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how to obtain related field information


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I am looking for a basic design pattern for looking up names in one table and providing the serial number to a form for data entry in a related table.


For example, I have a contact table with a large number of names and associated unique serial numbers and need to make entries in a related table that refers to the unique serial number of the contact table. The problem is that users don't really know the serial numbers of the names. How can I easily pop up a subset of names that match the initial contents of a name field, then obtain the serial number after the user selects a specific name?


I expect this is a recurring design for data entry - if a tutorial already addresses it, please point me to the specifc! Thanks in advance

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You can do it in a few ways:

1. In the related tabel for serial number create value list which contains "names" as second field and sort on the second filed.

2. Make field "serial number" as button which opens list of Names and serials from contact table. At this list you must put button "Use" which brings the serial number to your field. In this list window you can sort as you want and to find what you want.

The second way is more dificult than the first but more comfort.

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• On your form, create a field called names as a pop-up list using a value list comprised of all the values from the name field on the contact table.

• Create a relationship between the contact and form tables using the name field on both ends.

• Make the serial field on the form be the serial field from the contact table rather than a local serial field.

• When the user selects the name field while filling out the form, they can type the first few letters of a name, and the pop-up list will match what they've typed if the name is in the list. When the correct name is highlighted, they can hit enter and the serial number associated with that name will automatically appear in the serial field on the form. You'll want to set the behavior of the serial field so that it cannot be entered in browse mode, or the user may accidentally change the value of the serial number for that name.

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