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GarryM

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  1. Thanks Genx. Group Members is just a join table between Individuals and Groups as individuals can belong to more than one group. You're right about there being "lots of ways it [the design] can become poor"! The more I learn about FMPro and d'base design generally the more pitfalls I see that I was blissfully unaware of before. I hope the effort will be worthwhile!
  2. A bit late and I can't offer any explanations but for what it's worth, I have downloaded the trial v8.5 and temporarily using it to host my business database with 2 colleagues running v.7. The database comprises over 20 files and it's working fine.
  3. My earlier post didn’t generate a response so I’m trying again. Is there anything fundamentally wrong with a design that relates tables in this way: Customers --- Groups --- GroupMembers --- Individuals Customers --- Individuals My point being that every customer is an individual or a group but not both. From a layout point of view this approach is a bit messy because the related contact information for a customer record is derived either directly from the individuals table or via the Groups and GroupMembers tables. I’m a novice and not afraid of the extra work but I am very much aware of articles written by experts who, when asked to modify a database, say it has to be completely rewritten because the underlying design was poor. Is this poor design?
  4. I have a simple text field calculation: "myPCDocumentsPhotographs"& fieldname For some reason FMPro will not accept it and says "This text constant does not end in a quotation mark". If I remove the "" after the word "Photographs" then it accepts it but reduces the initial "" to just "". Can anyone explain this for me please?
  5. I’d really appreciate some help please. I am starting out on rewriting my 8 year old property business database (diary/contacts/properties/tenancies/etc.) and unlike last time when I just dived in, this time I’ve decided to do it as properly as I can. I’m trying to get my head around the relationships and tables I need for the contacts element to function as I want it to and how contacts will relate to the other parts of the database. I need to relate certain contacts to properties, tenancies and to transactions (I aim to add double entry accountancy but after I’ve succeeded in the first bit). I will have an “individual” table and a “group” table. Groups might be companies, partnerships, tenants (often a collection of individuals). Some contacts are members of several groups (e.g. one person can be a company director, a trustee, a partner, a club member, a joint tenant) and of course a group will have several individuals belonging to it. I can see this is a many-to-many relationship which I can resolve with a join table which, until I think of a better name, I’ll call “groupmember”. I can then relate tables for notes, numbers, addresses to individuals and groups. If an individual is a member of one or more groups I can display their information on a specific layout with portals displaying the group info’ in addition to portals showing their “individual” info’ (direct number, home address etc.). If they do not belong to a group I can have a different layout just showing the “individual” info’. I’m fairly confident I can sort the relationships and calculations to make this look OK. BUT I’m really struggling to make sense of how I can carry this through to the other tables like properties, tenancies and financial accounts where again the relation could be to either an individual or a group. I can see it’s possible but it seems really cumbersome having to have calculations everywhere and different layouts with different relations depending on whether the related contact is an individual or a group. I can imagine the reporting will be a nightmare as nothing relates back to just one contacts table but two: groups or individuals. Could someone either give me some encouragement to stick with this if they think it is sensible or alternatively, please tell me that I’m making this too complicated. My existing system just has a contacts file. When a contact is related to a tenancy or property I have used a repeating (foreign key) field in the related file so that several contacts can be linked. It’s not a technique I’ve seen anywhere and is probably not recommended. It works but I can see the approach of separating out duplicated information (company address for example) is better. Also, for accounting purposes the “customer” ought to be the company rather than an individual if that reflects reality. If you’ve read all of this then you already deserve a beer on me! Comments will be much appreciated.
  6. Thank you both for your replies. Did a Google search - wow! 407000 answers! It'll take me a few years to read that lot but just from the first few I think it confirms what I discovered some years ago, which is FMPro is easier to get to grips with for a non-techy like me. It also seems better suited to sharing with my colleagues on our peer-to-peer network. I've read more about v.8 and v.8.5 and now not quite so sure that I should upgrade from v.7. Upgrading 4 PCs is quite expensive when the added functions don't appear to solve any particular issues for me. The Advanced functions look helpful but I'll only be doing this one database.
  7. Forgive me for I am about to sin. I am about to mention MS Access on a FMPro forum!! I just wondered if anyone has experience of MS Access compared to FMPro and whether they would like to comment to help me decide what to do? I am not a computer whizz but about 8 years ago created a database in FMPro4 for my business. Over the years it has grown to 20 odd related files and includes a diary and everything that my business needs with the exception of accounts. I converted to FMPro7 some while back but have not done it properly with the result that it doesn't function quite as well/look quite as good as it did with FMPro4. So I am now ready to take the plunge and re-write the whole thing properly, taking advantage of the new file structure and features. I will also attempt to create a double entry accounting database too (I have a good knowledge of accounts but have never tried it in FMPro before). It will take me a long time and so if there is a way of making use of existing s/ware then that makes sense to me. For example, I see more and more people using MS Outlook for their diary and contact management. I wondered whether MS Access would work seamlessly with Outlook? If it doesn't now, maybe it will? Can anyone tell me what Access is like to work with and if it is as good as FMPro? If I stick with FMPro, I'll upgrade to 8.5. Many thanks for any help that may be offered! (Be gentle with me! : )
  8. Thanks Brent. I use MYOB at the moment which is a double entry system. I need to re-create that sort of complexity but without all the features that I don't use (obviously) but incorporating new features that suit me. I've since managed to search this site and see that quite a few people have asked similar questions (note to self: search before asking questions!) I can see there is no easy answer to my original question and it will be quite a challenge. It almost certainly makes no business sense for me to spend the time doing this but I take real pleasure in making something specific to my business. No doubt I will be back asking specific questions when I get stuck! This forum seems like a fantastic resource for people like me. Thanks again. ;)
  9. I'm a newbie, so please be gentle! I'm not sure this is the correct place to post this but it seemed appropriate. I'd appreciate opinions from the wise. I'm not a computer wiz but I managed to write a database for my business (property) in FMPro4 about 7 years ago. It has evolved over the years into about 20 related files and is vital to the running of my business. It does not (yet) tackle accounts for which I currently use an off the shelf package and I'm now considering trying to write an accounting database. I'm very familiar with accounting practice but have never tried to do anything about it in FMPro. Has anyone done this and if so, is it a mammoth task? The more I think about it the more involved it seems! I don't wish to re-invent the wheel but I can see the benefits of having a solution tailored to my business (and one which I understand rather than being in the hands of a third party). I would write it in FMPro8 (have 7 but 8 seems much better). Any suggestions appreciated (including "don't be ridiculous!" if you think so!) and please let me know if there is any literature or web sites that might help me. Garry
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