By linking your two tables in a relationship, you can simply add the fields from the Customer table to your Dockets and Progress layout. When you select a customer, these fields from customer will then display the information from that customer record.
BUT, what happens if you get two customers with identical first and last names? What if "Mary Smith" informs you that she is now "Mary Jones" do to a change in marital status? Or you set up 5 or 6 records in Dockets and Progress for John Smith before learn his name is really John Schmidt?
Define an auto-entered serial number field in Customers and use it instead of the customer name field to link your Dockets and Progress records to a customer records. You can set up a value list for this ID number that lists ID numbers from Customers in field 1 and the customer's name in field 2. (If you have separate first and last name fields, use a calculation field that combines the two for this field 2 option in the value list.)
I know that auto-complete option is nice and using a serial number based ID eliminates that option, but it's better to avoid the above issues by using an ID than to use a name based relationship just so you can use an auto-complete enabled value list of names.
Fortunately, once you get those basics working for you, you can have both. You can set up a text search field formatted with your auto-complete equipped list of customer names with a script that finds all customer records with that text and either:
- Displays an error if no customers match
- Enters the customerID if just one customer record matches
- Displays a list of matching records when more than one record matches with additional data to help the user tell which person they want. Clicking a name in this list selects that customer's ID and enters it into your Dockets and Progress Record.
Thanks. I was almost there. Thanks for the tip to reference serial numbers instead of Names. Should save possible issues later on.
Here's a demo file that shows several ways to set up an enhanced search method so that you can related records by ID number, but use an auto-complete enabled drop down list of names or a "partial match" text pattern to make it easier to select the correct record: