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In praise of repeating fields and repeating global variables

Question asked by NickLightbody on Jul 25, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 30, 2014 by Oliver_Reid

Reading some old stuff recently warning folk about the dangers of using repeating fields - after FileMaker had become relational - it occurred to me how many design problems I could not have solved without them and though perhaps we should have a thread exploring what folk are using these repeating field and variables at present?


(1) I have used repeating fields as a method of storing different language strings for a couple of years now as - for me - a preferred method of easily swopping languages. The user picks the language "n" they wish to use and the nth repeat from each field in the language table is published by setting the relevent global variables. So the Ui is populated with global variables which display whichever is the currently selected langauge.

Pros: fast, very easy to maintain, rock solid and no relationships required for langauge

Cons: none known


(2) Having recently designed an new very fast App for mobile I had a need to add and remove - at will - a series of text labels from within data fields displayed to the user. Extracting strings and storing them for later reuse in a repeating field in the relevant data record turned out to be the best method I could find - mainly because of the convenience of being able to cycle through the processing of the data using repeat n + 1 etc - any method not using a repeating field would have been many time more laborious and hence too slow to use. As it is this procedure - running server side - generally only takes .5 sec from a mobile device - so ti is sufficiently efficient for the purpose.

Pros: fast enough, easy to script

Cons: none known


So there are my starters - I look forward to hearing what other folk use these invaluable features for.


Cheers, Nick