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I'm a little unclear whether Categories and Brands are the same thing, or whether a Brand belongs to a Category. I'm assuming that there's a hierarchy of Category > Brand > Model, so these will be your tables. In Brands, you'll have a foreign key back to Categories, and in Models you'll have a foreign key back to Brands.
As ever, there are many ways to implement the value lists, but I would probably have global fields in Categories and Brands. When the user selects a Category, set the gCategoryID global field to that key value. Make a relationship from Categories to Brands using that global field, and use that for your value list, showing related values only. Do the same for Models within a selected Brand.
Once the user has selected a Model, you can populate the Model key in the Invoice Line Items record using Set Field, either via a button (as you said), or via a script trigger when the Model is selected (if you want less work for the user!).
Hope that helps,
Once you have your relational model figured out, the Virtual Value List module can help you filter the items that appear in your drop-down menu without having to clutter your relationship graph with a bunch of single-purpose table occurrences.
Thank you! Most helpful. There are a number of other variables involved, so a bit more planning to do before I attempt this-- will report back.
Thanks! I'm going to investigate this, the Virtual Value List module looks appealing, but need to do more homework first..