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Follow-up letters

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I'd like to build in some functionality that will automatically generate a follow-up letter to clients based on a follow-up date. The amount of days after the date in question will vary.

In some cases the follow-ups must happen at regular intervals, (i.e. once a month or once a year).

Could someone recommend an elegant & simple way to implement something like this ?

It's possible I might want some printed and some emailed.. but if that makes it too complicated, I could live with them all being printed, since many of the clients are older and don't yet use email. (but if it's easy to implement, I'd be all for it)

I'm especially wondering how the new Filemaker 8 features could factor in to the equation.

thanks for any help anyone can offer.. i don't know where to start with this.

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or... maybe... could anyone recommend a good source /book perhaps.. that gives examples of the architecture of various computer systems.. : I need to see more examples of how all this stuff is done on the ERD/tables/relationships end.

I have picked up a few books in Barnes & Noble, but put them down because the books I've picked up have looked really theoretical and boring to the point of tears.. I need a book that will say.. .this is a ___ type of join, you might use it in these cases....

anyone know of a book that might fit my need :

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What you are hoping for will require a bit of work. Consider creating a Correspondence table that holds your letter texts (LetterBody, Signature, Date, etc.), which would be merged with Person records.

The process of selecting letters and recipients would have to be scripted. It would require that you build a letter layout on the Person table. You'd search for whichever persons you wanted to contact, and then display the selected letter.

To get the "selected letter," you need a many to one relationship from the person table to the correspondence table. To achieve this, create a global field in the person table (gSelectedLetter). Then create a relationship between this field and the CorrespondenceID and you can then put the letter fields on your new layout.

You could set it up so that the letter content could be emailed (using FM's rudimentary send mail script step).

None of this handles the issuance of periodic messages; perhaps it would be easy enough to do manually then.



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