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A5 Repeating Fields possible?

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    A5 Repeating Fields possible?

    Filemaker Pro user trying to adapt to Alpha5. One feature of FileMaker I have used extensively is "repeating fields".
    Whereby one field in one record can hold several elements of data. Almost like a mini table for that one record.
    Any way to do this in Alpha5? Or can I fake it out? Any insight is appreciated.

    #2
    Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

    Not being familiar with filemaker I googled filemaker repeating field. It seems to me you could mimic the behavior with either a long character field or a memo field.

    Then again, I don't see the benefit over a lookup table.

    Note Instead of using a repeating field, it is often easier to use a related table and a portal to sort or insert data
    There can be only one.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

      Niles, there are a few ways, but trying to replicate Filemaker will have you fighting your way out of a corner far too often. The products are very different.
      Suggest you let us in on the general trend of the app so you will get some specific ideas. These are NOT workarounds, it's just doing it the Alpha way.
      See our Hybrid Option here;
      https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


      We are the
      Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

      Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

      Comment


        #4
        Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

        Switching between FileMaker and A5 is kinda like translating from Lithuanian into Chinese. But I believe in the possibilities of A5 and am willing to learn.
        Suppose I have a field for widgets needed. Customer one needs:
        1 Red
        2 Green
        and 4 Purple widgets.
        Customer 2 needs:
        3 Red
        2 Blue
        and 1 Green Widget.
        This data is kept in one field (Widgets needed). Later on I can summarize how many of each color to produce.
        I need some kind of similar structure in Alpha 5. So far, It seems like I can only put one piece of info in any given field. I am stuck here..

        Comment


          #5
          Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

          Niles, the classic approach to this in Alpha Five, and other relational databases, is to use three tables.

          Customers - one record per customer, includes a customer id field that uniquely identifies each record.

          Order_hdr - one record per order, includes an order id field that uniquely identifies each order. This table might contain fields like date of order, order total, shipping information, etc.

          Order_items - one record for each item in an order. Includes order id field that will be used to match up with (link to) a specific order. Each record would contain the item descript, unit price, quantity, and usually a calculated field getting the item total.

          The Order_hdr and Order_items tables would be related to each other using a set, in which the hdr is primary and the items are a one-to-many child, linked on the order id.

          During data entry an order would be done using a set based form. The particulars on the order itself would be entered into the header, including possibly a "lookup" to the customer table to get the customer info and id. Then items would be entered for the order.

          A good working example of this is in the Samples folder of your program directory. Look for AlphaSports. Then study the Invoice form.

          Welcome to Alpha Five.

          Later:

          Here's a link to a good book many have recommended: Database Design for Mere Mortals
          Last edited by Tom Cone Jr; 12-01-2011, 01:29 PM. Reason: sp

          Comment


            #6
            Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

            Something else Niles, look at the Posting function
            I use this in Stock Control, and have
            Onhand Stock - all that is in the building (you hope)
            Committed Stock - what the current Orders plan to use up
            Available Stock - O'h minus Cttd. This is so a committed item isn't sold just because it's on the shelf. But you knew that.

            When an order is taken, the quantity for that item is Added to Committed and decremented from Available.
            When the Item is shipped, the quantity on hand and cttd stock gets decremented.

            Hope this helps.
            See our Hybrid Option here;
            https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


            We are the
            Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

            Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

            Comment


              #7
              Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

              Thanks Ted it does help. I am starting design trying to define my needs (tables + fields) and had not gotten to sets and relationships yet. And I will look into that book.
              Will keep pounding the square peg until it gets more rounded.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

                Niles,

                If you wish, call me on Skype.

                tomconejr2

                -- tom

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

                  Niles, you might want to look at the Free Community Edition of Visual Paradigm for Requirements Capture. It's a bit "professional" in as much as you are able to easily document derivations and constructions etc.
                  Toad has a few good freebies as well, like Data Modeller and MySQL.
                  And I'd definitely take up Tom's offer.
                  See our Hybrid Option here;
                  https://hybridapps.example-software.com/


                  We are the
                  Department of Sunshine and Rainbows!

                  Hope restored, faith renewed, spirits lifted!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

                    Originally posted by Niles Bangledesh View Post
                    Switching between FileMaker and A5 is kinda like translating from Lithuanian into Chinese. But I believe in the possibilities of A5 and am willing to learn.
                    Suppose I have a field for widgets needed. Customer one needs:
                    1 Red
                    2 Green
                    and 4 Purple widgets.
                    Customer 2 needs:
                    3 Red
                    2 Blue
                    and 1 Green Widget.
                    This data is kept in one field (Widgets needed). Later on I can summarize how many of each color to produce.
                    I need some kind of similar structure in Alpha 5. So far, It seems like I can only put one piece of info in any given field. I am stuck here..
                    Niles, to address your question directly,
                    Alpha does provide repeating fields without you having to repeat anything
                    Example; maybe some plan like
                    Use "widgets" in a product field and "red" or "Green" in a color field - so each can be tracked individually to enable color planning/production/supply correct color widgets

                    Anyway, then - wherever you require only information on product (say "Widgets") you can have a product_type table with information applicable to ALL widgets with a one to many link (SET) to the product table -
                    If you ever want to - When you view it in a flattened form (ie a browse on the SET - you have got exactly that -Repeating fields from the product_type table
                    this cascading is for practical use, unlimited in number of levels and records in each.
                    Last edited by Ray in Capetown; 12-02-2011, 09:53 AM. Reason: removed OR use

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: A5 Repeating Fields possible?

                      Thank you Ray for your good advice. This message board is a great resource. I appreciate all of you for taking time with the newbie.

                      Comment

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