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Evaluating FM 16 Pro, Creating Text Strings for Searches

Question asked by mjaneczek on Nov 6, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 6, 2017 by philmodjunk

I’m currently doing a trial of FileMaker to see if it can help us.  Played around yesterday trying to duplicate what we are doing with one of our spreadsheets with limited success.  Here is what I am trying to do:


We have a spreadsheet which we use to store company lists (Security, Software, etc.) in order to generate text search strings.  We select a delimiter (and, or, comma, semi-colon) and the company list and it generates a text string to use in a search on job boards or in Google.  For instance I select “Software Companies” and “or” as the delimiter and I get a string such as “IBM or Microsoft or Apple….”.  We have 25 different company lists, each with up to 50 companies.  Would like to have a front-end layout/application that I can simply select a delimiter from a list and a company list from a drop down list and have it automatically generate the search strings along with a URL link that I can immediately execute.   On this front end layout (I call “Home”) would also like to be able to select a company list to access to edit.  I did notice that each table I add creates a new layout and that using a button from the Home layout I can access the table for editing (still need to figure out how to add a button on those layouts to take me back to Home). 


Problem I ran into yesterday is that since these lists are not related I cannot include them on the same layout.  I understand that to have a drop down list of company lists (Software, Security, etc) that I need a table that contains the lists.  From this company list summary table I can create a company list ID field for each company list to allow for a relationship to be set up.  However a delimiters table doesn’t have anything that would be relevant to relate to any other tables.  So this leads to a few questions:


  • Is there a way to have unrelated tables appear on the same layout?
  • Can I have a drop down list that is not tied to a table and can be a static list that can appear on any layout?
  • Do calculated values have to be a field in a table or can they be setup as a local variable that can be calculated and displayed immediately on a layout?  I expect that the text concatenation is going to be a lengthy formula with several conditional checks such as empty values, number of records, etc.
  • Can dynamic URLs be generated in a field or as a variable to allow for quick access, i.e.[MY TEXT SEARCH STRING]?
  • Was having trouble getting the “List” view to work with my tables so was using the “Table” view to allow editing.  While in “Table” view on a layout can buttons be added for navigation to other layouts (such as back to “Home” layout)?
  • If I have a drop-down list of company lists, if I select one is there a way to have the selected company list records appear on the layout for editing without having to change to another layout? This would save me from having to have 25 different buttons/layouts to access and edit my company lists.


I’ve only spent a day or two looking into FileMaker and know I’ve hardly scratched the surface, so my apologies if I'm asking some basic questions.   I’ll continue researching and watching the training materials but if you can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.  Evaluating two simpler solutions and just need to determine if FM can do what we need  without being too complicated.