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Asset Management for School Equipment


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Hi there,

 

I am creating a database for our film school's camera equipment. It is an asset management application much like a library system. I need help with the process of designing a form to batch assign assets to a contact.

 

In short, one student can check-out several pieces of equipment at once.

 

The best template I have found out there is FM Starting Point (see attached screencap), which already has relationships established between Assets and Contacts (On the Asset layout, you can check-out an individual asset to an individual contact). It also has Condition, History, and a list view for all Assets. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

 

Where I am totally stumped is the ability to assign multiple assets to one contact in one place.

 

THE GOAL: We want a layout that is a form that can select one contact and then, by scanning barcodes, list several assets one after the other (cameras, tripods, etc). Then at the bottom there should be a button that says "CHECKOUT" that, once clicked, marks all of those asset records as Checked-Out and to that specific person. - A similar solution would be needed to check-in - Lastly, it would be nice to print that form with those barcode #s to have the students sign and retain for their records.

 

Does anyone know the right way to build a form like this? I have searched far and wide over the last few weeks and can't find tutorials on this.

 

Any leads would be truly appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance for the support.

 

Barry

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  • Newbies

Hello and thanks for your quick response.

 

I understand the need for the Loans and LoanItems tables in terms of setting up the database, but after that I get totally baffled.

 

The link above relates to a FM7 file that I cannot open in FM13. :hmm:

 

Is there a tutorial anywhere that outlines the steps for building an invoice layout once the tables and relationships are set?

 

Thanks again.

 

Barry

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  • Newbies

Hello again!

 

Thanks for the tip! I didn't know FileMaker could open that file as it looked different than normal files.

 

I tried mimicking the sample file in my database, connecting the relationships from parent to child fields in the order you mentioned above (and in the sample). The part that is very difficult for me to translate is how the creator of this database made the invoice layout.

 

Example, I see that there's a portal relating to the LineItems table, however when I create a portal I do not know how to refer to my Assets/Products table. I just get a blank box.

 

What does the LineItem layout do? Do I need to create those for each time we create a new loan?

 

Thank you again for your input and patience. I am learning a lot!

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The portal shows records from the LineItems table. In your case, that would be the LoanItems table (you need to create such table, if you haven't done so already).

 

The important point here is that an Asset can be loaned out many times, and a Loan can contain many Assets. Thus the relationship between Loans and Assets is many-to-many and requires a join table to resolve it. The LoanItems table fills that role.

 

Each time an asset is loaned out, you need to create a new record in LoanItems that joins the currently created Loan with that Asset (in the demo file, you can do so directly in the portal, by clicking into the first empty portal row and selecting a product) . There will be nothing in the Asset record itself to document the loaning/s of the asset; all that data will be in the LoanItems join table.

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