7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2010 5:44 PM by paintboothguy

    Container question?.....

    paintboothguy

      Title

      Container question?.....

      Post

      Good Morning All, 

       

      I have placed a 'Container' field on my Contact Management layout.  I have successfully inserted  a PDF file, but I can only seem to insert one, not multiple files.  

       

      I would like to use this container to store customer related documents like scans of faxes, copies of other documents and so on.  I would also like to easily 'browse' these documents without having to 'right-click' and 'export field contents.'

       

      Is this the wrong approach?  Any ideas?

       

      Thanks,

      Andrew. 

        • 1. Re: Container question?.....
          ninja
            

          Howdy paintboothguy,

           

          multiple files related to this parent record

          ===> multiple records related to this parent record in a child table

          ===> one containor field on each related record, one file in each containor field.

           

          Either Browse in a portal (might be a little clunky, depending on what you want the containor field to look like on your layout). Or have a "browse related documents" button that goes to related records using a list layout based on the child table.

           

          Or you could have a description of the file ("budget", "Invoice01152009", "top view", etc.) in the portal row and a button on the portal row that goes to the related record and opens the containor field's file.

           

          Lots of options, all including having one file per containor in a related table.

          • 2. Re: Container question?.....
            paintboothguy
              

            Dear Ninja, 

            Thanks for your response.  I believe I understand the concept of your instructions, but please let me clarify step-by-step as I am a troglodyte.

             

            #1.  Create a new 'table' in the relationships screen.

            #2.  Somehow create a link between my existing Contact Management table and this new table (which I guess you are referring to as a 'child table.')

            #3.  In the new table, place fields named 'Old Invoices', or 'Signed Credit Card Forms' or whatever.

            #4.  Make these fields of the type 'Container.'

            #5.  Place the  Container field on the Contact Management layout and place documents from our server in the appropriate container.

             

            ......maybe I should stop here and await your response!........ 

             

             

            Thanks, Ninja,

            Andrew 

            • 3. Re: Container question?.....
              ninja
                

              Howdy paintboothguy,

               

              It's always a guess when I start typing as to folks' level of experience.  Looks like I missed on this one.  Let's walk it through.


              paintboothguy wrote:

              I am a troglodyte.   I doubt it...check for prehensile thumbs ;)

               

              #1.  Create a new 'table' in the relationships screen.

              File>Manage>Database.  Table tab.  Create a table and call it "Containor".

              #2.  Somehow create a link between my existing Contact Management table and this new table (which I guess you are referring to as a 'child table.')

              Same place, but in the Fields tab: Create three fields: "Containor" (type = containor), "ContactID_fk" (type = text), "Description" (type = text).

               

              Same place, but on the relationships tab: find the 'Table occurence' of your new table "Containor", click and drag the "ContactID_fk" field to the "contact ID" field in the table occurence "Contact management"

               

              Take the time to understand...you are making a kind of "sub-table" or Child Table that will hold multiple records for every one record in the Contact Management Parent table.

               

              The child records will know which 'Parent' is thiers because the value in the Contact ID parent field will match the value in the ContactID_fk child field.  That's how they are 'related'.

               

              When you established the link, a [=] box appeared in your line.  Double-click it and look at the bottom check boxes.  On the "Containor" side of the pop-up window, check the box that says "allow creation of records ...".  Do NOT check the matching box on the Contact Management side.

               

              Close out of the windows and go back to your layout.

               

              #3.  In the new table, place fields named 'Old Invoices', or 'Signed Credit Card Forms' or whatever.

              Start with the three I outlined above first...get it working...then embellish later.

              #4.  Make these fields of the type 'Container.'

              Make only the new field "Containor" a containor field...the others should be text fields

              #5.  Place the  Container field on the Contact Management layout and place documents from our server in the appropriate container.

              Place a PORTAL on the contact management layout, showing records from the Table "Containor", perhaps down at the bottom where there's a bit of room.  Make it have 5 lines and contain the field Containor:: Description and the field Containor::Containor.

               

              ......maybe I should stop here and await your response!........ 

               

              I used some dbase words like Portal, parent, child, related table, Table Occurrence, etc.  Take your time and understand what each of these are, they will help you greatly as you move forward.  The onboard FMP help can aid your understanding.

               

              When you get to this point, let us know how you're doing.  You'll be 90% of the way done.  Then we'll chat about how to put your files into the containors.

               

              Thanks, Ninja,

              Andrew 


               


              • 4. Re: Container question?.....
                paintboothguy
                  

                Ninja, 

                Thanks for taking the time to type that out for me.  I'll get started and get back with you.

                 

                Thanks!,

                Andrew 

                • 5. Re: Container question?.....
                  paintboothguy
                    

                  Mr. Ninja (or maybe Mrs. Ninja?)

                   

                  I have successfully completed your last set of instructions and I believe I am beginning to understand how this will work.  I re-looked up the definitions/descriptions of the dbase terms you used and I am starting to get it.  I will await your next set of suggestions!

                   

                  Thanks a lot!

                  -Andrew 

                  • 6. Re: Container question?.....
                    ninja
                      

                    Howdy,

                     

                    Mr., though most folks say "Eric".

                     

                    OK, so now you have a portal which can list multiple related records showing a description and a containor field.

                     

                    When you want to add files to the parent record, you will actually add them to a different, related table via this portal.

                    Click on the description field on portal row1 (top) and type in a description (budget, sales presentation, whatever).

                     

                    Click on the containor field in that same row, right click on it (I assume PC) and choose Insert File.

                    A dialog browse box should appear...choose the file you want in the containor AND check the box that says "store a reference" down at the bottom of that browse window.  Then hit OK.

                     

                    A shortcut icon or image should now show in your containor field.

                     

                    Now for the cool part...double click on the containor field and watch your file open.

                     

                    You probably noted that when you clicked on portal row #1, a second row appeared underneath.  When creating related records through a portal, there will always be a blank line at the bottom for the next one.  That's normal.  If you have another file to attach, put it in row#2, then row#3, then row#1458...no limit.

                     

                    It is important that you store only a reference to the file, not the file itself.  If you store the file itself (not just a reference), two things happen:

                    1. if you double click, the file won't open.

                    2. your database will grow in size because you're storing all that other info.

                     

                    Get this far and see how you do.  You're learning it quickly.

                     

                    Some questions to consider well:

                    1. The files you will store here...are they on a shared drive?

                    2. Will others need to get to them?

                    3. If you reference a file on your hard drive, will they be ABLE to open them?

                    4. how many folks and how many files will need to be appended to the container fields?  What is your system to make sure folks attach them and not be lazy (oh, I forgot...) ?

                    5. How many files would be 'normal' to have per parent record.  Size your portal and # of lines accordingly.

                    • 7. Re: Container question?.....
                      paintboothguy
                        

                      Dear Mr. Ninja, 

                      This is a perfect solution for my needs, and I learned a lot building it.  It works wonderfully, and I have you to thank!  I greatly appreciate you sharing your expertise with me.

                       

                      Thanks, Eric!,

                      -Andrew