkSupplierId being populated? Did you write a script that creates it from your Suppliers table?


              2) If not for #1, then what you need is a two-part value list, where you are selecting the key for suppliers along with viewing the list of suppliers.


              To make that value list, in your value list dialog select the "use values from field" dialog.


              You will then be given a dialog that looks like this:



              On that screen, in the top left dropdown choose "Suppliers", then select pkSupplierId (since you want the dropdown to select the primary key of suppliers). Check the box that says "show values from second field" in the top right. Then in the right column, choose "name" so that Supplier name is also shown.


              I would also recommend checking "show values only from second field" which will hide the ID from user view. Finally check the "re-sort values based on" box and it will automatically sort your value list for you.


              Now that you have this dropdown, make the Orders::fkSupplierId field a popover field type using this value list. That can be found in the inspector here:



              FYI if you make it a dropdown, it will show the ID after you select a value. A popover will continue to display the Supplier Name, even though you selected ID to tie it to Suppliers.


              Now you just need to put Supplier::Name on your layout to make sure it's related correctly.

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              • 4. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                You first reported that you have a good schema, but you are running into problems. Often I will do as much (if not more) work on paper before I create the first table & field and work on layouts for entry and reporting. We don't know what your schema is, so would be at a disadvantage in helping beyond generic answers.


                Suppliers would be mostly one table, but Orders (Purchase Orders?) should have the need for two tables (at least):

                Orders & Order Items.


                If the starting point is too complex, would some of the starter solutions help to study? I would suggest looking at: the Product Catalog (which you may need for adding to order items from suppliers), the Invoices (similar to orders and order items), the Inventory (which would be a way to control products that have been ordered/shipped), the Estimates (which can be another type of Order without shipping).


                See if these help get you going a little better.


                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                  Hi Beverly and thank you SO MUCH for trying to help.


                  Yes I believe that my schema is fairly complete (even though I could add other subtleties such as composite and varian products) and robust :-) and and yes I spent a couple of weeks mulling overt and amending it through lots of reading and YES I have an orders and a child orderlines table and a receipt and receipt lines table too to reconcile arrivals and feed into inventory.


                  Right now I'm grappling with my initial work on layouts and that is causing more problems than just data models :-)


                  Take care

                  • 6. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                    Dear Mike thank you so much. You got me unstuck! :-) It's good people like you all making this planet a better place.


                    I now obtain the ordered list of suppliers names when I click on the field but I've must have missed something since after I select a record from the list, the ID of the supplier (just a number) and not the name gets recorded in the field.


                    Ideally I'd like to have the ID in the table but always the name only shown on the layout.


                    I had skipped the pop-up suggestion and now all looks GRRREAT ! :-)


                    Take care

                    • 7. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                      I had noted you should use the popover type instead of the dropdown menu type for this reason. If you use a dropdown, the ID selected will display. Popover will show the value from the second field.


                      You can also use the “hide objects when” feature here.


                      Say for instance you place the field Suppliers::Name in place directly over your dropdown menu for selecting the foreign key.


                      A simple calc of:

                      IsEmpty( Orders::fkSuppliersID )


                      Would then “hide” the suppliers name until supplier was selected from your dropdown.


                      This technique is outlined in this training video



                      It’s a really handy technique to learn. Bookmark that channel on youtube since it has all of the available session recordings at devcon as well.


                      There is a TON of information for developers to consume for learning FileMaker. Stick with it and you’ll be doing great work in no time.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                        As an overall note, feel free to ask all your beginner questions here. Most people are friendly and helpful and don't mind if you ask something that has been asked many times before. If Mike or Bev are unavailable, I'm always glad to help as well. I stumbled into FileMaker on my own and learned the way you're doing it. I would poorly pay back those who helped me if I didn't help out the new custom-app-in FileMaker developer. I still remember my newbie days; I'm glad to help get you on the  right path.


                        Searching the forum for a topic is a good idea, but it is often the case that your specific circumstances don't apply to those, so ask away.


                        Ask away. There's always some good people here that will help out.

                        • 9. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                          Thank you Jeremy. I promise that before asking I'll search here, elsewhere and do my best to come up with the solution by myself and not abuse your generosity and kindness.

                          • 10. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                            I don't think that is what jbrown was saying.


                            Searching is good. You will learn a lot by reading others posts and working through stuff. However, don't let that completely hold you back from asking. Sometimes it's better to ask, because we may be able to put you on a better path, or provide some feedback that may help you understand why approach B is better than approach A, in your case.

                            • 11. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                              Sometimes the search term(s) are unknown. Go ahead and ask for assistance. You might ask for something and we can provide better search phrases.


                              Sent from miPhone

                              • 12. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                                Thank you all very very much.

                                • 13. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                                  I did get the hiding behaviour VERY COOL !!! :-) I also used it on another field which will list the total sum of the order once at least one order line is filled with a price (and will always show the sum of the prices of the line items).


                                  The following I do not get though:


                                  "Now you just need to put Supplier::Name on your layout to make sure it's related correctly"


                                  Why would I need to do that? Now with your popover suggestion I get the list of suppliers and choose one and it stays there properly. What would the above add ?


                                  Thank you

                                  • 14. Re: Please bear with my beginner question

                                    If you have the selected related record on the layout then the actual NAME (if your selection uses an ID) will be shown.


                                    For "historical" records, I don't just show related, I may use a field in that record that does a lookup to that related field. This is handy if an address changes, or a phone # or an "Attn" or any other data that needs to be preserved with that record at the time it is committed.



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