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Auto-expanding Table

Question asked by VictorSierra on Apr 7, 2010
Latest reply on Apr 8, 2010 by philmodjunk


Auto-expanding Table


Is it possible to have a table automatically grow as needed? I'm making a database that keeps logs of indefinite lengths. Each logbook record will have approximately 4 dozen fields explaining what the logbook is about, when it was taken, and contact information on the people that took the information. This part is easy to do in FileMaker, but connecting the actual log entries to the logbook record itself is proving difficult (impossible?). A log entry consists of anything from a few words to a two-paragraph explanation, a timestamp, and a field with the initials of the person entering it; a logbook contains an indefinite number of log entries.


My background is with PHP and MySQL. If I were doing this project the way I would like, I would have three tables: logs, log_entries, and people. The relationships would be as follows:


log (has many) log_entries

log_entries (belongs to) log

people (belongs to many) log_entries

log (has many) people 


PHP allows me to manipulate these tables outside of the confines of the FileMaker interface, which does not seem to have an obvious way to do what I'm trying to do. Right now, I have three text fields for the log entries. One field is a timestamp, the other is the initials, and the final holds the message. As you might imagine, this becomes difficult when records are inserted out of order, as line breaks control the boundary between different log entries. I've tried using FileMaker Portals, but they do not display well in the User interface. Their height and width is fixed. I can enter more text into these fields manually, but as soon as I click into another row, the text is cut short. On the flip side, if the log entry is only a few words, there is a large gap between log entries. The portal does not dynamically resize in the vertical direction 


Because the entire organization is using FileMaker Pro, they are looking for a solution using FMP and not PHP. I would sincerely appreciate any help this forum would provide. 


Here's the info on FileMaker: 


Filemaker Pro 10.0v3

Mac OS X 10.6.3 (Build 10D573)

My Filemaker Experience: Very, very little

Currently not using web publishing or network sharing, but I would like to implement this in the future.