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Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

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  • Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

    I'm building up an application and don't know how to deal with a contract form problem.
    It is a rental contract for a tool rental system.
    Info frm the following tables have to be used:-
    a)Client name - name, id, etc.
    b)Cliente firm - firm name,address, etc
    c)Machine list - machine details, serial num, etc.
    d)Accessories list - accessories provided with that type of machine.
    e)Various times and dates, etc.

    I want to enter only the client number, then the number of each machine to be rented on to the contract form.

    I think I have sorted out (a)(b) by using a set, and (e)by using calculated fields on the main form, etc.

    My problem is (c) and (d):-
    Each contract can have up to three machines, each machine has it's own individual number.
    Each machine is classed as a type of machine, each type of machine has it's applicable accessories.
    Thus (c) and (d) may be used 3 time each, but with
    -If I use a look-up, the machine can get looked up, but without entering manually the machine type the applicable accessories won't be looked up. A5 does not seem to be able to use a non-manually entered field to do a lookup.
    -If I use sets, I will be using the same child table three times in the same set, which I am told is not a good thing, and certainly A5 doesn't like it.
    Thus, as I see it, I can't use lookups nor sets. So I am baffled for now.

    I'm sure I am missing something stupid, and am certainly new to this. I think that there is a concept I am not getting.
    Any help would be appreciated.


  • #2
    RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups


    If you are just using lookups from other tables in the main form you
    don't need a set.


    • #3
      RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

      Hi Edward,

      Thanks for the response.
      I am not trying to just use lookups from the main form.
      I want to type in four numbers: the client number, then three machine numbers. Then the form should be completed with the following:-
      1)The client number should do the following- provide the fields of client details (complete name, id numbers,etc)
      via a linking set it will also provide details of firm(name, address, tax number, vehicle plates, etc)
      2)Each machine number will provide details of the machine rented, (type, model, serial number, etc), and via set or lookup will provide info of accessories relevant to that type of machine, (safety equip provided, accessories for that type of machine, etc.)

      There may be three different machines per contract, they may be different or the same type of machine. They will be different machines.

      I see the problems as:-
      - In a set, I should not use the same child table more that once.
      - Lookups need input from the keyboard to the linking field to work. (eg inputing from a variable to a linking field does not allow the lookup to work)
      - Lookups only work on tables, not on sets.

      I guess using lookups would be better, in order to maintain a finished record of the contract that would not change in the future if items in the individual tables were to change.
      Using a set would not give that permanentcy.

      Thanks for the help,



      • #4
        RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

        Why not put a button on the form, that's labelled, 'Retrieve details'. Require the user to supply the four pieces of informaiton , then use the button to run a script which opens the tables, sets the desired index, and does a fetch_find() to retrieve the values you need. Assign each to the desired field object on the form and the user thinks you work magic.

        -- tom


        • #5
          RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

          For c and d you need another set that links your machine list table to the accessories list table in a 1 to many link. Look up the machine in the parent of this list and display the machine name etc as you did in your solution for a and b. Then place a browse or browses on your form that display(s) the items of the accessories table. Now when you choose a machine, the accessories for that machine will show up in the linked browse(s).

          You will not be able to print this directly however since A5 doesn't print forms with 1 to many links very well. Instead you need to create a report that shows the items listed in the browse in a subreport.

          Hope this is of some help.


          • #6
            RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

            Hi Tom,
            Thanks for the help.
            Sounds like the best thing available. I am with you up to the point of "Assign each to the desired ...." Do you mean using variables to copy from the relevant tables to the field objects on the form, or is there an easier/(quicker, in the performance viewpoint) way of assigning those values?
            There may be approx 15 fields average to be copied from each record, x 8 records, (each of those 4 has a "child") ie. setting variables and updating fields x 134.
            Should I be looking at reports as a way of doing this, or do you think I will be running into the same problems in a different way?
            As always and often, thanks for the help.



            • #7
              RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

              Thanks for the response,
              I think I see what you are suggesting. As I understand it, I make a set, machine table-1:n-linktable-1:1-accessories table. Use a lookup from the contract form to lookup the machine table, which then will display the accessories in an embedded browse.
              I think I tried something like this before, got the browse displayed, but couldn't get the info displayed in the browse to the correct positions in the form, nor into the fields I wanted filled on the form.
              Haven't tried reports yet in A5, guess will be going in that direction as will need to print out forms of 1:n often.
              Thanks for the help.



              • #8
                RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

                i am at a loss as to why you need all the sets.
                you need 4 tables
                use one set
                contract_header and contract_detail

                customer name

                add as many fields that you need.

                link these by contractid
                the header would do a field rule lookup to a customer table based on customerID and fill in the name, address,city state

                the detail would do a lookup on the machineid in the machine table
                and fill in the machine info

                charlie crimmel


                • #9
                  RE: Help in linking many tables, sets/lookups

                  Thanks for the response.
                  The problem is because the contract is renting up to three machines.
                  The client part is not a problem.
                  The problem is the machine part.
                  I agree that your idea would work if it were only looking up from the machine table. The situation is not that.
                  Each machine is unique with eg it's serial number. Each machine is also a type of machine.
                  Each type of machine has accessories.
                  Eg: an electric hammer has machine number 400, and type number 60.
                  We may have 20 electric hammers, each with different machine numbers, each of type number 60. There may be 10+ accessories to each machine.
                  To avoid a very large table for each machine, all of which would have to be changed if eg, we included protective glasses in that type of accessories, I have a machine table and an accessories table.
                  Putting that into a set is easy if only only machine per contract.
                  Putting three+ machines onto one contract is easy; if not have accessories; using lookups. But lookups don't work with sets.
                  I think I need a function which will enable me to input a value to a field from a variable, and that can then be used as a trigger for a lookup; or a work around which does that effect.
                  Thanks for the help.