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How to Avoid Portal Autosort


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Filemaker Pro 10 Advanced.

We're having a problem with portal autosort

I have a repeating field list on the left and a matching portal on the right that pulls corresponding data from a related table.

The user types a word on the left and the related word appears in the right-hand column (the portal).

So far, so good. The correct data appears.

But... the portal is sorting it (I don't have any sort values set in portal preferences).

This is NOT what we want. We want the portal values on the right to line up with the corresponding values on the left, exactly as they are entered, not for the list to reshuffle itself.

There's no way to predict which words or how many will be on the left, so a value list work-around isn't practical.

Help!! How do we turn off autosort? We want the portal data to be displayed in the same order it's fetched.

Here's an example to make our problem more clear:

Here is how data is entered:

Repeating Field (filled by user).................................Related Portal (fetches from related table)

------------------------...............................--------------------------------

cat...........................................................................cat-relateddata

dog.........................................................................dog-relateddata

bird........................................................................bird-relateddata

mouse....................................................................mouse-relateddata

squirrel..................................................................squirrrel-relateddata

aardvark................................................................aardvark-relateddata

We rarely change the order of the data on the left and the portal on the right fetches it from the related table as it's entered on the left but... as soon as you have 2 or more values, the portal starts sorting it, even if NO sorting is selected in portal preferences (I even tried re-creating the portal several times to make sure it was a "clean" portal with nothing set). What we want is what it looks like above. What happens is something like this:

Repeating Field (filled by user).................................Related Portal (fetches from related table and autosorts as values are entered on the left)

------------------------...............................--------------------------------

cat...........................................................................aardvark-relateddata

dog.........................................................................bird-relateddata

bird........................................................................cat-relateddata

mouse....................................................................dog-relateddata

squirrel..................................................................mouse-relateddata

aardvark................................................................squirrrel-relateddata

There's no way to predict the values on the left in advance. They come from a very large pool of words and are specific to the current record, and since there are NEVER more than a dozen values (usually 5 or 6). It's one of the rare instances where a repeating field is exactly what we need.

The portal on the right is doing the job fine—it's fetching and displaying the correct values—except that it shuffles things around. We don't want it to sort. We want it to stay as fetched.

After noting the problem, I tried to find a logical preference setting within the portal (e.g., sort on value field for the repeating field on the left), but this doesn't appear to work. After that I tried every preference setting (without a suitable result) and then started again with a new "clean" supposedly unsorted portal. If the portal would just leave things as entered, we wouldn't need a work-around.

[One last note about why we use a repeating field rather than a simple relationship and portal fetch on the left. There is human decision-making involved that can't be automated by a script. For example, the data in the current record might be the word catcha or catalytic or catechism and the human is deconstructing and choosing to use "cat" rather than "catch" or "catalyt", so, we can't autofetch from a related table. The user tells the record which word fragments are relevant (cat, dog, bird, mouse) and then filemaker matches the relationship on the right. It's not appropriate for them to be alphabetized. It must follow the sentence structure of the currect record.]

Any ideas?

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