7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2012 1:04 PM by dianadjones

    Adding Layout to Starter Solution



      I am using an "Invoice" starter solution. It has an invoice layout that is connected to "customer" and "products" data bases. I have adapted it to my needs and it works perfectly. I now need to add a layout for purchase orders and one for proposals. Both of these should work just like the invoice layout using data from the customer and products data bases.


      Can anyone give me some pointers on how to get started? I seem to be getting the sequencing all wrong. I have been using FM 5 for many years, but am new to FM 11.



        • 1. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution

          Hi Diana,


          First, lets clarify what each addition is accually doing. A Purchase order in the strict sense of the term is an order from your company to buy goods and/or services from a vendor. Is this what you are wanting to add??

          If infact you are looking for a layout to enter Purchase Orders received from your customer. That is a Sales order on your side of the transaction. The difference between the two makes a great deal of difference when you begin to create your tables and relationships to add the layout functionality.


          Proposals are usually prose as apposed to a quote which appears more as a invoice of sorts. Does your proposal look more like a letter with paragaphs or an estimate with line items?





          proof reading correction : Message was edited by: timwhisenant

          • 2. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution

            Hi Tim

            The purchase order is from our company to our vendors.  We have in our products data base all the items we use from several different companies.  We pull these products up by using the vendor item number, including our purchase price and discount, to include them in the purchase order.  I add items and make changes to the product list once or twice a year.


            Our proposal form to our customers does basically the same thing.  We pull up the item numbers with their purchase price using the vendor item number.  So all three forms can be pretty much the same, with just different pricing.  I know how to do the calculations and any differences in how the forms print.


            I have tried to duplicate the invoice files and change names, etc.  When I do this, the new files end up with no fields in the manage database function.  I don't know if this is the correct route to take or if I just need to start out with a blank page.  And if I start out with a blank page for this complicated a form, I don't know where to start.....creating a new layout, adding fields, creating a relationship or whatever.  Thanks.....Diana

            • 3. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution




              First things first, Tables - You need a vendor table( should look like customers table with obvious changes ), Purchase table( like invoices with obvious changes ), Purchase Line item table ( you know the drill.... like line items), and a receivings table where you receive the orders into products (qty, last price, etc)

              Do you know how to add tables? You can duplicate and change names?


              Go to the Relationships tab

              and link the tables like the invoices group.


              then duplicate the products table Related Products and link it to the Purchase Line Item table like in the invoices group.


              Next duplicate the products table again and link the receivings table to purchasing to lineitems   and to the duplicate products table.


              After all the tables above are linked, then turn your attention to the fields and change / modify them to reflect the table they are in i.e. customer ID change to  vendor ID, etc.


              Post back when you get this far or have questions. The idea is to create the tables, relationships, fields, then layouts. Once the purchasing part is added and working then work on the proposal part.





              Use copy, then paste buttons at the bottom of the manage database screen to duplicate tables.   Message was edited by: timwhisenant

              • 4. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution

                Hi Tim

                Thanks!  I will start working on it, but might not get too far until next week.  I will let you know how it turns out....Diana

                • 5. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution


                  This is an idea of what your relationship graph will look like after step one. Now when you go to each table and change the names filemaker will change them here, so not to worry.It is not necessary at this stage to get every single field defined. That can come latter.

                  Happy Filemaking,


                  • 6. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution

                    Hi Tim


                    Here is what I have done.  It doesn't work yet.  I created a table named Purchase Orders.  Then I went to the relationships tab and duplicated the invoices box and renamed it Purchase Orders.  Then I linked it up just like the invoices relationships.  But when I duplicated the Line Items box, it is named Line Items 2.  Same for Invoice Billing Customer and Invoice Shipping Customer and Related Products.


                    Then I duplicated the invoices files and renamed them for Purchase order files.  But all the fields are saying "unrelated field". And the fields tab for Purchase Orders shows no fields. 


                    I don't need a separate vendor file.  We just keep all these in the same file for customers.  We also don't need receiving for products.  We are dealers for several lines of industrial materials handling equipment, so when we sell an item, it is produced and shipped directly to the customer from the manufacturer.  The products file should be the same file for PO's, proposals and invoices.  Can it be done this way?  Thanks......Diana

                    • 7. Re: Adding Layout to Starter Solution



                      OK, seems you missunderstood my instructions. But none-the-less, lets work with where you are. Can you post a copy of your relationship graph after you make these changes?

                      Purchase Orders is a new table in your table list, correct? Purchase Order Line Items also needs to be a new table. Link up the Purchase Orders table occurance to the Purchase Orders Line Items table occurance and branch off from this group your products and customers table occurances you just created. One products table can be represented on the graph by many table occurances, yes, using the same table is OK.

                      Set up the Proposals table and a proposals Line Items as well.


                      Believe me you do NOT want to use the same line items table for all three (Invoices, PO's & Proposals). It sounds good, but a compound line items table will sooner or later cause more headaches that it's worth. Each function should be it's own island and script the jumping of lines between.


                      Make sure each table has a ID (serial number) field and draw the relationships to and from it, just like the invoices table occurance group. Also, I would add a Created timestamp and a modified timestamp in each table. There will come a time someday when you will need to know this data.


                      Once again you need to get all the tables and relationships worked-out first, then all the other modifications work much more smoothly.