12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2012 2:08 PM by MarkSimlo

    Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?

    MarkSimlo

      Title

      Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?

      Post

      Hi,

      I am on the cadge please for some help as I think the experts on here will be able to do in seconds what it wuld take me days or weeks to learn!

      I am trying to create a very very simple database of my visits in the field.  I only need a handful of fields per record (which I can do) but I'm trying to incorporate a section within each record where I can enter a number and next to it, and associated with it, I can have the option from a drop down list of selecting one of 3 symbols or letters A,B or C for example.  I would need up to 10 of these number/letter entries on each record.  At the moment I just use the default Contact Manager template and write them in the notes field.

       

      Any help would be great and much appreciated.

       

      Thanks in advance

       

      Mark

        • 1. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
          philmodjunk

           I would need up to 10 of these number/letter entries on each record.

          Brace yourself. You need to rethink your design. When you have multiple fields for recording the same data, use a related table where you have a different related record for each such value. Typically a portal is used for this and allows you to create and record as many such values as you need.

          This is shown in many starter solutions such as Purchase Orders and INvoices where a portal allows the user to select multiple items for a single purchase order or invoice.

          Here's an even simpler demo created by Comment that illustrates this method:  http://fmforums.com/forum/showpost.php?post/309136/

          If you also need help setting up the drop down list of your codes, let me know and I'll walk you through that part of the process.

          • 2. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
            MarkSimlo

            Hi Phil and firstly thanks for the reply,

             

            Let me be a little clearer and hopefully you might be able to advise - not sure my first post was crystal.

            I am collecting service information basically.

            I go to various machines during my day in different locations so I need the fields of 'Machine' and 'Location'- that bit's easy and I can do that.

            I want to use Filemaker to record what I have done to the machine I visit in (say) 6 different ares of the machine (6 tabs in the database then which again I can do) - the choice being 'cleaned', 'checked' or 'replaced' for each of the 6 areas of the machine.

            I want to type in a date and meter reading from the machine for when the area was cleaned, checked or replaced and for this I am a bit stuck.  For example under the specific tab for the area I want to enter a date followed by a meter reading followed by one of the 3 options cleaned, checked or replaced.  I will visit each machine many times so I need to record the last (say) 10 things I did in each of the 6 areas but it can record them forever if it can which would be better actually.

            I hope that makes sense - if you get a minute I'd really be grateful for any input.

             

            Many thanks again

             

            Mark

            • 3. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
              philmodjunk

              That does not change my suggestion. Such repeated checks should be recorded in a portal. Including tabs and the fact that you visit the machine "many times" does not alter what I suggest as your basic structure for the tables. I could alter the design of your layouts to better accomodate what you are trying to do.

              Are these all checks made on the same machine or do you do this kind of maintenance on multiple machines?

              In terms of your intended layout design. Will one record on this layout represent one machine that you maintain, one day that you make maitenance checks or both?

              You could end up with:

              Machines-----<Maitenance_Checks

              or

              MachineDailyMaitenance-------<Maitenance_Checks (---< means one to many)

              And filtered portals to Maitenance_Checks can be set up so that each has a portal to Maitenance_Checks, but records the service activity for a different part of the machine.

              Note also the wording you use here:

              ..."I have done to the machine I visit in (say) 6 different ares of the machine..."

              One limitation to using tabs is that you have a fixed number of areas possible due to the fixed number of tabs. If you later determine that you need to check more areas (Say for a new machine of different design), you have to redesign your layout to add the additional tabs and the fields on them. There are other approaches that do not have this limitation.

              • 4. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                MarkSimlo

                Hi Phil,

                Thanks again for the reply.

                Each machine I go to I would like to have it's own record as the dadtebase is a log of all the service history on that specific machine (hence each machine being one record).

                You've lost me as to the one to many bits etc - sorry for being a dumb ass!

                Feel free to adjust the layout of any template (I hope I undrstand your offer to do that? and if so I am very grateful!!) anything you can attach I'll look at.

                Basically I'm trying to record the servie history of a machine - what was done on what day and what meter reading.  Similar to a service history book on a car - you can see that on 10th Feb 2011 with mileage at 65,006 the cam belt was replaced - that sort of thing.  The service book is individual to the car but I am recording many different cars - it's not cars but you get the idea.

                The fields I think I need which identify the machine is: Name, Machine type, Serial Number

                The areas of the machine that will be either cleaned, checked or replaced are called:PU, T Bed, OPC, DCB, PTS, ULFR, Duplex, ADF, Other

                By putting other in I should have all angles covered for future changes - the machines don't change that much actually so I don't think it'd be a problem.

                 

                Once again MANY thanks for your input - really grateful!!

                 

                Mark

                • 5. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                  philmodjunk

                  Each machine I go to I would like to have it's own record as the dadtebase is a log of all the service history on that specific machine (hence each machine being one record).

                  That makes a related table a necessity or you will be unable to log more than 10 such checks on each part of the machine without having to add more fields to your database.

                  You need to define two tables to start: Machines, ServiceChecks

                  Define these fields to start and add more as needed:

                  Machines:

                  __pk_MachineID  (define this as an auto entered serial number)
                  MachineName (A "human friendly" identifier to include on layouts)
                  Any other fields you need that specifically describe this one machine (Manufacturer, location, date of MFG, Model, MFG Serial number, etc.)

                  ServiceChecks
                  _fk_MachineId (define this as a number field)
                  ServiceLocation
                  DateofService (You can set this field up to automatically enter today's date)
                  Type of Service (text field, will have your value list with 'cleaned', 'checked' or 'replaced' etc.)

                  Now go to Manage | database | Relationships and drag from __pk_MachineID to _fk_MachineID to link these two tables in this relationship:

                  Machines::__pk_MachineID = ServiceChecks::_fk_MachineID

                  Double click the relationship line thus created so you can click the "allow creation of records via this relationship" for ServiceChecks.

                  For start, we'll set this up with a single portal and no tab controls. Just keep in mind that there are several ways to make this portal easier to work with once we get the basics working and a tab control is only one such option.

                  Dismiss Manage | Database by clicking OK. Locate the Machines layout and enter layout mode.

                  Now click on the portal tool and draw a rectangle on your layout. Portal Setup will appear.

                  Select ServiceChecks in "show related records from". Enable the scroll bar. Now click OK and you'll see a dialog appear for selecting fields for your portal. Select all the fields I've listed for ServiceLocation except _fk_MachineID. You can include that field as well, but it's presence in the portal is not needed. (You may want to add it for right now so you can see what happens in this field when you interact with the portal.)

                  Click Ok to dismiss this dialog. Click on the DateofService field and use the data tab of the inspector to change its control style from "edit box" to pop up calendar if you want. Click on the ServiceType field and change it from "edit box" to "drop down list". Click the pencil button next to values from to bring up manage value lists so you can create a custom value list by typing in your list of service types.

                  Now click OK until you have dismissed all dialog boxes. Return to browse mode. Create a new Machine record and try logging service checks in the portal. The service location field can also be set up with a value list, but you'll probably want to change that value list later so that each different machine can have a different list of service locations and we may want to use either a filtered portal or tabs in a tab control to see a list of service checks specific to a given location on the machine.

                  • 6. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                    MarkSimlo

                    Hi Phil,

                     

                    Thanks for the advice and the time taken to email me.

                     

                    You lost me on the second sentance I'm afraid "define 2 tables to start"...how do I do that.  I'm not very computer savy!

                     

                    Sorry to be a pain again!

                     

                    Mark

                    • 7. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                      philmodjunk

                      Open Manage | Database | Tables

                      Enter the name of your new table. Click create.

                      Click on the fields tab. Add the fields you need for this table.

                      Click on the relationships tab. You'll find that Filemaker has added a "table occurrence" box with the same name as your new table. You can use this table occurrence to link your new table to an existing table in a relationship.

                      You'll also find that FileMaker has automatically created a new layout with the same name as your table and set up to refer to the new table occurrence of the same name that it created.

                      While this can be very conveninent, keep in mind that a layout, a table and a table occurrence are three different things that just happen to have the same name in this case. You can create more layouts with different names that refer to this same table's table occurrence. You can create new table occurrences with different names that refer to the same table.

                      I image that's confusing at this point, but don't worry about it too much just yet. See if you can now follow the steps in my previous post, and as you get more familiar with things you can revisit this issue to learn more about how this information can help you better design your database.

                      PS. there are books, tutorials, training videos available that can help you get up to speed on the basics of FileMaker faster than you can manage via this forum. We'll be glad to help here, but those "broader" learning tools can help fill in the background info to help you get up and running on your own more quickly.

                      • 8. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                        MarkSimlo

                        Hi Phil,

                         

                        Just wanted to say a big 'Thanks' - I've had a little play and followed some of the instructions.  I think playing around and seeing what is what might teach me loads.

                         

                        Just wanted to say "thanks'

                         

                        I'll let you know how it goes!

                        Mark

                        • 9. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                          MarkSimlo

                          Hi Phil,

                           

                          Right I've had a play and learnt quite a bit - thanks to your pointers!!

                           

                          I've got the layout nearly right but I've a couple of problems -

                          1) I've created a title to each column but the titles keep repeating down the page - anyway around this?

                          2) I can't see how to add more data rows (ie visits to the same machine on different days) to the record.

                           

                          I've included a screen shot of the file so you can see what I mean - please make any suggestions feel are good!

                           

                          Nearly there and thanks so much for all your help

                          Mark

                          • 10. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                            philmodjunk

                            Are the rows shown in bold face your portal to the ServiceChecks table?

                            If so, enter layout mode and drag the field labels up and outside the portal so that you can arrange them as column headers above each field. Then return to browse mode to check your work. You should see just a blank top row to the portal until you type or select data in one of the portal's fields. This will then create a record that is related to the current machine record. (Make sure that you create a new machine record first.)

                            • 11. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                              MarkSimlo

                              Hi Phil,

                               

                              Yes the bold labels are supposed to be column headers (like the first title row on an Exel spreadsheet) but they keep on repaeating on the line above when I add a new line of data (ie a new visit on a different date).  To set the titles up I double clicked each area of service in Layout mode and ticked "create label" and then moved it above each data entry box.

                               

                              What I'm trying to do is have only 1 row of titles and all the respective info from each visit in a column below it. Ideally I'd like a drawn grid (like on a spreadsheet) to be shown but I just want to get it working first before worrying about fine tuning.

                               

                              I've come a long way from someone who didn't have a clue but I still feel I have a long way to travel!

                              Can you give any advice Phil please?

                              • 12. Re: Can anyone help with a REALLY simple template please?
                                MarkSimlo

                                Hi again Phil,

                                 

                                It looks like I might've sorted it!

                                I didn't use create labels but instead just made a text box for the title. It seems to be working.

                                I've uploaded the FP7 file to my Dropbox and would be real grateful (when you get a minute) if you could take a look to see if

                                1) you can improve anything

                                2) I've missed something obvious!

                                 

                                Here you go if you click this link (or copy and paste) it'll download my FP7 file:

                                http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4702133/Service%20Records.fp7

                                Really grateful for all your input - You have taught me a lot and enabled me to create this - last week I really didn't have a clue where to start!

                                 

                                Many thanks for your input in advance

                                 

                                Mark