FileMaker tips, techniques, and news.

By Kevin Boehle  Posted on  May 15th, 2018  in  FileMaker

FileMaker Add-On Tables

Creating a new app can be a daunting task for developers, especially those who are just starting out. Fortunately, FileMaker has made it easy to build something new without needing a working knowledge of relational graphs. Creating from the App Library (aka Add-On Tables) allows developers to import modules directly into their application with pre-built tables, fields, and relationships using just a few clicks of the mouse.

How It Works

To import an add-on table to a FileMaker application, first add a portal to the layout you want to have the module show up on. Under portal setup, click "New Add-on Table" under the "Show records from" drop-down menu, and choose from one of 11 different types of tables. Each type of table has its own set of associated fields to allow the user to add relevant information to each record being created.FileMaker Add-On Tables ListWhen a type of table has been chosen and named, the portal will appear on the layout with all of the relevant fields included. This feature also includes a button, complete with a script used to add new records to the portal for extreme ease-of-use.

FileMaker Add-On Tables Attachment Table
FileMaker Add-On Tables Attachments Table

At the same time, a table is created in the relationship graph linking the relevant field from the base table to the relevant field of the new table (In many cases, this would be the primary key of the base table to the foreign key of the new table) saving the user both the time and the trouble of having to create the relationship themselves.

FileMaker Add-On Table Relationship Graph
FileMaker Add-On Table Relationship Graph

Pro Tip: Add your portal outside of the layout at the top so that you can easily find the new record button that FileMaker automatically adds at the bottom of the portal.

Conclusion

While these add-on tables and portals are not intended as replacing fully finished apps, or replacing the need to use the relationship graph at some point, they are a great foundation for any user. These templates save the user plenty of time and give them a much simpler way to understand the power of relational data and helps in learning how tables interact with one another.

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Kevin Boehle

Kevin is a Certified FileMaker and Salesforce developer who is both creative and friendly in his approach to solving client issues. He is motivated by a good challenge and works diligently to produce excellent results in a timely fashion.

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