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Can I use Filemaker to create a punch system

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I am a school teacher, as part of our afterschool program, we need to setup a system that will track students everyday based on the amount of time they are studying.

The concept is: (I figure having records that are based on days would be easiest)

1.When the kids arrive, we can enter their student ID (I have created a relationship with another FM database with student info) This automatically fills in their name and phone number

2. We then would enter the time that they arrive

3. We also choose how long they would study for (usually 1 or 2 hours)

---This is important, becuase what I am trying to achieve is a format (can be very basic) maybe as a table that will list all the students and info by row. I have tried to make a calculation field that tests the time they arrive with the amount of time they are expected to stay so that it would return how much time they have remaining in the day or if they have left already.

The problem is that I can get the calculation to display the count down 5 min, 4 min, 3 min, etc but the field will not automatically refresh or update the information. Only if I make a change to information in the row will it change) I have thought about using a script, but that means it has to run all the time and I am afraid it may conflict with the entry of information when another faculty member uses it, they might not know how to restart it.

I have tried 2 layouts - daily entry table (exact layout in table view)

or time layout

Is there anyway to make something flash I can make the text turn color.

Please offer any suggestions. I worry Filemaker cannot perform what I am trying to do.

Thank you confused.gif



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Yes, you can do it. Make a script with a loop in it. In the loop put a pause statement that pauses for one minute (if counting minute by minute, one second if counting down by second, etc.), a statement that goes through each field to update, basically another loop that goes through each record containing GoToField, followed by a Commit Record should do it.

The only caveat - if you do anything else while that script is running, you'll need to stop the script and restart it again. Here's a rough draft (I don't have FM here so this is off the top of my head):




GoToField(TimeLeft, Select All)

Commit Record

GoToRecord(Next, Exit After Last)


Refresh Window <-- may not be needed


There is another solution with the third party oAzium Events plug-in - it can let you set timers to trigger scripts.

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Thank you for the idea. I have tried it, but again if the script is running, another teacher cannot add any infomration unless they close the script. With the basic knowledge of the other teachers, the script would never be restarted after data entry or they will not know how to stop the script and will revert back to paper and pen. (what a pain for me).

I am thinking that filemaker may not be the best program to try to create this program in.

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