6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2012 10:27 AM by philmodjunk

    CONTAINER field - multiple documents



      CONTAINER field - multiple documents


           I want each Record to have a Container Field (repeating?) into which I can drop WORD & EXCEL & PDF documents.
           Probably a total of up to 20 documents for each Record.

           I want users to be able to open, edit and save these documents.


           I dont seem to be able to set a value of more than 1 for the Container Fields 'maxiumum number of repeatitions'.

           I dont seem to be able to add more then 1 document into a field.

      What am I missing?


      Thank you,


        • 1. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

               OK, the Repeating issue was becasue there was not enough room on the Layout, DOH! :"-)

          • 2. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

                 I strongly recommend that you rethink your design. Repeating fields are an option originally present in FileMaker because it was once a flat file system with no real way to link tables in relationships like we can now. While they still work, there are much better options you can use that provide a great deal more flexibility.

                 Use a related table where you have one container field in each related record instead of the repeating field. A portal to the related record can make adding and viewing all the documents you add to container fields very simple to set up. You can even use multiple one row portals to arrange them in a horizontal row if that is helpful.

                 The immediate advantage to you with using a related table is that repeating fields limit you to the whatever number of repetitions you specify. If the need later arises for more attached files than you have repetitions, you have to modify your database design to acommodate the increase in repetitions--both in your layout design and in the field definition. With a portal to related table, you just keep adding more related records.

                 There are other advantages to a related table though their applicability to your particular needs may or may not apply. With a related table, you could, for example, insert a file into one container field on one record and then link it to multiple records in your original table where with a repeating field, you'd have to insert a second copy of the same file.

            • 3. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

                   Thanks Phil,

                   I am thinking along those lines now too :-)

                   I now have a script to Export the File out of it's container and save it to the Desktop and then open it automatically in the right Application (word, Excle, Acrobat Pro.
                   However this is still down to Human error, in placing the file back in the corret Container Field.
                   It would be so much easier if there was a way to write these Quotation documnets, and variations, within FileMaker will full Microsoft Word-like text editing and control capabilities?

              • 4. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

                     I'm guessing that you are using Filemaker 12.

                     If the files are inserted into a container field with Insert File and the "store a reference" option specified and the container field object on your layout is NOT optimized for interactive content, you can double click the container field to open the document in the OS system's specified default application for that file type. After editing and saving changes, they will be retained as your container field no longer embeds a physical copy of the file, it stores the filepath to the actual file instead.

                     The main issue for you is that drag and drop does not insert the file with "store a reference", it embeds the file instead. Here are two options for handling that issue: 1) A script could be used to export the file to a specified directory and then re-insert it into the container field with the Store a reference option. 2) It's also possible to write a script that exports your embedded file to open it at a specified location and then a second script can use the same file path and name to re-insert the file. You can add a button to your layout labeled "Save Changes" or some such to accomplish that trick.

                     Note that some storage options and data formatting optimization options (fileMaker 12) keep the double click from opening your file so you may have to go with the second option. Also, the "Optimize for interactive content" option does not work for container fields in a portal so if you need that feature, we may have to get a bit creative to make that aspect functional in conjunction with your portal.

                • 5. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

                       Thank you Phil,

                       Yes, FileMaker 12, Client & Server.

                       I will be having clients (<15) from around the UK logging into the FileMaker Server using FileMaker Client.
                       I was wanting the ability for them to place files in Job record based Container Fields, and then also to be able to edit those files.
                       These will be primarily small Microsoft Word and Excel files.
                       The all have 10Mb up/down dedicated broadband (or better: 20,50,100Mb).

                       So on this logic, will the FileMaker Server act has the 'local' FileMaker and work with them by supplying files to their Desktop, or LIve?

                       I think the Script solution you mention above should do it :-)

                       Kind regards, James R.

                  • 6. Re: CONTAINER field - multiple documents

                         If you use the Export Field contents option, you will be exporting a copy of the file directly to their computer. Take a look at the Get functions that return file paths to standard locations such as the desktop, temporary items and the documents folder for ideas on where to export the file that will work with all clients--regardless of whether they are mac or windows users. Temporary Items would be my choice as then you aren't littering the client's computer with copies of various files each time they do this kind of operation.