Related Fields On A FileMaker Layout

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

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
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There are occasions were you will want to have a related field on a layout but you don't need a portal. You just want to show one related record. A classic example may be when you only want to see the latest value of a related record. Say that you have an employee table and a table that holds all their promotions with salary information. You may only want to see the latest record. So you decided to put the related field on the layout and here are the step for that.

1. Go to layout mode and go to the layout you want to put the related field on.

2. Drag over an empty field from the status area, which will bring up the dialog box to pick a field. Above the list of fields for the current table for the current layout, you will see a pull down menu. From the pull down menu, choose the table occurrence that has the related field you want to use.

NOTE: If the relationship is not there, you will need to define the table occurrence in the relationship tab of the define database dialog box and link it to the table occurrence for the layout you are on.

3) Select the field you want to use and click the OK button. This will place the field on the layout.

NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT: The sort order of the relationship can be important and would be in this case. By default, the related field you place on the layout will show the first compared value of the relationship to the table occurrence. Unless you specify a sort order for the relationship, you will see the first related record created. This is NOT what you would want in the example above because it would give you the first related promotion / salary information and you want the last or most current information.

To see the latest record, be sure you sort the relationship you are using, so the most current record appears first ( just like you would if you wanted it to show up that way in a portal ).

NOTE: The behavior of a related field on a layout changes, if there are no related records. If you do not have the relationship option checked to automatically create related records, then you cannot do anything to that field from that layout.

However a related field on a layout using a relationship to create new related records automatically can be quite handy. If you have no related records and have the new related records automatically setup in the relationship dialog box, then you can type new data into that field just like a field that belongs to the parent table. This is like a relational splice between table occurrences.

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