8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2012 12:59 PM by philmodjunk

    3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.

    BenjaminDrayton

      Title

      3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.

      Post

      Hi there,

       

      I'm very new to the filemaker software and in fact any database managment software. I have created a database for the company I work for to replace their old one but there are a few tweaks needed before I'm fully satisfied.

       

      The first is whether it is possible to display two columns of records in the list view. This would be a great help as I need to display many objects side by side so that their pictures can be compared.

       

      The second tweak is that I need a better foolproof way of searching. My boss is basically computer illiterate and I'm worried he'll forget to press the find button before entering the search terms, therefore mindlessly destroying the database. Also I need to be able to search between minimum and maximum measurements without using operators as I think that will confuse him.

       

      The final and minor tweak is that I would love to write or put in place a script that converts metric measurements (which I already have) into feet and inches and therefore have a field of measurements in feet and inches. I have looked into this a bit and can't seem to get anywhere. I have purchased the 'Missing Manual' series book for filemaker and am hoping to learn how to do it from there but would love some help on the topic.

       

      I do realise I'm asking a huge amount and there probably aren't any answers to my questions but I would love to hear any solutions to the problems I have above.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Ben

        • 1. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
          philmodjunk

          The first is whether it is possible to display two columns of records in the list view. This would be a great help as I need to display many objects side by side so that their pictures can be compared.

          You can design a two column layout using settings in layout setup and then preview the layout to show both columns. This works for viewing and printing data, but not for editing the data.

          You can also use relationships so that portals or just the fields from related table are used to place data from a related table in two or more columns.

          I need a better foolproof way of searching. My boss is basically computer illiterate and I'm worried he'll forget to press the find button before entering the search terms, therefore mindlessly destroying the database. Also I need to be able to search between minimum and maximum measurements without using operators as I think that will confuse him

          Did you perhaps ask that question separately? I believe that another poster has answered that question in your other post with an excellent sample script on how to do this.

          By having your users enter search data into separate global fields--whether on the layout or popped up in a custom dialog, you keep them from entering the criteria directly in the fields while in browse mode and this protects your data. For "range" searches you can have one field for the minimum value and a second for the maximum value. Then a script enters find mode and uses the ... operator to construct the search. If this was the case of another poster asking exactly the same question and you can't find that other thread, feel free to reply back here and I'll post an example script.

          • 2. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
            BenjaminDrayton

            Thank you for your swift answer. I have managed to set it up in two columns in preview mode but the preview is just of one page. I guess this is a limitation of that method so I will look into using relationships.

            I haven't posted before on this forum and can't seem to find the post you mention. Would it be possible for you to post the example script? I don't really know what to search for.

            Thanks again for all your help.

            • 3. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
              philmodjunk

              Must have been two posters with the same question...

              This example searches on criteria entered for a single field, name, but you can then extend it to work with multiple fields and can even build very sophisticated finds with multiple criteria, date ranges, omit requests, extend and contstrain found set, etc....

              Define a global field, gNameSearch and put it on a layout where the user can enter data. Alternatively, you can use Show Custom Dialog to pop up a dialog where you specify gNameSearch as an input field...

              #After user has entered data in gNameSearch...
              Enter Find Mode [] //clear the pause check box
              Set Field [YourTable::NameField ; YourTable::gNameSearch]
              Set Error capture [on]
              Perform Find []

              • 4. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
                BenjaminDrayton

                Thank you very much for your help. I know I'm probably being really stupid but I just can't get this max min search to work. I have tried everything from relational tables and portals to scripts but just can't seem to get it to work. Could you possibly give me an example of a script that would work for searching maximum and minimum values of length and width? It would be much appreciated as this is driving me mad!

                • 5. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
                  philmodjunk

                  That appears to be a new question. The issue with "max" and "min" values is that you don't have a specified value that you can use as search crteria. Instead, you have to use some kind of sorting strategy where the max or min value is then the first or last of the set of sorted records. This can be a found set of records or a set of related records. (You can specify a sort order as part of a relationship or in a portal to the related records.)

                  Exactly how you do that in your database depends on the design of your database and how you intend to use the maximum and minimum values.

                  (And both summary and calcualtion fields can return maximum and minimum values--without identifiying the specific record with that value.)

                  • 6. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
                    BenjaminDrayton

                    I purchased the missing manual series book on Filemaker Pro and it has been very helpful in explaining a few issues. It has a part where it teaches you to create a search function in which you can specify a start and end date for invoices. It is teaching this in the context of how to use relational databases.

                    It starts by explaining that you need to make global fields in a new table then it says the rules are:

                    Invoice Finder_INVOICE FINDER::gStart Date < Invoice Finder_Invoices::Date

                    AND

                    Invoice Finder_INVOICE FINDER::gEnd Date > Invoice Finder_Invoices::Date

                    I totally understand this logic it makes perfect sense, the only problem is applying it. It becomes especially confusing when it's using the terminology for the specific Invoice tutorial and I can't seem to translate it into what I'm doing.

                    The steps to carry out are (summarized): 1. Create new table and add global fields for start and end date, 2. Change the name of the table to Invoice Finder_INVOICE FINDER and add a new occurence of the Invoice table called Invoice Finder_INVOICES and a new occurence of the Jobs table called Invoice Finder_JOBS, 3. Drag the Job ID field from Invoice Finder_INVOICES to the Invoice Finder_JOBS Job ID field, 4. Edit relationship so that gStart Date < Date and do the same for end date, 5. Create a new layout and show records from Invoice Finder_INVOICE FINDER, 6. Add the two global fields and a portal based on Invoice Finder_INVOICES relationship, 7. Finally add script triggers to commit the record.

                    This is what I want to do but I cannot seem to get it to work. At the moment my database is just one table which stores all information including a length field and a width field. Is it possible to get this method to work? I realise you have helped me a lot so far and I don't want to be annoying and keep asking questions but it would be so great if you could give me a few hints. Thank you again for all your help so far!

                    • 7. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
                      BenjaminDrayton

                      P.S. Just to add, my problem is that nothing displays in the portal after following these steps

                      • 8. Re: 3 Questions: Columns in list view, search options and conversion scripts.
                        philmodjunk

                        This is what I want to do but I cannot seem to get it to work...

                         

                        First, I need to know what you have so I have something to start with in describing a possible solution. What is the purpose of this table? What besides a "length" do you have in it?

                        A portal requires a relationship between either two tables or a self join relationship between two occurrences of the same table.

                        Since you have "just one table", what does one record in this table represent?

                        What do you need to see on this layout and what do you need to see in the portal placed on it?