A READER ASKS: Portal Sum Branches and Default Responses

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

A READER ASKS
I am just starting using FileMaker and I already have few problems. I have found your site by searching through google. It is great, but have not found the solution for my problems, yet.

I have two questions:

1.) In a portal I have different items with their descriptions, tax rates, prices, tax prices. The problem is, that I need to sum all the tax prices for one tax rate, separately from other. For example: I want to sum tax prices for all the items with 10% tax in one field and all tax for items with 20% in the other. Can this be done? How? I can send you a file where I need to sum this, but I probably need to translate it...

2.) Every record needs some kind of a comment (or agreement terms). Sometimes they are the same, sometimes just similar (and they just need to be corrected). And they are quite long. I would love to use the option of a custom dialog, but would also like, that when program asks you what you want to be written, it already contains most common text(only one variable). This probably could not be done in this way? Another option that I found is to use editable field, which has chosen the auto-entry function. I cannot use data option, because the text contains too much characters. But I can use From last record function, or I could split the text in more fields.

Is there any other way to do this? I would really like to have something similar as the custom dialog option.

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DWAYNE RESPONDS
Thanks for the kind words on my FileMaker blogs. In regards to your questions ...

1) Well, I assume you have a tax percent field in the line items themselves. I do this myself in my InBizness product because some products may have different tax rates. You can go in (at least) one of two possible directions here.

Option 1: Create two calculation fields in the line items table. One will only calculate the tax if the tax percent value is 10% or below. The second field calculates only is the tax percent value if it is greater than 10%. Then your two fields use the Sum function to the line item calculation that is relevant to it.

Option 2: I wouldn’t do it this way but you could setup a relationship link for both situations for the two fields to calculate accordingly. One relationship only calculates the values at or below 10% and the other relationship above 10%. In a case like this, your relationship is a filter for your calculation results.

The difference is ... do you want two additional fields in your line items table or do you want two additional relationships in your graph.

2) This is commonly referred to as a template table. For example, this table can contain many common responses to a question and show them in a portal. Clicking a button in the table takes that value and places it within the text. This is how I do my own advertisements in my FileMaker blog posts. All the types of ads that I want to use are in their own table. I click a portal row and it imbeds the advertising html information in the footer of my post.

You could also try setting up a trigger field, instead of a portal. The trigger field would show a value list of “template” options. When you add a value to the trigger field, an auto enter takes place in the comments field.

If you would want to cover this in more, I could show you via a virtual one on one session.
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