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Complicated enough to need relational database?


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My husband and I own our own trucking company. We need to track the states he travels to and how many miles he travels in each state for tax purposes. I have set up a database to record his trips.

Using repeating fields (because that is all I know how to use - I have never used a relational database...maybe that is what I need, but I am not sure), I have set up my db to be able to input state and miles per state for each trip with a total at the bottom of the miles column that adds the total miles for all states traveled on that trip.


for trip #1 =

CO 70 miles

UT 90 miles

WY 10 miles

total 170 miles

for trip #2 =

CO 80 miles

NE 50 miles

total 130 miles

for trip #3 =

CO 30 miles

UT 50 miles

NE 10 miles

total 90 miles

At the end of the quarter, how do I make it print like this:

CO 180 miles

NE 60 miles

UT 140 miles

WY 10 miles

total 390 miles

Right now, using subsummary and trailing grand summary, I get the first state in each record/trip the number of state entries (in this example the number yielded would be 8), and the total miles (at least that part works right).

Anybody have a simple solution? I know it is something stupid that I am missing. If I need a relational db or table, can someone point me toward an easy-to-read-and-follow tutorial?


Dawn Johnson

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It's nothing stupid you're missing, but you have on your own body felt exactly like the rest of us have felt sometime in the present, that repeating fields not quite are up to it when it comes to are up to statistics, unless you're really crafty.

Who's to blame that newbees all fall in this beartrap?? In misunderstood generosity have filemaker made some easy approachable templates that uses repeaters without even mentioning their shortcommings. Vanity dictates Filemaker Inc. to have a up and running in an hour approach.

I would guess that most of the repliers here, have learned relational approach the hard way with trial an err ...and not the classical degree in CS way by pulling your problem thru the normal forms. Filemaker is an entrepreneurs tool where you learn by doing ...and where the learningcurve is one of the flattest availiable.

The most common way to approach learning is by all means to download templates others have made, which seemingly are in the vicinity of what you wish to achieve ...and when you then open it learn something completely different from what you actually came for :jester: ....

So my advice is to download as many templates as you can lay your hand on, and follow debates here and in other forums.

When it comes to the last part, the participation in debates ...beware of not explain your path or journey too specific, but instead ask how to optain a certain behaviour.

Peoples ways of reasoning follows very different patterns which can't be transfered or recognized later. Say you in detail explain occurences and cull de sacs that no developer with 10-12 years of expirience in his right mind do any more, the iffy things have simply been moved into subconsciousness from the awareness, caused by the timespan.

So the answer is YES, you need to get acquainted with relational approaches, almost immediately !!!


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Hey Dawn,

Yeah, it sure seems like the best answer is in relational databases. They're really not that hard to learn- I actually learned everything I need to know from the manual that came with the filemaker program. I can think of some ways to do what you are looking for without using relational databases, but they end up more complicated, and less efficient.


Edited by Guest
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I'm an amateur at this, but if you haven't figured out what route to take, here's a file to give you some ideas.

It uses portals for data entry, and you'll have to create your own reports. I'm rather rough on generating reports, but if there's a will there's a way, and I'm sure you'll figure something out.


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