Constrain The FileMaker Found Set

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

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With the introduction of FileMaker 6, a new capability was added to constrain or extend the found set. The constrain found set is remarkably similar to what you can do with multiple find requests in the previous versions of FileMaker. For a long time, I had trouble seeing the subtle differences. The more and more I used the constrain found set feature, I began to see those differences and I began to really like these new options. Constrained and extended finds do give the developer more options in scripting the found set process and once you get used to it, you might lean on it all the time.

The way it works is when you are in find mode, a new menu option becomes available. It is called Requests and contains the constrain found set option. You won’t see this option in Browse, Layout or Preview modes. The constrain found set option is like starting with a very wide search. After looking at your resulting found set, you can then use Constrain Found Set to narrow down the results even further.

To get it to work properly, you first need to perform a find, do a GTRR, omit a record or anything that gives you a found set less than the overall record count for the table. Then go back into find mode and enter in search settings to narrow down your found set even further. Then perform the Constrain Found Set menu option under the Requests menu ( again while you are still in find mode ). This will execute the constrained find operation.

Can the Constrain Found Set actions be scripted? Yes, you can script the constrain found set operation. In fact, constrain found set is likely to be activated more by scripts than by user interaction with menu commands.

NOTE: The modify last find feature works a little different when using Constrain
Found Set. It will not restore the find settings that originally created the first found set ( or any of the previous found sets if you run the constrain found set a number of times ). It will only restore the last find settings of the constrain found set. This is something to be aware of in your scripts or in the way some of your users perform their searches!

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