You can certainly set up a grid of fields in FileMaker and clicking one could take you to a detail record on that student. A seatID or even a pair of row, column fields could be used to make a given student name/record appear in a given seat location on your layout.
I'd probably try doing this with a technique known as a "horizontal portal". Define a relationship that links your SeatingChart record (Or if you have multiple classes, this can be a "class" record with one record per class.) To your all your students for that class. Instead of using a single portal to list all the students in a single vertical column, you can place a row or grid of portals where each portal refers to the same table occurrence (box in Manage | Database | Relationships), but the first portal is set to display initial row: 1 , number of rows: 1, the next is set to show initial row 2, number of rows 1, and so forth. By sorting your portals by seat id ( or by row, then by column). You can move a student to a different location just by changing the value in this field or pair of fields.
Thank you! I understand bits of this and can see the general idea so, with my book and help files in hand, I will have a go! I am really enjoying learning new skills after many years in the spreadsheet wilderness!
Thanks for all the advice :)
I know I'm doing something wrong, but I can't find out what.
I have two tables:
Students: This has the name and studentID
Seats: Seat number and StudentID as foreign key
The relationship links these by the studentIDs
I created a portal pointing to students::studentName with 1 row at record 1 and "Abigail" shows up
The second portal, set up in a similar fashion has 1 row starting at record 2. This appears as a blank box and "Brian" doesn't appear on this layout until I scroll to the next record.
I've tried linking the two tables by a seatnumber code with the same result. I am obviously out of my depth here, and am returning to Excel for the time being, but I really want to get this sorted out :)
Thanks in advance for putting up with a newbie!
You need a different relationship. One where a single record in the parent table links to all the students in a given class session. I don't know if you have multiple classes or a single class roster, but assuming you have multiple classes, you could use this table structure:
Classes (Fields would include ClassID, Subject, Period or startTime, etc.)
Students ( Student name, StudentID, ClassID, assigned seat number, etc...)
You'd define your relationship like this:
Classes::ClassID = Students::ClassID
Create the Grid of Portals to students on your Classes layout.
Note: If one student might possibly attend more than one of your classes, you may want to include a Join table between Classes and Students.