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Thought I was getting good untill I started w/FM7

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Tonight, I began my first database in FM7. I had started this DB sometime ago in FM6, and thought I should start looking into 7. A few issues that I quickly became stumped by.

1: I wanted to import some sample data into my tables in order to see how it works. From File/Import/File, I could not get it to change what table I was importing to. I even created a new layout that only had fields from that particular table. I would not give any option to import from, except my main DB. I got around this by creating a script, however, I would like to know better how this works.

2: Creating a new record script step. How do I script which table I'm creating the new record in? My example: I have the MAIN database, which will contain mostly personal information. I have a field that has the latests "notes." When I click the field, It gives me a dialog, and asks me for the latest changes. The script takes the previous notes, and puts it into another table, and saves the current note in the field. In FM6, I did this saving the data I wanted to Global fields, then running a script in the related file. In FM7, it's the same file, different table. If I say New Record/Request, it will create the record in the MAIN Table, not the NOTES Table. This doesn't make much sense to me.

3: Everytime I click on an empty layout area, the DB seems to stall for a second. What's that all about?

Thanks to the help anyone can offer on any of these issues.

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1. Did you notice the "Source:" drop-down menu at the top-left of the field list in the Import dialog? That's where you choose the Table Occurrence you will be importing from. You have to be ON a layout attached to a Table Occurrence tied to the "base table" you want to import into.

Table Occurrence (TO) is a new thing in 7; what you see on the Relationship Graph. It is tied to a particular base table, but can be filtered by a relationship. Almost all of your layouts are going to be tied to one these base table TO's (one is created for you when you create a Table); all layouts are tied to one particular TO. The reason I bring this up right away is what you see in the drop-down menu in Import is TO names, NOT base tables names.

2. Same basic problem with New Record. You want to go to a layout which is tied to the base table where you want a new record. In this case you'd be choosing a layout name.

It's critical that you name a TO or layout so you can see to which base table it is tied. Because those are the names you are asked to choose from.

On the plus side, you don't have to switch files, it can all be easily done in one script. You also no longer need a Constant relationship to pass globals. Just reference a plain TO of the other table to get its global field; or pass from there to where you want it to go. Remember where you are at all times.

3. Be sure to upgrade to 7.0v3. Earlier versions had layout glitches. Otherwise I'm not sure exactly what's going on.

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Thanks for the response. On the Import, I did see the drop down when I imported as a script step. However, it did not appear when I did it as a manual import. File/Import/File. I found it frustrating that I had to write a script to get it to work.

I'm guessing that the New Record will work the same way, and I'm concerned that I'll get unpredictable results the way I think I have to do it.

I do have the update installed. I saw the appearance difference when I did that.

I feel like I lost some control with the new Table format. When I created a totaly new layout with only 1 tables fields on it, I attempted to do the manual import, and it still gave me the Main Table to import to. I'm nervous that this will hold true with New Records, and other steps in my scripts.

Another issue I see coming up when I begin converting my other big project, is many of my layouts have multiple relationships and scripts for all kinds of differnt tasks on single layouts.

Again, thanks for all of your help.

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AHHHHH!!! I finaly found a reason to goto the Setup Layout dialog, and found some new toys to play with!! Kewl.

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I think you're worrying a little more than necessary. It works. You can always choose which table to import FROM. You may have just not noticed that drop-down. It's easy to forget it's there. You have be ON a layout for the table you want to import INTO.

New Record, same thing. You have to be ON the right layout. But you can go to the layout in your script, create a new record, then go wherever else; all in the same script. No more jumping around to scripts in other files. Even if the tables are in separate files, you can put a Table Occurrence (TO) of the other file in your graph, and you're good to go.

Yes, there's some conversion issues.

1. Bunch of old and flakey file references in your version 6, made visible in 7. There is a commercial tool to fix this. Worth it on large solutions for sure; main cause of slow operations.

2. Some differences in the way 7 makes layouts visible. By default many steps which used to always show the layout (because in 6 there was only 1 layout/window per file) don't necessarily in 7. This is good. But, on conversion, 7 adds Select Window steps here and there, to make it behave like 6. Often you don't need/want them. Sometimes you do though (navigation to end up somewhere).

But using all kinds of relationships, etc., on one layout; there's no problem. It works the same. Just make sure your layout is using a "base table," and not some odd TO, which does not have access to other TO's. It's a good idea to look at the Relationship Graph when there's a question. The lines don't lie.

Sometimes you have to create another occurrence of a base table, dangling off the end of a TO Group (a bunch of related TOs), to solve the "you can't get there from here" problem. But, realistically, we had to do this in 6 also. That's why we had so many relationships.

It's better in 7 though, because you can often read "through" intermediate TOs. Relationships are not limited to just the "adjacent" TO. This solves most of those "data tunneling" problems (if you CAN get there from here ???-)

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Hey Fenton,

Thanks for your help. I've been getting a lot more done as I see the things you're talking about. I've attached an image of the box I'm talking about. Based on the way you're talking, I'm wondering if you haven't seen what I'm talking about on the import dialog. It only has the drop down for me on the import script step. I have solved my issue with the Layout Setup options.

Seems strange that it wouldn't allow me to select the relationship to import to on the File/Import/File option.

Again, Thanks for everything!


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You might take a look at a whole bunch of FM7 whitepapers available on the FileMaker web site. They are helpful in describing the differences between FM7 and previous versions. They also offer an extensive discussion of conversion issues.


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It can choose which table to import FROM in another file, because it is only reading data. But it can only import INTO the current table; because it's writing data (I don't know the technical details, but that's my understanding of it). Think of Go To Layout as "choose the table."

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