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FM Business Tracker - how did they without portal?


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I have been learning Filemaker via the Business Tracker solution/sample, I have a strong DB back ground and understand the tables and relations specific to my question.

What I would like to learn is how the location tabs are able to display data from up to 4 rows from table having a 1 to many relation without the use of a portal?

Layout name 'Company Detail (Contacts)' use table 'Company' and has 4 buttons on it bound to field location::namedisplay, this field is of type calc using a case function and to the best of my understanding will always be true.

TextColor( Case(UserSelectedLocation::UserName = Get(AccountName); TextStyleAdd ( Name ; Bold ); TextStyleAdd ( Name ; Plain )); RGB( 255; 255; 255))

The table UserSelectedLocation is linked into customer just like location is, this table only gets a single record created for user + company ID.

review:

1. company starts it all and is the default for the layout.

2. can have up to 4 locations for each company in the 'location' table.

3. the 'UserSelectedLocation' table will only have one record for each user that has viewed a company.

4. the 4 fields on the layout, linked to the same same field in the table are not in a portal.

When I duplicate this setup in a new db I just get the same first record in all my fields, I will have to admit that I did not create a matching UserSelectedLocation table and my calculation field was just pointing to the name field. I have done this short cut here as I tested in the business tracker app by deleting the record in UserSelectedLocation then switching back to the company detail view, I get the results I expect, the fields to edit the current location are blank as no record is there to pick a relation. The 3 field creating the tabs are still there and they match the 3 location records I have in the location table. Soon as I do something that cause the record to be recreated the location data returns.

Also in the business tracker solution the fields are not displayed unless there is a location record for it, i know they have to be setting the color but cannot find out where.

Thank You,

David

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Hello David

It's not fully true, that the FBT doesn't use portals for the location display. The tabs row at the top is actually a row with four portals (but they are invisible, beacuse they have no fill or line). This uses an old Filemaker trick: If a relationship for a portal doesn't have related records, the portal (and all which is paced on it) will disappear. If a company doesn't have a secondary address, the second tab won't show etc. The fields showing the details of a location below are placed there without a portal, because they do not need to be hidden.

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Detlev,

Soon as I read your reply I though to myself, yeah sounds just like the horizontal portal example I just seen on another web site. I did not know that about portal display behavior.

I rushed right to the Business Tracker example ungrouped one of the tabs, I could not find any portal. Is there any way you can guide me in closer? I just must be missing something here.

David

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David,

It's hard to find, because it's invisible. the best way is to copy the whole location area and then dissect it:

The topmost thing on the tab row is the field "namedisplay",

second follows a invisible rectangle that triggers the navigation script for the tab,

third is the field "TabGraphic",

fourth is another invisible rectangle for the script (not sure, why this is doubled) and then finally,

the fifth object is the invisible portal (based on TO "Location"). You have to exactly aim for the (invisible) portal border to get it.

There's no other way than trial and error with the mouse (and use the Select All menu command to see four corners). Good luck!

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yeah I been draging over the area to get all selected and then sending items to the back one at a time. I am sure you are not making this up, so I will keep poking at it.

---UPDATE--- it took all of about 1 minute to find when you reminded me i have to click the edge.

Thank you,

David

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The Location 'tabs', as well as the other tabs within Business Tracker look nice. But what happens when more locations are added than will display across the tab top? I haven't tried it yet ... I just see this as something that would possibly need changed when an address (Location) doesn't display. There appears to be no way for the User to get to it.

Like I said, I've only played with it briefly but this type of design would concern me for our situation. Physical Address, Billing Address, Shipping Address, Drop-Ship Address, etc. The Numbers tabs (phone numbers, email addresses), even more of a concern. I think I'd stay with portals where scroll is built in.

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