FileMaker Sorting Explored

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

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Many times you will want to have your found set of records in a particular order for viewing, printing lists or printing reports. By default, FileMaker records are seen in the order they were created. As a FileMaker user, you can override this sort order temporarily. This is done by running a sort command via a menu option or via a script.

The sort order is made up of particular setting for the data in one or more fields. You make a selection of a field or field that you want to sort via, the sort order (ascending, descending or other) from a dialog box and then perform the sort.

Sorting can also show up in other areas than a command for a found set of records. You can have sort orders in relationship definitions, portal views, dynamic value lists and more. You can also have sorts affect calculations and summary totals.

For the huge majority of the time, you will be sorting fields in ascending and descending orders. However the ability to sort via a value list can add some very interesting opportunities to your sort routines.

A sort by value list can be very helpful in the crafting of reports that might have grouped totals based upon a sub summary part. Let us look at an example of sorting a collection of address records based upon the country the address is located within.

In the above example, you could have the countries sorted alphabetically or how about a sort order based upon the countries geographic location? This unique type of sorting routine could be done via a carefully crafted value list.

To sort a field by a value list, you click the field you want in the sort order. Next you click the radio button for Custom Order Based On Value List. From the pull down menu from that selections right, choose the value list you want to use.

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© 2007 - Dwayne Wright -

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