1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2017 7:23 PM by mquinn

    Creating a second portal


      I am very new to filemaker. Five months. I work for a university and I use the file to keep track of graduate students current and alum. I also use it to track faculty and how they relate to students. So on that subject, I have a students table and a faculty table. Each student has at least one advisor and sometimes a co-advisor. I created a join table and a portal linking faculty as advisors to their students and vice versa. advisor and coadvisor are delineated with a boolean field numeric = 1. It works like a charm. I can create reports.


      Now, each student also has 1-3 faculty members as their committee (for exams and thesis progress). I need to create a 2nd portal from the same two tables for each students committee. Of note, a faculty member is not a committee member and an advisor.  Currently my committees are listed as repeat fields but reports are not possible.


      I do not want to delineate the committee field on the advisor portal as I'd like to keep the advisor lists and committee lists separate on the faculty layout/table.


      Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 7.19.01 PM.png

      Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 7.19.30 PM.png

        • 1. Re: Creating a second portal



          Thank you for your post!


          I am going to move this from the Community Feedback Space, which is for issues and suggestion on the Community itself, to the Discussions space. There you should receive more views and potentially more feedback.



          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Creating a second portal

            Some basic options come to mind:


            Add another join table for committee members. This makes data entry to assign faculty to a student's committee simple, but any error checking you might do to avoid selecting a committee member who is already assigned as an advisor may be a bit more complex.


            Use the same join table but use portal filters to keep committee members out of the advisor portal and vice versa. This makes a field option validation to trap for selecting an advisor for the committed easier, but makes data entry a little bit more complex. A script trigger might be used with a script to assign a value to a field that the portal uses to discriminate between committee and advisor assignments.


            Use the same join table, but add an additional match field that automatically flags committee assignments as committee and not advisor assignments. This can be a calculation field that returns a constant in the student table matching to a data field in the join table.

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            • 3. Re: Creating a second portal

              That is very helpful. I believe I need to subscribe to more videos and possibly a short class for this issue as I'm still having errors arise and problems when I want to do reports, such as a list of advisors and their students. It's coming out wrong or doesn't include the co-advisor.


              If I try to create another join table for committee, I cannot join it to the students and faculty table as I did for the advisor table (it says I must create a faculty2 table. And I simply don't understand why). My knowledge base is holding me back on fully grasping the concepts of filemaker. I'm missing some key pieces. I will continue to practice and educate myself. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

              Thanks so much,




              • 4. Re: Creating a second portal

                Hi Mariette,


                The reason for needing another table occurrence ("faculty2 as suggested by the software) is that the path between table occurrences cannot be circular - that is, the database engine needs to be able to start at one point and then finish at another while following the only possible path the the destination. Multiple paths means the software cannot know with absolute certainty which reference you intend to make use of at a given time.


                By specifying a second table occurrence for the faculty table (and calling it "committee") you can create a relationship from the students table occurrence and there will be an obvious path to follow for collecting data.

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                • 5. Re: Creating a second portal

                  Thank you so much for the information.


                  If I create a second table occurrence, will I be able to keep track of faculty's committee assignments on the faculty table like I do for advisor assignments?

                  • 6. Re: Creating a second portal

                    Please make sure that you understand the difference between "table" and "table occurrence".


                    When you make a new table occurrence ( a box on your relationships graph ), you are not actually creating a new table, just a new way to access one of the tables already part of your solution.


                    In order to keep track of committee and faculty advisor assignments you will need a value in the join table that is different for the two types of assignments if you use the same join table for both. So it's not really whether or not you use a new table occurrence, but what data you have in that table that makes this possible.


                    Tutorial: What are Table Occurrences?

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                    • 7. Re: Creating a second portal

                      Ok. I get it now. I've been swamped as I'm at a university and unable to try this. But I got it to work!! At least on the Student table. I haven't set up a portal on the faculty table to show me the results in reverse just yet. But I'm hoping I can figure that out.


                      You're the best!

                      • 8. Re: Creating a second portal

                        One more issue:

                        I have students table. I have a faculty table. My students have advisors and I created a join table called advisors to link students to faculty as advisors. Works.


                        I now want to take students and join them to faculty as committee members. I created a committee join table and that worked, I can select faculty as committee members in a portal.


                        I cannot seem to figure out the table occurrence to link committee members back to faculty and have a portal on the faculty table that says which students he/she is on a committee for. I hope this makes sense. I am including screen shots. What am I doing wrong?  I also tried a committee id to committee id but that made no difference. The committees are showing up on the student table just fine. But I can't reverse the data to show up with students on the faculty table.....


                        Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 8.22.27 PM.png

                        • 9. Re: Creating a second portal

                          Add a third occurrence of Faculty. Link it to added occurrences of the two join tables. Use two additional occurrences of Students. Base your layout on this third occurrence of Faculty.

                          • 10. Re: Creating a second portal

                            What is the purpose of the extra two occurrences of students? I still cannot make it work.

                            • 11. Re: Creating a second portal

                              Your current table occurrences/relationships is this:


                              Faculty----<StudentsAdvisors>----Students-----<Committees>-----Faculty 2


                              Keep them.


                              Set up a new set of table occurrences/relationships like this to use from a Faculty based context:


                              Sudents 2----<<StudentsAdvisors 2>----Faculty 3-----<Committees 2>-----Students 3


                              Base a layout on Faculty 3 (select it from the "Show records from" drop down in layout setup.) and you can list students for that a given faculty member advises and a second portal can list the students that are linked via the Committee join. Students 2 and Students 3 provide a means of access to any relevant student data for the two join tables.

                              • 12. Re: Creating a second portal

                                Thank you,


                                I'll try that in a bit.



                                • 13. Re: Creating a second portal

                                  Once you have your portals working, I recommend renaming your table occurrences to identify their purpose in place of numbers 2 and 3.

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                                  • 14. Re: Creating a second portal

                                    It works, finally.


                                    Now to create reports for the faculty listing their students they advise and the students they committee for....



                                    2ndary question:  Can I take text and make them show dollar amounts?  Such as base = $20, Fellowship = $40 and Presidential = $60?  So I can update the amounts and have them be reflected across my student table? 


                                    I pray it doesn't require a portal or relationship.....

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