3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2013 9:03 AM by philmodjunk

    Defining fields for a procedural checklist application



      Defining fields for a procedural checklist application



                Thank you for your time, for a pro I'm sure this will be an easy question.  I am a novice and just finished 8 hours of Lynda.com Filemaker Pro instruction that did not answer this question, and I can't find anything similar on the forums so thank you for your help.  

           What I am doing:  I am essentially creating a procedural checklist database to be used for a website and app.  

           My problem: I have 1 table.  The individual records will correspond to different procedural checklists.  I don't know how to most efficiently define the fields within a particular procedural checklist.  As you can see from the attached image, for each step in the checklist, I have "3 explanations".  The first explanation is 1-3 words, the second is a sentence or so in length, and the third up to a paragraph.  They have different levels of detail for the different experience levels of the users that will use them.  

           My plan:  I'm sure there is a better way of doing this (hence the post to the forum), but the only way I can figure to do this is to make discreet fields similar to the following (most checklists will probably have a max of 12 steps or so):

           BasicViewStep1, BasicViewStep2, BasicViewStep3, ... BasicViewStep30

           IntermediateViewStep1, IntermediateViewStep2, IntermediateViewStep3, ... IntermediateViewStep30

           InDepthViewStep1, InDepthViewStep2, InDepthViewStep3, ... InDepthViewStep30

           ...and then just play with the formatting on the Layout view to make it look similar to the Excel spreadsheet that I attached (for ease of inputting).


           I guess this is similar to my other question.  I want to have tags for each procedural checklist.  The fields I was planning on was "Tag1, Tag2, Tag3... Tag10".  And I want to have a list of supplies with discreet fields: "Supply1, Supply2, Supply3, ... Supply 40."  I don't know the max number of Tags or Supply's I will need yet.

           I feel that I need discreet fields, because my app and website will be listing the supplies individually so that you can check them off when you get them.  

           On excel, this is easy to do, I guess I just don't know how to translate that ease to Filemaker.  And I'm still learning the Filemaker Lexicon... I'm sure there is an easy solution to this, its just that after 9 hours of work addressing only this, I still haven't found the answer.

           Thank you so much for your help.







        • 1. Re: Defining fields for a procedural checklist application

               The problem is that you are trying to do this with one table instead of multiple related tables. At minimum, you need two tables and could easily need more.


               CheckLists::__pkCheckLIstID = CheckListSteps::_fkCheckListID

               With these tables and relationships, the different list of steps to check off for each check list become a different set of records in the related CheckListSteps table instead of different groups of fields in your current single table. A portal to CheckListSteps may be used to list the steps of your checklist.

               If you are also recording a person's completion of the check list, you will need more tables than this. That then becomes a kind of "survey" and you may find this thread's discussion of how to set up a survey database helpful: Need aid on generating a report from a survey layout.

               For an explanation of the notation that I am using, see the first post of: Common Forum Relationship and Field Notations Explained

          • 2. Re: Defining fields for a procedural checklist application

                 Hi PhilModjunk,

                      Thanks for taking the time to answer my post.  I am still looking at solutions as yours will become difficult to implement (if I understand it correctly) as in the future I will have about 2-300 procedural checklists each with 3 levels of detail (hence a total of 900 checklists) and each checklist will have about 10-20 steps each.  

                 Thanks again,



            • 3. Re: Defining fields for a procedural checklist application

                   What you describe is exactly why I suggested the approach that I did. It actually makes working with such multiple checklists of multiple items much easier in the long run.