Jump to content

School Attendance Chart: Relationships and Columns


Kremlarkin

This topic is 7544 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Recommended Posts

I was reading a posting that LiveOak replied to and wanted to ask this question. I hope i'm not asking the exact same question with different field/variable names....(we'll see)

I have an attendance report that has to be turned in on a weekly and monthly basis. Essentially, Students are listed on the Y axis (column) and days of the week (31 total for one month) are listed on the X axis (rows).

Example:

(P=Present; A=Absent)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ...

StudentA P P P P P P P P P P P P P P ...

StudentB A P A P A P P P P P P P P A ...

StudentC P P P P P P P A A A A A A A ...

.

.

.

(note: i'm sorry that the form did not line up as it was supposed to. The HTML isn't working apparently. Anyway, obviously, the first A's and P's are supposed to line up under "1" and so on and so forth AND the "1" is supposed to be horizontally positioned to the right of the end of the students names)

I have a students file and an attendance file. In my attendance file i am taking attendance by recording in two fields: (a) CreationDate; (??? AttendanceStatus {which only contains the text A or P}; ©Creation_DayNumber; (d) Creation_MonthNumber; (e) Creation_DayName; (f) and Creation_MonthName. In making the report, i begain by creating 31 "Day" fields (e.g. Day1, Day2, Day3 ...). Each of these is calculated to display the contents of the "AttendanceStatus" field IF the "Creation_DayNumber" field and the day the record was created as listed in "CreationDate" match. I used the Case function to do this. My trouble is this. When i create my grouped and columned layout, i get a n unwanted result. Specifically:

Example:

(P=Present; A=Absent)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ...

StudentA P

P

P

P ...

StudentB A

A

A

A ...

StudentC P

P

P

P ...

StudentD A

A

A

A ...

(note: i'm sorry that the form did not line up as it was supposed to. The HTML isn't working apparently. Anyway, obviously, the first A's and P's are supposed to line up under "1" and so on and so forth AND the "1" is supposed to be horizontally positioned to the right of the end of the students names)

I KNOW that i can make the report/layout look like it is supposed to look (this is an existing layout that the entire agency uses) if i used one "Day" field and let it have 31 repetitions. I REALLY don't want to have to do this, though, because i would like the database to have long range reporting abilities.

Can anyone help?

Thank you so much,

Kremlarkin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin,

I'm confused about the setup of your attendance file. First, each record must have the student's name, right? Then you can have a creation date (or an auto-enter creation date which can be overridden if you don't get to the database on the day you actually checked attendance). You could just have records for when the student DID attend; then the master student file could just check for whether the attendance file includes that date for that student: if so, "P"; if not, "A"...

I'm not sure why you would need all those other calculation fields... Dates can be displayed in any way you like; the same date field can display any combination of day-of-week, date, month, etc....

Are you generating the report layout from within the students DB? If so, it seems you ought to be able to lay it out any way you like if your 31 fields are separate calculations... perhaps I don't follow?

Another note: you might just want to use "1" for present, "0" for absent... that will allow you to be very flexible about using "display as Boolean" number formats "A" and "P", checks and bullets, or whatever ...

Perhaps you could say more about the report: is it for each calendar month? If so, are you using a global field to specify the start-date for a particular reporting cycle, and letting all the other fields calculated based on that one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin --

Not much time here, but I did get a peek at your Microsoft files. The mystery is not so much what you want it to look like, but what you've set up so far in FileMaker and why -- your attendance file, for example, should not need any of those extra calculations about the date. Meanwhile,

(1) The report should really be generated out of your student database, because you want one row for each student.

(2) Set up a global field (data type:date) in the students database to hold the ReportStart date of the month you want to print a report for (e.g. 10/01/2003), and for each student one calculation that creates a long text string: it should show the attendance for that student for the ReportStart date, add a couple spaces (you can string things together with the & sign, using " "(spaces surrounded by quote signs) to make space), then include the attendance for ReportStart +1, then (after more space) attendance for ReportStart +2, etc. This is the most straightforward way, in my opinion, though not the neatest in terms of data efficiency.

OR, assuming that what you've got so far works except for the formatting (although to be honest, I'm not sure that I understand how the 31 day fields *could* work from within the attendance file): within the student file, you can actually PLACE those 31 fields from the attendance database onto a layout AS related fields... perhaps that's the fastest way, given what you say you've accomplished so far... To do that, make a new column layout (in the students file), and at the top of the "specify field" box, use the drop-down menu to change from "current file" to your relationship from the students file to the corresponding attendance records...

This is all too hasty, though, and perhaps confused and confusing; a more thorough version would make sure to stop after 28 or 30 days if that would cross over into the next month, etc., and would involve confirming how you've set up the 31 day fields. You could post your files (or clones of them) if that would help...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ESpringer,

I understand this solution. It would enable me to not have to use field repetition, which allows for better reporting in the future.

I am not 100% sure how i would go about pulling the information from the attendance.fp5 database into the students.fp5 database, however.

Would it be possible to create the layout in the attendance.fp5 database as long as i used a grouped report that had the StudentsFullName field as one of the fields that the information breaks across?

When i get home from class tonight, i will look at the database and attempt to implement your suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin,

You'll just need a relationship matching the name field on each student record (left-hand key to relationship) to all of the attendance records with that same student name appearing in the name field there (right-hand key to relationship). Let me know if setting up the relationship is the problem, or whether you've gotten that part and are wrestling with getting the right info to display.

To your question: I believe the short answer is No. (You can't properly generate the student rows for your monthly report directly out of a layout in the attendance.fp5 file). And the medium-length answer is "Why would you want to?" ; )

I have more time tonight than before. If you're willing to post the files (or clones of them) it would probably be more efficient than having me guess at where you're at now and explaining in the abstract... I'll check in by 6 or 7 PST (I'm on east coast).

-ESpringer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin,

Given the constraints (that you must use this form, and that you don't want to use repeated field within the students db, I almost saw no way around having 31 relationships. Yuck!

But here's the slightly less cumbersome (??!) solution: make the attendance records "recognize" each other according to an internal relationship of sharing same student during same month. Then, create a text string that shows the "Ps" and "As" for that month, in the right order, with spaces (or tabs) to make it show up correctly on your form. So, this is what I played with:

Make a calculation within the attendance database to show the start of the month for the date in question:

cMonthStart = Date-day(Date) +1 {in other words, for Nov 12, subtract 12, then add 1}

cMonthStartStudent = cMonthStart &" "&Student

Then, form a self-join matching attendance records which share the same cMonthStartStudent. Sort by date. In other words, you want each attendance record to be related to all the other attendance records *for* that student *for* that month.

Then you can make a value list of the attendance data for that month, in order of their dates. But there's a catch: the value list of "P"s and "As" would yield only the two values P and A (because a value list eliminates duplicates). So, you need to build the value list based on a calculated field for the date concatenated with the attendance:

cDateAtt = Date &" "&Status

Now, you can set up your "AttValues" value list: use only RELATED values -- each record's value list will show all the cDateAtt related to it via the cMonthStartStudent self-join relation. (So for each student, you'll have a month's worth of date-status info like:

"731531 A

731532 P

731533 P

..."etc. Values like 731531 happen when the date information stripped of its usual month/day clothing)

Make sense?

OK, now you can manipulate that value list using the ValueListItems function. This is a doozie, unless someone else knows how to use a wildcard in the "substitute" calculation. I don't. Anyway, the value list is currently a list of dates-with-attendance-status, separated by returns. You want to kill all the returns and all the numbers in the date strings, leaving only the Ps and As, separated by a few spaces. Right? So...

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

Substitute(

ValueListItems(Status(CurrentFileName), "AttValues"),

"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and you need to take that long calculation (the one that boils the value list down to Ps and As) and make sure that it's *unstored* in the "storage options" settings for the field.

Thanks to Fenton for just recently introducing me to the world of manipulating related-value lists in calculations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ESpringer,

I am uploading cloans of my work thus far. The past two nights have been late and not at the computer so i have not been able to emplement the self-joins as of yet. Truth to tell, I do not completely understand everything you have said to me yet. I hope that understanding will come within the next week or two. It depends a lot on how much work grad school gives me over that time. I will be looking at my files and your advice, however.

Thanks!

patrick

clone.zip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tweaked your attendance database to add the fields I've described. Maybe by poking around you can see the rationale... I've made three changes/additions to what I described earlier:

(1) You actually need to work with text Ps and As for the Value List calculation (so that you can take away the date numbers without killing the attendance status, but you can do this without touching the numbers; it can be a calculation on each...

(2) It seems wiser to work with tabs than spaces, so that you can format your report cleanly.

(3) I assume students might join the program after the beginning of the month. To prevent having to add "dummy" absence values, I've made the tweaked value list look at the earliest date and add extra tabs at the beginning if the first date of your record-keeping is after the start of the month. To make those extra tabs, a global gTab field is required; here I just put 30 tabs in it (using option-tab from the keyboard) so that any number short of 31 can be supplied...

Note: now EVERY record in the attendance database has a calculation showing the WHOLE month's attendance. You'll need to set up the global date gMonth in the students file to hold the start date of your desired report (10/01/2003), and also a calculation field in the students DB: StudentID&"_"&gMonth" to serve as the left-hand key for the relationship to pull up corresponding data from the attendance file. Note: You don't need a portal to do this: just a field taken from that database, because the first encountered record meeting the relation conditions will do just fine.

BTW, Your StudentID needs to be a text field, not a number field, given how you've generated the auto-enter values.

Cheers!

-E Springer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been looking over the solution you worked out and it is very interesting. I feel somewhat like i am trying to learn a new language and use it well at the same time (i really am quite new at this).

I took the modified version of the attendance file that you worked on and duplicated my students file. I added several attendance records to see what would happen when i had more than one month's worth of records. The records span from 2001 to this year. The one thing i could not figure out was how to get the "cAttThisMonth" field to display ONLY one specific month of data.

Any ideas? I have zipped the necessary files.

test.zip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin,

Gee, somehow part of the calculation, the part that was registering the day# of the cAttendance_Date, isn't working (though it was when I uploaded my version). I've isolated that simple calculation, and retyped it, and it's still not working... stay tuned?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kremlarkin,

Somehow the data in the cAttendance_Date field was not letting itself be accessed by other fields (so the field that was supposed to concatenate student ID with month start date was just yielding student ID, not restricting the match to same-month records).

I couldn't even make a calculation field simply *report* the contents of that simple date field, let alone do anything with them. So, I tried making another date field, cAtt_Date, and using it in all calculations instead of cAttendence_Date, and now it all works again...

I wonder whether something might have corrupted your file?

-ESpringer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a file that should (unless there's something bad in the water) do what I believe the other version did: to give As and Ps, separated by tabs, to show one month's worth of attendance data. I even checked in the student file to make sure the relationship would display the right sorts of things: check the Josh Doe record. Note: you'll have to be careful to include attendance records for every date in the month once the student starts, or else play with the tabs in the month's reports so that you won't get Monday attendance in the Saturday column... did you want to Saturday and Sunday columns to be blank?

Anyway, I assume you saw the espringer fields layout... I didn't polish the switch-over to the new version of the date field; the old "cAttendance_Date" field is still there; you'd need to get the "cAtt_Date" field to show the data that had been in the old files...

Best of luck...

-ESpringer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is 7544 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.