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First of all, I apologize for the length of this:


I have a list of 20,000 products, made up (hierachally) with this Category structure:


Chapter | Category | Brand | ProductTitle | SubTitle | Product



  1. I created 6 tables corresponding to the categories.
  2. Into each table, I imported the name (of that record) and the name of it's Parent category.
  3. So, each table had these fields


In Chapter ( ChapterName )

In Category ( ChapterName, CategoryName )

In Brand ( ChapterName, CategoryName, BrandName )

In ProductTitle ( ChapterName, CategoryName, BrandName, ProductTitleName )

In SubTitle ( ChapterName, CategoryName, BrandName, ProductTitleName, SubTitleName )

In Product ( ChapterName, CategoryName, BrandName, ProductTitleName, SubTitleName, ProductName )


So, to get everything to link together, I created calculated fields to put the above category structure together to form the link. So I end up (by the time we get to the product) with this:


ChapterName > CategoryName > BrandName >ProductTitleName > SubTitleName > ProductName



So, the problem is, that there are about 250 products that, by the time all the names are added to the calculated link, it exceeds 99 characters, which Filemaker puts as it's limit for a text field used as a link (relationship). So, products start showing up under multiple Titles or SubTitles, since Filemaker is concatenating the link.



Since I'm dealing with 20,000 products, I had to create a numbering structure outside of my original excel sheet (the original product list), and assigned these to the first five tables: Chapter, Category, Brand, ProductTitle, SubTitle ( Looks like this: 10_125_972_2501_10025. This would get me past FM's chopping off of the text link, even if I used the ProductName as the final end result.)


So, I can get the first five tables to link correctly using this method. But since these numbers were not on the original spreadsheet, there is no parent number associated with the product. I've been trying to come up with a way to pass the ProductTitle# and/or the SubTitle# on to the Product, but I can't be sure that the products that are incorrectly linked would have the correct number.


Perhaps if there was a simple way to Find the records whose links were being concatenated, I could deal with just those, and perhaps manually enter those numbers. But I'm not sure how to find that out.


Does this even make sense to anybody? I have tried to look at this from every angle, and I'm sure I'm missing something. Help.....



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The only thing I can recommend is to put a copy of the DB and maybe someone will pick through it.

I don't understand why this cant be on one table, maybe products, with all the other things being attributes-sub title, Product title, etc.

But I also don't understand what your entire database is about.

Hierarchy can possible be accomplished with dwindling value lists, so when you pick 'widgets', only the sub categories (records) related to widgets will show.

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