5 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2015 4:30 PM by philmodjunk

    Am I on the right track?



      Am I on the right track?


      I am brand new to FM, learning through a step by step book, but due to time constraints I wanted to check if I have the concept right? I'm concerned that I might be thinking this all wrong. I am thinking that I would build a table to contain timekeeping records and use other tables as lookups for each of the fields i.e., employee, task, location?

      I started reading the look up process and am wondering if I have my concept correct. I thought I should do a "sound check" as I build this data base. It will be loaded onto an IPad from a windows desktop and an update email sent from the Ipad daily to load into the db timekeeping table possibly using a form?

      I am so "Access" trained I need to wrap my head around a whole new way to build it seems.  Thanks so much.

        • 1. Re: Am I on the right track?

          Access and FileMaker are both relational databases. If you ever used the "relationships" form in Access to set up relationships in Access, this is not terribly different from Access. (But in Access, this is an option as you can choose to set up all relationships inside SQL queries where in FileMaker it's pretty much a requirement.)

          Yes, related tables for other types of data employees, tasks and locations makes sense for FileMaker as in any other relational database. But they might not be lookup tables as this term is commonly used. "Lookup" frequently means to copy data from a related table into the parent table. That will not be necessary for what you describe in most cases though referencing the data in the related table will be.

          • 2. Re: Am I on the right track?

            Thank  you so much! I hate to ask but when say you "not necessary in most cases" how then would you accomplish this? It doesn't sound like I need a look up. For instance I have built a relationship in the Employee table to the" Employee" Timekeeping Table . I don't see immediately how to have say a drop down selection box to pick from? Do I  need to further myself with "views" is that how to accomplish this? Thank you so much for your help, I so appreciate the guidance.. 

            • 3. Re: Am I on the right track?

              You can set ups systems that look up (copy) data from a related table or you can just add a reference to the field from the related table--such as dropping a field from a related table's Tutorial: What are Table Occurrences? onto your layout or by adding a portal (think sub form) to that related table if there are multiple related records to display and edit.

              But it is not clear in your post what you want to accomplish with that drop down. It could be used to enter the ID number (key) of a related record in order to link the two records via a defined relationship. That would be the case if you created a new time record and selected an employee ID for an employee from a drop down list. I will warn you that compared with Access, value lists in FileMaker are quite primitive. Much can still be accomplished with FMP 13 or newer by setting up controls inside a popover however.

              But that same drop down list could be used to find records in a scripted find so it would help to describe what you need.

              • 4. Re: Am I on the right track?

                Thank you so much for your help, it's getting brighter now!

                I have been asked to create a timekeeping system that will eventually load into QuickBooks via an Excel Spreadsheet. It is a farming business (friend) currently using clipboards and such and they have purchased an Ipad for their field supervisor. My thinking was Filemaker seems perfect for the Ipad and the email can be sent to the office using an Excel format. OR I create a link which is way beyond my scope at the present time. I figured for the quick solution that I could create the db, copy it to the Ipad as those lookup fields don't really change that much.

                The fields needed are employee name, activity, farm (several) locations, date, and time in/out, . The employee name, activity, and location are all look up type fields so that's what I need to accomplish I think.

                I haven't gotten to the chapter on "sub forms" or "scripted" yet so bear with me, I"m thinking that's very much like queries or sql in access.

                Again, thank you so much for your guidance and help. I  hope I am still friends with my friend after all of this! 

                • 5. Re: Am I on the right track?

                  Sub Form is a Form construct in MS Access that corresponds to using a Portal in FileMaker. I referred to it as a way to help you use what you know about Access to get something working in FileMaker. FileMaker is very different from Access in a number of ways so don't be surprised if you reach for a tool that works just fine in Access but which needs a completely different too to accomplish the same thing in FileMaker.