FileMaker is great for putting together a quick form for any number of data-entry chores. By using a FileMaker portal you can put together a master/detail form that will keep track of transactions based on some kind of header record. Typical examples include:
- Invoices and line items
- Customers and interactions
- Prospects and sales efforts.
- Jobs and application sequence.
These forms are especially helpful when you need to keep track of a “pipeline”. For example when applying for a job, there are multiple steps involved:
- Applied for the job
- Received an eMail acknowledgement
- First phone interview
- Second phone interview
- Scheduled live interview
At any one time you may have multiple jobs somewhere in the process, and a typical status report would show a list of each job and its current status.
This brings us back to the question of displaying the jobs and activities. We’re looking for a “report” which has a list of jobs, and underneath each job the list of activities that have taken place for the job.
FileMaker portals display the related records for each master record but a portal almost by definition shows only a specific number of transactions at a time in a scrollable window. For a printed report, where we want to see all of the related records, we need to define the report without the portal. This is done using FileMaker’s “sub summary” band when creating the report layout. The trick is to start defining the report using the transaction table as the basis of the report displaying the fields in the body band and referencing the master table in the sub summary band. When setting this up, it looks something like this:
Note the report bands on the extreme left, with the body band at the bottom, the sub summary above it, and the report header band at the top. One clue that the basis of the report is the transaction table is that at the top of the screen, it shows “Table:Transactions” . Also, the reference to the related field in the subsummary band are prefaced with the double colonon.
The ::RprtHeader field is actually a calculated field which consists of the employer’s name, and the job being advertised by the employer. This solves the problem of applying to more than one job at a single employer, in that it effectively provides a unique field name to display the transactions for just one job at a time.