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Beginning Filmmaker Pro user requesting help building a database with a portal

Question asked by amanda on Nov 23, 2008
Latest reply on Dec 30, 2008 by raybaudi


Beginning Filmmaker Pro user requesting help building a database with a portal


Dear FileMaker Pro Community,

I am new to FileMaker Pro and I am writing because I need a little bit of help creating a database I have envisioned. The database I am trying to create is for my own personal use, an extremely simple, stripped down contact manager. I do not want or need any complicated advanced features- what I am trying to build is something simple, elegant, pure and easy to use. I know that compared to what the FileMaker Pro Community is busy developing, the database I'm making is laughably simple. However, for me, it is still quite a challenge to build.

I will now describe in greater detail what I'm building. I have of course already created the CONTACTS table and its fields, but I don't know how to relate the CONTACTS table to the CORRESPONDENCE table, and I cannot figure out how to create a portal in the CONTACTS table in order to view and edit related records from the CORRESPONDENCE table. But to start from the beginning- here are details on the two tables in my database.

This table contains 7 fields:
1) First name
2) Last name
3) email address
4) phone number
5) Notes field A (in this field I would write, for instance, "I met Susan and John Bates and their children at the Smithsonian when I was visiting Washington D.C. in 2007." I will use this field for conducting keyword searches; for instance, if, in 2009, I wanted to reconnect with the Bates family, but I forgot their names, I could search the database for such keywords as "Washington," or "Smithsonian," and I would be able to bring up the record that way)
6) Notes field B (in this field I would enter any additional information on this person, such as a postal mailing address, or a second email address, or a second phone number, or any additional notes)
7) Date of creation.

This table would contain 2 fields:
1) Correspondence (for pasting in a text email message, just text, no graphics).
2) Date of creation.

I would like this database to work in the following way. When I look at the database I see, on the top of the page, the 7 fields of the CONTACTS table. But in the middle and bottom of the page I see the related records in the related CORRESPONDENCE table. So, for instance, let's say I'm looking at the record for Susan Bates. I can see that on July 12th, I pasted in an email message which Susan sent me in which Susan tells me that she and her family are planning a trip to Massachusetts in November. I can also see that on July 15th, I pasted in an email message that I wrote back to Susan in which I told her the exact dates that my family would be heading to Massachusetts, and when we could meet. So basically, all the related records from the CORRESPONDENCE table appear in a window here in the CONTACTS table- I think this is called a portal- and from the CONTACTS table, I can view and edit the CORRESPONDENCE table's related records. By viewing, I mean that I would like to be able to scroll through each of the various related records, with the most recent record appearing first. By editing, I mean that I would like to be able to create, from where I am here in the CONTACTS table, a new CORRESPONDENCE table related record and type or paste text into it- i.e., a button that says "enter a new correspondence letter." I would also like to be able to delete an existing CORRESPONDENCE table related record if necessary. What is important tome is that I am able to do this viewing and editing of related records from within the CONTACTS table!

Again, I know that for developers and technical people, my database is something simple that could be built in no time, but please remember that I am not a technical person and that I am doing my best to figure this out without a technical background. Your help would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Amanda Spring