12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2012 4:18 PM by cirobruno

    Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.



      Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.


           Dear sirs, good Morning.


           I'm new to File Maker. I know what to do, but don't know how to do in FM. I'm trying to create an "Offers" database and I can't figure out how to select data from related tables. Let me give details of what I've been doing.


           I've created 3 tables:

           1) Customers table, with all data related to each customer (name, company, e-mail, phone, etc.)

           2) Products table, with all data about each product (part #, name, description, price, etc.)

           3) Offers table, with sequential offer number, date and other fields. This table is supposed to receive for each record a related customer from Customers table and a set of products from Products table.


           Ok, my issue is to understand and implement in Offers table the selection of customer and products for each Offers' record. I have already created relationships from Customers table in Offers table., but when I create a new record in Offers, I can find no means to select a customer


           I mean, I expect to create a new Offer ("+" button) and find in the layout a mean to select a customer and to select products to build the offer.


           Any tips? Thank you.

           Regards, Ciro.


        • 1. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

               Here's a demo file you can look at. Since you are likely using FileMaker 12, you will need to use Open from the file menu to create a converted copy of the file:

               It's a simple invoicing demo and shows how you can select items from a value list and add them to a Line Items portal on the invoice.

          • 2. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                 Phil, it seems that there's no attachment in your post. Maybe you've forgotten to attach the file or it can have been filtered by the forum.


                 Regarding the items list, how does the Offers table structure behaves with a set of unknow quantity of items inside? Does it create a new table to store items regarding every offer?

                 Still, how should I configure a field to store the pointers (or IDs) of each contained item? What kind of field should I create? How should I prepare its presentation in layout view?


                 Too many questions... I don't want to abuse your attention. I'd like to find information about that in the user guide or in some tutorial. What should I search for (term or concept) when I browse somewhere seeking for information about it?


                 Thank you.

                 Regards, Ciro.

            • 3. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                   here's the link: http://fmforums.com/forum/showpost.php?post/309136/

                   If you examine how this demo file works, it should help answer your questions.


                        Does it create a new table to store items regarding every offer?

                   No. Filemaker cannot dynamically create new tables. You create and modify new records rather than new tables.

              • 4. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                     Ok, thank you.

                     The page is currently unavailable ("There appears to be an error with the database."). I'll try again later.

                     But, anyway it seems that i must go through scripts to build the items list in my offers, isn't it?

                     Regards, Ciro.

                • 5. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                       No you do not. You can define relationships between tables and  use a value list such that selecting a value from the value list enters an ID number that then references data in a related table--either copying the data into fields in your current record or just displaying the data from the related record in the other table.

                       Your starter solution has a similar database example: Invoices, but the above sample file is "stripped down" to bare essentials which makes it much easier to understand and learn from.


                  • 6. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                         Ok, but doing so I can have one item for each offer. I've selected one item to compose my offer. I can see it in layout as well as in table view.

                         But how to attribute many items to each offer? That's the key doubt.

                         Thank you. Regards, Ciro.

                    • 7. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                           And that's why I want to to take a look at the demo file. You use a related LineItems table in a portal for selecting multiple items for one "invoice" or "offer" in your case.

                      • 8. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                             I understand what you say. I'll keep trying to open it. I'd like to keep counting with your help.

                             Meanwhile I've oppened a Initial Solution database called "Invoices". It works great. It works fine and I could even start my development from there. But what's in there in that black box? I can see it works, but how? FM should distribute an explanatory documentation together with it, shouldn't?

                             Thank you.

                             Regards, Ciro.

                        • 9. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                               The starter solutions are fully open for your to examine all parts of its design. Learning how to do so would be a good next step in furthering yoru education. You can open Manage | Database to see the database design. You can enter layout mode to examine the design of a layout and Manage | Scripts can be used to examine the scripts that have been created in this file.

                               I just clicked the link in my ealier post. I opened to the Fm Forums forum--another forum on filemaker and a good one. It exposed the down load link and I was able to click it and download the file as expected. This downloads a zip file so you will need to extract the file from the zip file before you can examine how it is designed.


                          • 10. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                                 I've got it. I've just downloaded the files attached in forum (PO.fp7 and InvoicesDemo.fp7) and converted them to fmp12 format. Those databases seem to have been built to allow one to watch to specific details, without distractions.

                                 I'm taking a look at them, but I'd be glad to hear your comments.


                                 Regarding the Starter Solutions, I don't think reverse engineering would be the most productive way of learning concepts. Every concept or technik is implemented through a set of associated tools. It can be hard to understand the concept looking at tools isolatelly. The first challenge will be to distinguish the implemented tools by purpose. It would be equivalent to think that we can understand how a car engine works just by looking at its parts.


                                 Thank you very much.



                            • 11. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                                   I wasn't trying to say that. Just indicating that they are far from a "black box". There are numerous training resources available for learning about Filemaker. There are even how to videos on YouTube as well as a number of books on the subject.

                                   We'll be glad to help you out here as well, but a forum is best suited to asking specific questions where the training materials give you a broader foundation on which to work when developing your first database.

                              • 12. Re: Beginner: Creating an "Offers" database.

                                     I agree that forums are suposed to help on specific doubts.

                                     But I tinhk that FM doesn't provide any document or manual to explain the software concepts. The users' guide jumps over concepts, going from the very basic concepts of database in chapter 2 directly towards the explaination of tools. Software concepts is the missing chapter in FM manual.

                                     If I knew how the software concepts were, I'd know what to search in the manuals. You can see by my questions that I'm not able to say what tool I have difficulties with. I just can say what effect or behavior I need to achieve. I know exactly the database concept, I have several documents explaining FM tools, but there's a missing link: FM concepts.

                                     Maybe I'll find what I need in youtube or in books, but what should I search for? "How to" what? I'd say that I need to know how to implement a "set"-type field in FM. As far as I've learned in high scool, a sales items list is a set-type database containing specific kind of objects without a predifined number of registers. That's what I need to do. FM doesn't call it "set-type" field. Probably doesn't deal with it as a field, as a pointers field that points to a dynamic doughter table.

                                     So, without any clue, all terms I'd use to search ("set type", "pointers field", "daughter table", etc.) will return no result. The best available resource is a Starter Solution that does what I want and the learning method is the reverse engineering. That's why I'm shooting randomically.

                                     At the end, I ask: why not a "Software Concepts" chapter, explaining basic and advanced concepts of the software itself?

                                     I understand what you say, but I'm exploring the resources offered by File Maker web site, where customer is supposed to dowload, purchase and get started. Moreover, I live in Brazil and here there's no regular training class to support the learning process.

                                     I appreciate your help. In fact I'm in shame of asking such unspecific questions. I'm sorry. I just want to find the track.

                                     Thank you very much.

                                     Regards, Ciro.