Bringing It All Together

You've just finished learning a lot about the various options and settings in FileMaker's Define Database window. At this point, it would be a good idea to take them for a test drive by adding some more functionality to your database. While you're at it, you'll get a chance to add a new field to an existing database (something you haven't done yet) and see how FileMaker respondssee Missing Fields below.

A private investigator has to deal with all kinds of characters. You've decided you might need a little help separating the good guys from the bad guys. Of course, Mom always said there's some good in everybody, so what you really need is a field that holds a Goodness Rating: George Costanza gets a zero, Mrs. Cleaver gets a five, and everybody else gets something in between. You want to make sure the rating is between zero and five, and you'd like it to be three unless you manually change it.

  1. In the Define Database window, enter Goodness Rating in the Field Name box and, from the Type pop-up menu, pick Number. Then click Create.

    You now have a field to hold the goodness rating.

  2. Click the Options button, which has now become available, and then select the Auto-Enter tab.

    The Auto-Enter options appear. You might have to switch to the Auto-Enter tab, if it isn't visible.

  3. Turn on the Data checkbox. Then, in the text box next to it, type 3.

    Remember, this option tells FileMaker to place some fixed piece of information in the field when you first create the record. Since you're assuming people are generally a three, it makes sense to let FileMaker automatically fill in that value for you.

  4. Click the Validation tab, turn on "In range" and enter 0 to 5 for the range options.

    This action tells FileMaker to expect goodness ratings between zero and five.

  5. Uncheck "Allow user to override during data entry."

    You don't want to allow values outside the range at all.

  6. Turn on "Display custom message if validation fails."

    A custom message makes this whole thing feel more personal somehow.

  7. In the custom message box, type Please specify a Goodness Rating between 0 and 5.

    You may as well give a message that is as meaningful as possible. Since the user can't override this validation, the message is a statement, not a question.

  8. Click OK, then OK again to close the Define Database window.

    You're back in your database again, and ready to test the Goodness Rating.

That about does it. You now have a database that handily tracks people, including how good they are, and you can search it, sort it, print it, zoom it, and generally have a good time with it. In the next chapter, you'll learn how to gussy it up.

Missing Fields

Normally, when you add new fields to a database, they show up automatically in the database window so you can work with them. However, you can tell FileMaker not to show them. If you do, it's your job to put the fields in the window yourself (which you won't learn how to do until the next chapter). If FileMaker isn't showing you the fields, you need to fix the preferences:

  1. Open the Application Preferences and select the Layout tab. You can find the Application Preferences by choosing Edit Preferences (Windows) or FileMaker Pro images/U2192.jpg border=0> Preferences (Mac OS X).

When this option is turned on, fields automatically show up in Browse mode as soon as you create them. You won't see any fields you created before you turn this option back on, though. See Section to learn how to use the field tool to drag new fields onto your layouts. Eventually, you'll probably want to turn this option off and manage your layouts manually.

Part I: Introduction to FileMaker Pro

Your First Database

Organizing and Editing Records

Building a New Database

Part II: Layout Basics

Layout Basics

Creating Layouts

Advanced Layouts and Reports

Part III: Multiple Tables and Relationships

Multiple Tables and Relationships

Advanced Relationship Techniques

Part IV: Calculations

Introduction to Calculations

Calculations and Data Types

Advanced Calculations

Extending Calculations

Part V: Scripting

Scripting Basics

Script Steps

Advanced Scripting

Part VI: Security and Integration


Exporting and Importing

Sharing Your Database

Developer Utilities

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A. Getting Help

FileMaker Pro 8. The Missing Manual
FileMaker Pro 8: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596005792
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 176 © 2008-2020.
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