3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2011 3:23 PM by philmodjunk

    Externally refferencing a Data base with a script

    IanKing

      Title

      Externally refferencing a Data base with a script

      Post

       Hello, sort of new to all this, picked this up to make a database for our company that can be continually updated with new product.

      What I'm trying to do is then, create a seperate template file that will x-refference the data base and auto fill these products into a spec sheet that we then present to the clientell.

      What I want to be abel to do is be able to write a script that would search the database I've built and auto update certain sections of our spec sheet. So say I know the manufacturer, I would enter that in and it would then either auto fill, or give me a drop down of all the model numbers so I can then choose which model I want, and then auto fill in the specs, image reff, and other information attached.

      Am I making any sense? can someone point me in the right direction?

       

      -One really lost intern

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        • 1. Re: Externally refferencing a Data base with a script
          philmodjunk

          first question: Why use a separate file? Using a separate file for this complicates the process--especially for someone still learning how to work with FileMaker.

          second question: Why set it up so you need to update data in one table when changes are made in another? It's possible to set up your spec sheet layout to pull data directly from the original source of this info so that changes made there automatically appear in the spec sheet.

          • 2. Re: Externally refferencing a Data base with a script
            IanKing

            first question: Why use a separate file? Using a separate file for this complicates the process--especially for someone still learning how to work with FileMaker.

            We're using a seperate file for 2 reasons. The file is already growing massive, even with externally refferncing all the specs I can, it is edging on 1gig, adding all sorts of unrelated data might be a bad idea imo. Secondly, we want to be able to create these smaller files seperately for each project. I thought of doing it this way after realizing I could x-reff, but it is getting all of the reffernces to link together that I'm having trouble with.

            second question: Why set it up so you need to update data in one table when changes are made in another? It's possible to set up your spec sheet layout to pull data directly from the original source of this info so that changes made there automatically appear in the spec sheet.

            The idea is that my boss can pull this up and have all the models of a specific manufacturer (i.e. selecting act 1 in manufacturer would then ask me which of the 17 different models act 1 makes that we have in the database) so that she doesn't then have to sift throught the other 2000+ products in the database. I think what you are saying makes sense, I'm just not sure. The problem in my head is when I pick manufactures there are multiple variables that then need to be changed.... (image, spec, model)  

            • 3. Re: Externally refferencing a Data base with a script
              philmodjunk

              adding all sorts of unrelated data might be a bad idea imo.

              yes, but this shouldn't be unrelated data. It should be related data and should simply use the data you already have in the file. What would be the advantage to creating "smaller files for each project"?

              The idea is that my boss can pull this up and have all the models of a specific manufacturer...

              Well that's the whole purpose of a database, to make it easy to perform searches on a database to access your data as needed. Seems like all you need for that is a user interface that makes it simple for your boss to query the tables to find the data needed. If you put this in a series of smaller files, your boss has to find the correct smaller file and open it. You have to then maintain regular update so every single file... The alternative, performing a find on a single file should be much simpler for you and your boss.

              The problem in my head is when I pick manufactures there are multiple variables that then need to be changed.... (image, spec, model) 

              This is were a specialized search form designed to make it easy for the user to specify all criteria comes in. You set up fields with value lists, search portals and other features so that you can quickly and easily specify the criteria, then a script uses this criteria to perform a find and to switch to a layout where the data is presented in the desired format.

              BTW, I once worked for another company as a "specifications coordinator" where my primary job was managing the manufacturing and purchase specs. While I wasn't permitted to use FileMaker, had to use MS Access, I would never, ever try splitting specifications data into a separate file for each manufacturer that in turn had to be updated from a central database--that creates way too many opportunities for user errors to create discrepancies in the specs.