Logical Breaks In FileMaker SubSummary Report Data - Your Thoughts?

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
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Had a client that calls me from time to time to chat about different ways to accomplish his goals for his database project. He called me today and I didn’t have a good answer for him but to commiserate with him that FileMaker didn’t have a pure checkbox option for this. I have seen some very heavy tweaks for this need in the past and have avoided them myself. I also have seen some innovative script trigger design in the last few weeks that ... take what used to be an intensive hack ... and boil it down to quite useable and transparent to the user.

I'm so freakishly busy with client work right now and just do not have the time to research the topic properly. I thought I'd toss this thought out into the blogosphere and see what might come back.

The main challenge is a classic one, what is the best way to strategically place sub summary part data breaks based upon the amount of space left on the printed page? If the number of rows that fit into a subsummary part extend to a second page, how do you present that condition to the user printing the report?

Said that I haven't seen anything simple. With FileMaker 10, I imagine there may be a way to do this due to the dynamic reporting feature. Perhaps some field that can detect how much row data you have, detect where a new subsummary part would like occur and then expand the number of carriage returns to accommodate that a subsummary data set would break across a page.

Better yet, have the calculation detect this and create a new subsummary part for the ongoing pages ... which would likely require that records falling into the secondary subsummary part would have the key sort data updated via a replace command (so it would fall nicely into our report needs). This way you would have a fresh subsummary part that would indicate it is from a second page and show the overall subsummary totals and the new “just on this page) summary totals.

If you have any ideas, comments or appropriate links to where we can solve this age old problem, we would love to hear from you!
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

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