7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2011 4:40 AM by LaRetta

    Why has a field overwritten its contents?!


      I have inherited old files that need to be updated, added to, and maintenanced. As I am a newbie at Filemaker, please do forgive my lack of accurate terminology regarding this program! I'm running into an big issue regarding a particular field that seems to become 'unlinked', or its contents have been replaced. I have a database that logs short pieces of music. I have each record linked to mp3 files. There is a field that has been created that directs a record to an mp3 in a separate folder outside of Filemaker. The contents of the field will appear to be nothing when it is properly linked to its mp3. But recently I opened up the program and all of the records are suddenly unlinked to their mp3's, that particular field reading either the words "This File Cannot Be Found." or it has the symbol "." The latter has happened before but only to some seemingly random files. I relinked them. But the "." symbol is new. Again, I have changed nothing within this field. I have been learning that there are many ways to input contents into a field on a global level (with no way to undo it), but I have done none of that (at least not knowingly). What would make the contents of every record in only one field change to one of two words/symbols, and seemingly on their own? Is there a way to undo this??!! All the old records I received now have this overwrite, as well as any new ones I have created. Thousands of records have been affected. I am, of course, assuming it is user error. Any ideas?? Thank you!


      Message was edited by: sherrichung

        • 1. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

          Hi Sherrichung,


          I would like to try to give you an answer. But could you please give some more information:

          • I assume it is a container field?
          • I assume that the content is imported with "store only as a reference?
          • Could you describe: The FileMaker Solution, running locally for one user or for many users on a FileMaker server?
          • Could you describe: Where do you store the mp3 files relative to the FileMaker solution?


          Best regards



          • 2. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

            Hi Carste,


            • Yes, it is a container field.
            • Could you tell me how I would know if the content is imported with 'store only as a reference'?  Is that found in the dropdown menu of a field?
            • Not exactly sure of the answer here, but in my search for it, I came across the terms Runtime Application, icon looking like a folder.  And Solution File, icon looking like a page.  I have no folder-looking icon.  Have I been opening up just the solution file without a proper file folder?  The extension to the files are "fp7".  And this is run locally for one user, although I prepare this database, then transfer via external drive to the user's composer.  But there is no Filemaker server and only one person making any changes.  Is this at all what you're asking?
            • The mp3 files' paths are 2 folders deep, all held inside a larger folder that also holds the Filemaker files.  Again, though, these are manually made folders, not Filemaker Application folders. 


            Please let me know what else you need to know...even finding out how to answer your questions is helping me learn more about this program.  Thank you ever so for your help so far!



            • 3. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

              Hi again,


              Will try to get closer - one very important question must be answered first:

              • You write that the solution is probably a runtime. Can you check the about menu, are you using FileMaker Pro or a runtime*?


              Depending on how your solution is set up (are you using FileMaker's build in functionality or scripts made by the developer for importing) you should get the choice to use only a refererence while importing:


              A few extra questions:

              • When you check for FileMaker Pro/Runtime etc. Please also check the version, is it 7-8-9-10-11 or an earlier version?
              • Your OS (Mac OS X or Windows + version)


              If it is FileMaker Pro/Advanced you are using, you will find a very valuable help in the folder beside the application. Probably in the folder "English Extras". Look for the Tutorial and for the PDF documents in Electronic dockumentation.


              Best regards




              *If it is a runtime you are using you can only do what the developer of your solution has defined for you. You need FileMaker Pro or Pro Advanced to be able to modify or expand your solution. But if you want to try the full version you can get access to a full FileMaker Pro trial version http://www.filemakertrial.com/nskto/form/entry.aspx?try=fmp11_product_try

              • 4. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!
                Stephen Huston

                Hi Sherri,


                Your field contents are not changing, but what is displayed is an indicator that the link is no longer valid.


                You said the referenced files are 2 folders away.


                Lets say your FileMaker file is in Folder/Directory C which is inside Folder B, which is inside Folder A.


                Your referenced media file are in Folder 2, which is inside Folder 1, which is also in Folder A.


                If any one of Folders A, B, C, 1, or 2 are either renamed or moved to a new position, even within one of the other folders in the group, the link will break. So renaming Folder 1 as 1a will cause what you are seeing. Renaming it 1_ will break it. Moving Folder C from inside Folder B to being in A (but outside B) will break it.


                It's a very fragile system. All the container field is doing is displaying the results of its effort to find the file for the container, much like a calculation that is failing to resolve.


                Stephen Huston

                • 5. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

                  Hi Carsten,


                  Thanks again for the help...


                  • I am using Filemaker Pro 11.0 v1...not Advanced though, just Pro.
                  • I don't seem to be getting this option when I try and import.  And I'm afraid I don't know if i'm using Filemaker's built in functionality or scripts made by the developer for importing.  Is there a way to find that out?
                  • Mac 10.6.8


                  Since I do have Pro, I will definitely check out the tutorials and documents.  But I guess I'm trying to figure out why a couple thousand records now have to be relinked suddenly, when no files have been moved, no folders renamed, and it was all in good working order two months ago when it was last opened. 


                  Hopefully some light can be shed.  Thank you so much for your help!


                  • 6. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

                    Hi Stephen,


                    Thanks so much for your reply.  I do understand the scenerio you've described.  But as far as I can tell, this isn't the case.  Folder A holds everything...the Filemaker files as well as Folder 1a, which itself holds Folders 1-100 that hold the audio files.  Nothing has been moved or renamed. 


                    Do you happen to know why some of the records would read as "This File Cannot be Found", while others read as just the "."?  Is that at all telling?  Is there a better way to organize everything?  I'm familiar with folder organization/things referencing, etc, so I thought that having one big folder that holds everything would be the best solution.  Thoughts?


                    Thanks again!


                    • 7. Re: Why has a field overwritten its contents?!

                      Hi Sherri,


                      Have you added a new field to that table?  Whenever I see field contents suddenly, inexplicably overwritten, I suspect import mapping break. 


                      If you have any import scripts which affect this table, open each of them (find the Import Records step and Specify Import Order).  Scroll all the way through them to the bottom and see if any fields are improperly mapped, looking to your container field particularly but verify them all as you go.  This may not be the case but it is worth checking.