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Layout-Only files in FM7


RDecker
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As I've been looking over FM7 to see if it's suitable to my needs, I've read a number of comments in the forums here re. the ability to use files that contain only layouts and scripts to serve as an interface to separate data files. That would surely simply my projects, but since I'm still looking over the trial version, I haven't been able to figure out how to do that. Haven't found the right section (if it exists) in the help system.

How does one use editable fields from a data file in a Layout file? I don't see how one creates a relationship between the tables in the two different files without having fields in the Layout file. If I insert fields from the other file without a relationship, I get, of course, an "unrelated field" error. If I do enter a field in the Layout file so that I can create the relationship, I can then display fields from the other files, but I don't see how to create the records in the data file rather than in the Layout file.

This is probably simple, but these new features work quite differently from the older versions of FM that I've used. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks.

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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It's different to wrap your brain around, but the new version is all one homgenious solution where the data exists in tables and the UI just that, a UI.. a la "Access".

Just how separate this is, some more knowledgable person will have to tell you. However, I believe you make it behave as if separate just how it is.

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OK, I see that it works. Thanks for the demo files. But there's something (probably obvious!) that I must be missing. I've tried setting up files the same way, but I don't get the same results. When I insert a field in the layout file I get a list of ::fields, but in your sample, the fields don't have the :: related-field prefix. When I use them, I can't add a new record since "a table is missing." Yet I've created a blank table for the layout file and added the table from the data file (best I can tell, same as the demo files). :

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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The trick is to set the what table each layout accesses its data from. The way you do this is by the 'Layout Setup' window, found in Layouts > Layout Setup... then under the 'General' tab you will see a new option for each layout that you create, called 'Show Records From'. Here you can decide to have this layout pull data from any table that you can access. Tables from this current file or tables from other files.

How do you access tables from other files? Easy, just add the file in the Define > File References.. list. Once you have done that then you can create a table, in the Relationships graph, that points that the data of the other files. That table you created will show up in the 'Show Records From' menu of 'Layout Setup'.

Here is an example file I created from the built in 'Student Records' database file from Filemaker. It has two different interface files and one data file.

Platform: Mac OS X Panther

Files.zip

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OK, we have some confusion here.

First, please read the Migration Methodologies Tech Brief that will be posted next week at http://www.filemaker.com/upgrade/techbriefs.html and pay particular attention to the the chapters on The Separation Model.

Second, tables are NOT created in the relationship graph. But you do place aliases to tables in the data files there. When these are in place it is possible to access these data just as though you were in the data file itself. Scripts will work on the context described by the anchor of the layout. For example if you are anchored to an alias of the data table called "Contacts" and you issue a new record command, it makes a new record in the data table, not in the UI file.

Experiment around a little with this.

Steven

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Old Advance Man said:

tables are NOT created in the relationship graph. But you do place aliases to tables in the data files there.

OK, that helps conceptually. I think I understand the principles. The missing piece is apparently *how* one places an alias in the graph. But I'll await the promised tech paper this week and read it before I post more questions. Thanks.

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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The technique for adding a table 'alias' for a table which exists in another file is relatively straightforward.

First, as indicated above, create a 'File Reference' to the other file.

Then in the 'Relationships' tab of the 'Define Database' dialog, click on the tool icon at the lower left which has the green plus-sign symbol over a tiny drawing of a table. You'll then see a mini list dialog (labelled 'Specify Table') which, immediately above the list, has a pop-up menu of referenced files. Choose the other file from the list and you'll see a list of the tables in that file. Choose a table from the list and click 'OK' and it will be added to the relationships graph - much as though it were in the current file. cool.gif

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