Recently I was tasked with implementing a picker list whereby the user could assign people to a project, and indicate each person’s hourly allocation to that project as that assignment was made. How can data be associated with names in a picker list, before those names have actually been stamped onto their own records?
A colleague recently posed this challenge: is it possible to show two columns in a portal, such that the first row displays records 1 and 2, the second row displays records 3 and 4, etc.? With FileMaker, the answer is usually “Yes!”
FileMaker 17’s new master-detail layouts display the list of records in the user’s found set. As the user performs finds, constrains, omits, sorts, or creates or deletes records, the master-detail portal will update to stay in sync. Imagine a portal that a user can sort any way they like, filter any way they like, and click a row to see details for that row, all right out of the box. That’s the power of the master-detail portal.
The new Button Bar layout object provides developers with an improved method to manage a cluster of buttons that have functional and/or cosmetic similarities.
Demo file: RepeatingFieldFunctions.fp7
I began using FileMaker at the spry old age of FileMaker Pro 8, so I’ve never been through the trenches of using repeating fields to accomplish what can now be done with portals. However, repeating fields still have a variety of uses, and I’m happy to have them in my toolkit.
When I’m working with a repeating field, there are several questions I might ask of it, depending on the task at hand.
Neither I nor my client can anticipate every chart that the solution’s users might want to see. A user’s desire to view a high-level visual representation of their data can be spontaneous and idiosyncratic. This technique allows for the user to create an ad hoc chart, albeit within narrow parameters (i.e. the chart is simple, presents only counts of values, and is pre-formatted).
FileMaker File: ChartActiveField.fp7
ValueCount ( FilterValues ( lst ; value ) )
Ben Miller and I came up with this tiny little function to tell us how many times a specific value occurs in a list. It’s smart enough to consider full values (carriage-return delimited), rather than partial text strings.