12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2009 11:26 AM by TSGal

    A Multiple Year Field



      A Multiple Year Field


      Hello, I'm a newbie with the FileMaker Pro application. I am trying to put together a database of people that have been to a summer camp over many years. I am using the contact management template, but I need a field in which I can put multiple years, e.g. 2006, 2007, for those contacts/people who have been to the camp multiple and/or consecutive years. Is there a way to do this? I would appreciate any help at all.

      Thank you,


        • 1. Re: A Multiple Year Field

          One way would be to use a field containing checkboxes for the applicable years. You can do searches for the years, and they could be displayed on the input layout. You would, of course, need to add additional one as time goes forward.


          If you want to include camp counselors and such, you would add a related table so that you could later pull up a counselor and see the campers he or she had during particular years. To do that you would use a portal on the campers layout and add a new record for each year along with the additional information for that year.

          • 2. Re: A Multiple Year Field

            That would be great, although I'm still learning portals. However, the camp goes back to 1950 so to have all those years in a form like that would take a lot of space up, yes? Is there a textual way to just type in multiple years into a field?


            Thanks for responding!,


            • 3. Re: A Multiple Year Field

              You could type them into a Text field as a returned-separated list. The net result of this is the same as using checkboxes.


              The real question here is what do you intend to do with this information later - since there are some limits to this format. A better way would be to enter into them into a portal as individual records in a related table, as suggested earlier.

              • 4. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                Well of the possible uses - making lists of people from only a certain year or years of the camp, to be able to print a list of say, 2008 alone, or the years 1960-1983, etc. I guess I will have to investigate how to use a portal more. I'm not seeing how the solution there, but as I said, this is all new to me.


                Thank you again,


                • 5. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                  With a return-separated list, it's quite easy to find people in a given year or a range. But if you think you willl want a report of people by year, then you should definitely use a related table for the years.



                  The method in a nutshell:


                  1. Define a table of Years, with fields for PersonID and Year.

                  2. Define a relationship between the People table and Years, matching on PersonID. Check 'Allow creation of records…' on the side of Years.

                  3. Place a portal into the Years table on a layout of People, with the Year field in it.

                  4. Type the years into the portal, year per row.

                  • 6. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                    Sadly, that is still too complicated for me. I think I will begin a simple database using Bento and keep learning how to use FileMaker. Thank you for your responses, though. I really do appreciate them.


                    Thanks again,


                    • 7. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                      I, for similar reasons, have created a table "Years" wherein Year is the only field and therefore the match field to related tables. I can then create a layout based on the Years table and display any record (or group of records) from any related table with records matching the year . . . using portals or not. Of course the records in the Years table must be populated with years from the earliest relevant year to the "foreseeable future". 


                      • 8. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                        Well, I don't think Bento will do what I need either. Is it possible that one of you kind responders could send me a sample of what you are creating, because I cannot figure it out. 


                        All I really want is to create a field to put a year or years in - but I also can't figure out how to let me just put a year and not have day or month attached. I keep getting the "must be a valid date" error when I try to put only a year. 


                        I'm using the contact template - so I would love to have all the fields (I'll just delete the ones that I won't use) and just add a " Year(s) " title with a Years field. I guess it would be complicated, but I was hoping it wouldn't be too terribly complicated!


                        For example


                        First Name

                        Last Name


                        Year(s) Attended



                        Anyway, I will keep doing things by trial and error. If anyone would like to make a sample, I would appreciate it, but I know it's extra work.


                        Thanks for all the responses,


                        • 9. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                          Filemaker is relatively easy to learn, but it is by no means intuitive - IMHO, one cannot learn it by trial and error.


                          I'd suggest you start by doing the tutorial. Then use the help file for detailed instructions how to implement the steps I have outlined.

                          • 10. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                            RickWhitelaw wrote:

                            I, for similar reasons, have created a table "Years" wherein Year is the only field and therefore the match field to related tables. 

                            Just to clarify, that is NOT what I suggested. The idea here is to have a table where there is a record for each Person/Year combination. This is the only way one can produce a summarized report in the form of:



                            • Adam

                            • Betty



                            • Betty

                            • Cecil


                            • 11. Re: A Multiple Year Field

                              I went through the tutorial... I will look through it again, I didn't see anything in there that addressed my problem. But I will now also attempt to use the help file.




                              • 12. Re: A Multiple Year Field



                                Thank you for your posts.


                                Since there can be many contacts to a year, and many years to a contact, the preferred method would be to have three tables.  However, since you are a "newbie" and having difficulty understanding some concepts, I have sent a sample file to our Technical Support liaison that should be sent to you shortly.  You can look through it and see if it makes any sense to you.  The explanation will be in the email.



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