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charper

Maintaining found sets for flat files

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My database consists of one file that's organized into several different record types (Customers, Orders, Products, etc.) There's one layout (used for viewing and modifying records) for for EACH record type . Finds are performed as the user navigates between layouts to ensure that they see the appropriate TYPE of records only. Example: When user goes to the Customers layout, his found set becomes all of the Customer records in the file. Other finds can done from within each layout to find more specific subsets of each record type. However, these found sets are not retained as user navigates between layouts.

Example: User goes to the Customers layout and finds only those customers who live in California. Then user goes to the Orders layout and finds only those order that were placed on 2/10/01. User then returns to Customers layout. But information about the previous found set of customers is gone (since the database made no effort to retain this info anywhere).

I'd like to be able to restore the previous found set of California customers when returning to the Customers layout in the above example. I'd like this behavior to be the same for all layouts for each record type. What's the best way to do this?

Should I just have a set of Globals for each record type that stores the find criteria that was last used on each layout? Then, everytime the user navigates to a layout, I could just perform a find based on these globals. Is this kosher? Is there a better way?

I'd also like to keep track of the last record that was viewed on each layout and return user to that record.

Note: I'm not interested in solutions that involve breaking my flat file up into a multi-file database structure, but I would like to discuss the pros and cons of flat file designs over "relational" with someone sometime.

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