I have a frustratingly eclectic background with FileMaker and I need some advice on a strategy to lock records (or portions of records) once the record has been created.
My needs are simple but that doesn't mean it's easy! Here's what I imagine being able to do. The database is for tracking firearms so the ATF puts some rather severe constraints on me.
I have a form that has 3 sections; 1) all the info about the gun (serial number, caliber, country of origin, etc.) 2) I have a section that deals with the ACQUISITION of the fiream (date, who made the record, who did it go to, were they an FFL holder or an individual, etc.) 3) the DISPOSITION of the firearm (just the same fields as the "acquisistion" side). The ATF (technically the BATFE) requires that once a transaction is recorded it can NEVER be altered (as the DBA, I can, of course). So what I envision doing is this...
They fill out the "gun info". Once they're happy with their entry they swipe a switch that locks that part of the record. Then they do the same for the acquistion portion of the record. Once they are satisfied and all data validation is satisfied, they swipe a "lock switch" on that part of the record. When they go to sell the firearm, it's the same as the acquisistion side... fill in the record... are you happy... swipe the switch... and CLICK... it's locked for ever. Some parts are never or rarely locked like having the ability to add a "note" to the record.
My problem is that while I've been using FileMaker since BEFORE version 1.0 (I used to date the rep for Nashoba Systems!) and have used almost every version, its been for mostly mundane LAN admin "ditties". I delve deep into a few features, know the basics of scripting but what I'm trying to do now is like trying to overhaul an engine, looking at a tool box and saying "hmmm.... will I use a hammer... or should I start with a belt sander? Duhhhhh."
There's so many functions and tools and approaches I could take it makes my head spin. I'll figure it out but I hate spending days of work only to find I chose the wrong STRATEGY, if you know what I mean.
Here's one thing I did that "almost" worked. I made any one of those parts that I wanted to lock and I put a great big button over all the fields to lock (including the "lock" switch) behind the button. Then I used "conditional formatting" to make that big button transparent if the lock was open and opaque if it's locked... of course that didn't work... the fields are accessabe no matter if they're in front of an object or not. But it COULD HAVE been cool! Oh well.
I see a bunch of "functions" in my tool box for managing security and could go that route but it just doesn't feel right. Is there code that I could come up with that says "If FIELD-A = 'true' then prohibit modification of FIELD-B" 'cause that's what I'm trying to do. I don't particularly want the code (although that would be nice), I just want to know if can be done and pointed in the general direction.