4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 10, 2012 10:46 AM by MichaelWeisenberg

    automating data entry on layout



      automating data entry on layout


           I am using an academic gradebook application.  I use one of my layouts to enter student attendance and participation credit by date. For this layout, I must create a new record for each date, class and student. To identify my student, I have placed a student ID field on my layout which is a unique field that relates to my student table. To simplify data entry in creating new records, I made my layout's student ID field a drop down with a value list consisting of all my student ID's. Nevertheless, it would be good if I could simplify data entry even further because, as it is, for each new record I create, I must look-up my student ID field from a roster before I can find it in my layout drop down list. 

           Is there any way to automate this process even further, perhaps through a script, so that, for example,  if I choose a related record with a different date for the same student, all I need to do is choose "new record", enter the new date and the proper student ID will populate my record? Alternatively, is there any way to setup my database so I do not have to enter a new attendance record for each student and each date? Other than the tedious manual entry needed in creating so many new records, my database is working well... but I am trying to automate as much as possible to make data entry easier. Thanks for any suggestions.


        • 1. Re: automating data entry on layout

               FMP version?  Operating  system version?
               Is there one Table? name of table(s)?

               File Menu > Maintain >  Table Tab will show  a list of tables.  > Relationships Tab will show how the Tables are related.

               A database with People and Events is commonly two Tables - People Table and Events Table.
               Each has a auto-entered unique serial # field for database management.
               And an auto-entered Creation Date Field for db management  -  often a auto-entered Modified Date Field.

               The People have a unique ID field with all their contact information.

               The Events are related to the People by their unique ID Field OR the unique Serial #  Field

               People  have many Events - Events have only  one People. (unless it is a soccer league OR you are tracking classes, students, teaching assistants, schedules, and grades)

               These are some of the Filemaker links I suggest may be of interest.  cheeky

          Home > Designing and creating databases > Creating a database > About planning a database

          About planning a database
               A well-designed database promotes consistent data entry and retrieval, and reduces the existence of duplicate data among the database tables. Relational database tables work together to ensure that the correct data is available when you need it. It’s a good idea to plan a database on paper first.
               Follow these general steps to plan a database:

          Relational Database Design 101 (part 1 of 3): Designing a Flat File Database

          Relational Database Design 101 (part 2 of 3)

          Relational Database Design 101 (part 3 of 3)


          The White Paper for FMP Novices is useful  - 
                                   Filemaker Free - Listing of free resources  - 

          Free unlocked templates are useful for examining design
                                   By Richard Carlton Consulting
                                   Starting Point -

                                   Donations -
                                   Recruiter -
                                   Data4Life -

          RCC Blog  - 
                                   By yzysoft.com  very clean and elegant Contacts | Products | Invoices | Letters
                                   Sample Database -

                                   A free calendar is available and can be integrated into your database
                                   Seedcode Calendar Free -
                                   Filemaker's  Online Help Pages
                                   FMP 12  http://www.filemaker.com/12help/index.html
                                   FMP 11  http://www.filemaker.com/11help/index.html
                                   FMP 9    http://www.filemaker.com/9help/index.html

          Looking at FMP business database demos is useful - some are fully useable
                                   The Excelisys Business Tracker V3.0  - 
                                   Filemaker released a FMP runtime database in 2007 for students called "Campus Productivity Kit" and is available online, notably at CNet
                                   Google "Campus Productivity Kit"    https://www.google.com/search?q="Campus+Productivity+Kit"

          WIN -  http://download.cnet.com/FileMaker-Campus-Productivity-Kit/3000-2124_4-10577579.html/

                                   You can rename the database from a .usr file to a .fp7 file and open in FMP 7 thru 11

          Lynda dot com has Filemaker Videos (portions are free)
                                   YouTube - Filemaker Videos

          FMTutorials Channel
                                   UK FileMaker Channel
                                   FileMaker, Inc. Channel
                                   Lynda.com Channel - Filemaker videos
                                   Dwayn Wright's Channel

                                   Soliant Consulting Channel

          Filemaker Academy Channel
                                   Skeleton Key Channel

                                   Accelerate Computer Training Channel
                                   Filemaker News

          Scoop.it is an information curation site - I discovered it three days ago 8/8/2012.
                                   This is my scoop it site  -  http://scoop.it/t/filemaker-info
                                   Another FMP Scoop.it site  - http://www.scoop.it/t/fm-news

          Filemaker Wikipedia  - 
                                   Filemaker - Version By Version  - 

          You can search specific Filemaker sites on this Custom Google Search


          • 2. Re: automating data entry on layout


                 Thanks for your response. If it would help, I am using FMP 12 with Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and I have attached a screenshot of my database relationships. The layout in question is based upon the Student Attendance_Class Participation Computation Table and uses a drop down unique Student ID field from that table (related to the Student ID  field in my join table). Thanks again for your assistance.



            • 3. Re: automating data entry on layout

                   First observation from your screen shot of your relationships is that simply selecting the student ID will fail to properly link it to a record in the Student Class Gradebook Join Table. You need to also select a value for the class identification table.

                   Two time saving options you may find usefule:

                   If you select Duplicate Record while on a layout based on the Student Class Attendance Participation Computation table, you can create a new record with the same values in your two match fields and then you simply edit any other fields in this record to correctly record the data that you need for that student.

                   You can write a script that loops through a set of records in Student Class Gradebook Join Table that creates one new matching record in Student Class Attendance Participation Computation:

                   //after you perform a find....
                   Go to Record/Request/Page [first]
                   Freeze Window
                      Set Variable [$StudentID ; value: Student Class Gradebook Join Table::Student ID ]
                      Set Variable [$ClassID ; value: Student Class Gradebook Join Table::Class Identification ]
                      Go to Layout [ "Student Class Attendance Participation Computation" (Student Class Attendance Participation Computation) ]
                      New Record/Request
                      Set Field [Student Class Attendance Participation Computation::Student ID ; $StudentID ]
                      Set Field [Student Class Attendance Participation Computation::Class Identification ; $ClassID ]
                      Go to Layout [<original layout>]
                      Go to Record/Request/Page [next ; exit after last ]
                   End Loop

              • 4. Re: automating data entry on layout

                     Thanks Phil... your suggestions are quite helpful to me! I will likely use your record duplication suggestion & then automate through a script if it becomes necessary. Thanks again!

                     BTW, I do select a value from Class ID in addition to Student ID when I create a new record for my attendance layout.