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Repeating Fields vs Portals


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Hi, I've read about the evils of repeating fields, but I don't know how I could use portals instead for my two situations:


Situation 1:

I've got a database of movies, and for each one I'd like to be able to assign multiple genres via a dropdown list (which I considered doing with a repeating field). So I'd have, for instance,


Title: Donnie Darko







The Genre dropdown list could include dozens and dozens of values, which is why I didn't want to do a checkbox set. However, I don't want to be able to hamper my ability to put this data to use in some other way in the future, which is why I'm hesitant about repeating fields, but I don't know how it would work with a portal?


Situation 2:

Similar in structure to situation 1. I've got a table of actors and a table of movies, and I'd like to show who has been in what movie. My thought was to have on each actor record, a repeating field with a dropdown list that gets its values from a value list defined by Movies::Titles. And on each Movie record, a repeating field with a dropdown list that gets its values from a value list defined by Actors::FullName. I smell that this is ripe for a portal, but from the FileMaker tutorial files, I only understand how to attach multiple actor records to one movie record via a portal--but how at the same time would you attach multiple movie records to an actor record?

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Are you unsure about how portals look/behave/get set up? Or are you familiar with them but for some reason consider that structure to be undesirable or inappropriate for your needs here, and if so how & why?


MovieName _____ Producer ______ Primary Studio ______

Release Date ______


===== portal to genres =======

= Genre from value list goes here =



===== portal to actors =======

= Actor Name == Role Name ===




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I know how to drop a portal into a layout and connect that to a field in a different table, but I am unsure how, through a portal, to assign or attach records from a different table to the record being browsed. When I follow the tutorial, the portal setup is too simple. When I look at the guts of the example files, they are too complicated for me to follow. I would just like to see how the simplest possible portal with a dropdown interface would work, so I can understand how they work and how to implement them. Here, I created a very simple database with two tables and some mock data, using repeating fields. Perhaps someone can show me how the same objective would be achieved with portals?



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Here you go.




You should join up. To accomodate a non-member with a file attachment while also making file attachment avail to current & future members, I have to upload it twice.


PS: I entered the actors and genres for ONE movie under a different movie by accident. But you'll get the general idea structurally even if the data is wrong.

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