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Primary Keys & Portal Relations::Filemaker Rocks and Hurt my head all at once


sjdennis
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Hey AHunter3,

 

Just noticed your advanced knowledge over the last couple of months on the Filemaker Cafe. I am currently developing a company intergrated databasing system for the company I work for. I have two questions for you.

 

1) "Is there any way to use a primary key but hide it." For example, I have employee names, E0001 for eg. Now with my two part value list I can display just the name but imput the primary key into the field. So the first field is E0001 the second field is John Doe. So the value list hides the first field, displays the second, and imputs the value of the frist field into a field. Now on my layout I have "Employee ID" as my first field, and "Employee Name" as my second field. I put my drop down list on "Employee ID" because it is my Primary Key. But now I have to do a look up to the "Employee Name" from the primary key. Which is fine, but is there a way of gettting the data to the Primary Key "Employee ID" without showing it.

 

2) Using portals and relationships. What I want to do is create a finder system for Purchase Orders let's say. The portal system and relationships allows you to do this but cripples you a little. For example. I have 4 Global fields, From Date, To Date, Company, Employee Name (ID). So I create a table that has those 4 fields in it, relate them to the linking information in my purchase orders (table). Now I specify my relationships;

 

Finder Table ----- Purchase Order Table (Data)

 

1) GBL From Date >= Date

AND 2) GBL From Date

AND 3) GBL Company = Company Name

AND 4) GBL Employee = Employee Name

 

Now the problem I run into is that each GBL Field has to have a variable in it to display anything in the portal because the relationship are dependant beacuse of the "AND" requiements. If filemaker had made them possible to be "OR" then this would be simple. This way really constrains my results. Where as I might just want to see all Purchase Order numbers from one data to another, or all purchase orders for one employee or from one company, but unless I create 4 different portals with different relationships I can't seem to do it. Any suggestions would be great.

 

Thanks

Sam Dennis

http://www.ncdesigns.ca

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The second part I figured out the big part, by making two calculation fields and relating them. It works like a charm. "GBL Relating Finder Info" (GBL Dispatch Number&"¶"&GBL Driver) relates to another calculation field in another table, then what ever criteria specified is filled in and presto, then the dates are also relations, so it works, just curious about hiding primary keys.

 

Thanks

Sam

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With hiding the primary key, you have done half of it - set the value list to display the second value only. If you want to retain that display, you need to use a pop-up menu rather than a drop-down list.

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Only problem, is when my populated list become huge then my users are sitting there for hours trying to find the single imput that they are looking for, as filemaker won't allow you to use a keyboard key imput in a popup menu. Tried everything. There are a few other ways of doing it though.

 

Thanks

Sam

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Yep, so that's when pop-up/drop-down lists of any description are not really the most efficient or best user interface. As you say, there are other methods, and I would favour a pop-up window where the user can "search" by a type-head sort of structure and click to select the item they want.

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