8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2012 7:05 AM by timwhisenant

    Users forgetting to commit their records


      I find that most database users remember to commit their records 99% of the time, but occasionally leave a record uncommitted on their machine. This rarely affects the other users, and is only a problem when I'm trying to make a programming change to that table. Normally I just track down the person and ask them to commit their record, but it's becoming unwieldy and I feel like there's a better solution.


      The trick is, I don't want to take away their freedom in the database due to the wide range of data entry they are doing. I am considering a script that runs if the record has been uncommitted more than 5 minutes, asking if they're still there and if they want to continue working (otherwise it will commit the record). Kinda like when you're logged into a secure site online and it automatically signs you out.


      I'm guessing there might be something in Script Triggers to make this happen. Maybe I could start a script OnObjectEnter that is paused 5 minutes and then starts. Does anyone have any suggestions/thoughts on whether this will work, and what other solutions you might have come up with?



        • 1. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

          For different reasons in one of our systems, we instituted something similar and in our particular case we found that most users who wanted this feature changed their mind after getting it (primariliy the "auto" commit of record if no response). It turns out they would be away from their desk perhaps working on the issue with the record (or on a smoking break ) and by the time they returned more than not didn't want to commit it so they'd have to go "fix" it. This client's management finally realized the issue was more of an administrative or people issue than a system issue and we removed the feature and the staff was just trained and reminded that they had the responsibility to finish the transaction one way or another.


          Probably doesn't help you much for your needs but that was our experience.

          • 2. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

            I'm not sure which databases you have previously used but FileMaker automatically commits records.


            From the FileMaker manual:


            Committing data in records

            Unlike most word processing applications, FileMaker Pro saves your data as you work. This is called committing data. Data is committed when you:

            select another record

            click anywhere outside of the current field

            Windows: press Enter on the numeric keypad, or Ctrl+Enter on computers without a numeric keypad

            Mac OS: press Enter (not Return)

            switch to another mode


            Hope this helps.

            • 3. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

              Thanks for the details, but we are talking about when a user is stuck on step #2.  Thanks though.

              • 4. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

                Having used FileMaker for ten years, I've not experienced this issue with my users. However, I try to follow best practices and never make programming changes when folks are actively using the database. I also use a separation model, so I rarely make any changes in the data file schema.


                So, if your users are getting distrtacted while entering data in a field and you want a committed record, it appears that the only way to insure that is to use the OnObjectModify script trigger. However, that would likely cause performance issue with the database. I'm also not sure that this will help your issue as FileMaker locks the record as long as any user has it open. Good luck.

                • 5. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records
                  Stephen Huston

                  I encounter these now about once a week with our network of users, usually when I need to edit in Define Fields, but one or more users has an uncommitted record in taht table.


                  I consider it a people/training issue, and just have to track down the offending clients. More often than not, the user is busy in another program, away from their desk, or even just in another window -- usually completely unaware they have a locked record which is uncommitted to the server.


                  I always remind them that their edits to that record have not been committed and would be lost if their session times out. Gradually they are learning that their work is at risk, so they make this mistake a little less often than they did a couple of years ago, when it was almost daily.


                  Running a looping script on a timer  creates some serious client overhead in a multi-file/window system. I opted for the slow process of retraining -- partially successful.

                  • 6. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

                    Thanks for the response Stephen.  I am mulling this one over for now, I think I'll test implement a script trigger just to see how it affects the speed.  Will let you know how it goes. 


                    Along this line, you know the error you get in Define Fields when someone is working in a record?  It gives the "Send Message" option to alert the user...have you ever tried using that?  I used to think it was a great feature, until I realized that the offender's Filemaker doesn't seem to receive the message most of the time.  I haven't checked in a while since I gave up on it.  Wondering if it's a common problem, or just me.

                    • 7. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

                      No, it's not just you. I found this too, and it usually bit when a user had switched to another window, leaving an uncommitted record in the first window. This was in a system that had started life in FileMaker v5 or earlier. Thankfully it was a small company, so sneaker-netting to the relevant desk was not a problem...

                      • 8. Re: Users forgetting to commit their records

                        Hey Rob,




                        “Sneaker-netting”, I really like that!  Good one.