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Complex Relationships?


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Hey, all. I'm trying to structure a database for a children's acting school (you've all been very helpful in the past) and am a little stuck about where to begin in terms of structuring the relationships to track both enrollment and attendance. This may be as much a layout question as a relationships question.

Here's the setup:

Currently I have...



The two are linked via students' key. Right now I'm able to view the students who are enrolled in any given class on the classesLayout via a portal. When I move to the studentsLayout and change the class in which that student is enrolled (our students move around a lot), their name shifts on the classesLayout to the appropriate record. So rock on there.

But wait, my story gets significantly more complicated.

One of the major problems we have in our business is not tracking where a student is enrolled now but, rather, where they have been. More than just that, how many classes of the prior enrollment they attended.

(To be clear, this is currently done entirely with pen and paper. We have no database in the office whatsoever.)

So, problem #1. What's the most efficient way to mark the schedule for any given class? I can enter the data manually, that's fine. If I want the database to know that ClassX takes place on Saturday 1st, Saturday 7th, Saturday 14th, etc... should I make a "calendar" table that includes every date from now until the end of time and then relate each class to each date on which it occurs? Should I create a "calendar" table and then create one record for each class on each day, eg. ClassXsaturday1st, ClassYsaturday1st, ClassXsaturday7th, ClassYsaturday7th, etc?

Problem #2. How do I create a layout that allows me to click off every kid that attended that day?

Please tell me if there's a more efficient way to do this but what I envision is this:

A table with dates along the top and students' names along one side. If I add a date, the table gets bigger horizontally. If I add a student the table gets bigger vertically. I can trace across from the students' name to the appropriate date, click once, and they're marked as having attended on that date. If the student moves classes, their name stays on that table, but perhaps greyed out. Their name is also added to the new class and I can then start clicking to mark their attendance in that class and so forth, tracking every class that kid ever attends.

Where do I start? Am I making it more complicated than it is? Is this beyond Filemaker's practical abilities?

Sorry this is so long-winded. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks a ton.


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This is very much within the range of Filemaker!

You will need to create a schedule table.


I will need to get back with you later on this...It is been several years since I set up a scheduling/class attendance system. It was at a previous job and I no longer have access to the structure I built.

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I actually think AHunter has answered my question here: http://filemakertoday.com/com/showthread.php?t=10844&highlight=attendance

I'm trying to decipher. Would still love suggestions but understand if the concensus is that this topic has been thoroughly discussed already.

(Quick note regarding my plight: I'm seeing a lot of suggestions about creating one attendance record for each day each kid comes to class. Which would generate 400 records per week. If the solution could avoid making the database that big that fast, it would be ideal.)

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