automated revision tracking and sorting
I'm new to filemaker pro (I have version 11) but not to scripting (although it's been a long long time). I am running windows7, 64-bit.
I am a scientist at a University and I have a series of data that I need to manage. This data will be changing through time and I want to keep track of these changes. I want to be able to look at the latest for a given project or experiment, but i want all previous entries to be retained.
For example, let's say I have the following fields: (of course it is more complicated than this, but to illustrate my point I think this will suffice).
project # (this is a number)
experiment # (this is also a number)
notes (this will be text)
so I would have the following records, for example:
project: 1, experiment: 1, notes: blah-blah
project: 1, experiment: 2, notes: bloo-bloo
project: 1, experiment: 3, notes: blee-blee
project: 2, experiment: 1, notes: bluk-bluk
and so on ...
now, I want to go and edit project: 1, experiment: 2 and change the notes field to yaya-yaya
What i want is for there to be a record of this change.
My solution is to create a "revision" field for each record. This is filled with a timestamp (date/time) for when it was created. So when I want to edit the record, I first click 'duplicate" which will create a duplicate record with a new timestamp. I then make my changes. Now I can just look for the record with the latest timestamp.
So in our example, I'd have:
project: 1, experiment: 2, notes: bloo-bloo, revision: 5/17/2010 8:56:26 AM
project: 1, experiment: 2, notes: yaya-yaya, revision: 5/19/2010 4:26:46 PM
The approach seems like a decent one, but if there is a better one, I'd love to hear it.
Also, I'm trying to figure out how to do this automatically. I'd love things to be automatic. I think I could make a script that would trigger the "duplicate" command whenever I make a change. I don't know how to do that though, but i'm trying to figure it out.
The other probelm is how to display the data. I only want to see the latest of each record, but i don't know enough on how to control the display. I want to see all the projects and experiments, but, if there is a duplicate project AND experiment then to only display the one with the latest revision.
So .... any ideas on how to best accomplish this?
My cursory look at the scripting commands and the power of the sort seems to indicate that filemaker pro can do this.
Any help would be appreciated. As I said, I'm quite computer literate and do have some scriptiing knowledge, but not with filemaker pro. And by no means am I an expert, but I should be able to understand enough to get this done ... with some help.
Thanks in advance!