From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer
This may sound like a silly relationship to talk about ... however ... you can do some very elegant scripting by using it. The idea is that every record on one side of the relationship is related to every record on the other side of the relationship. To have a constant relationship in FileMaker, you would use the X comparison operator between the two table occurrences. So clients x invoices means all records in both table occurrences compare, no matter the data in either.
You might be wondering “ where would I ever want to do that?”. One classic example might be a hopper table. This table would accept data that needs to be processed and passed on to another table. So you could use this relationship to see if there are any records in that table and then have a portal show them.
I built a database for a call center that held customer exception requests. If a product was out of warranty, the phone rep could enter in a case for a repair exception. This record went into a hopper table for approval. The approval person would immediately see when new exception requests came in via a portal, no matter what record they were working in their approval / declined table at the time. When they approved or declined the exception, the record was moved via a script to a different table.
FYI... I’m using the above example more for effect than actual practice. The above example would probably be a better candidate for a filtered portal.
How about this, since I didn’t want to delete the above text. Some years after I did the example above, I worked on a Lead tracking database. A sales department would get flooded with leads for sales and if/when the lead was converted to a customer, their records (with their correspondence history) would be moved from the Leads table to the Customers table. If the sales rep found they were a dead lead, like the company went out of business, they would delete the record entirely.
FYI ... For a universal or constant relationship in FileMaker 6, you would have to create a parent and child calculation field that would always equal the same value. In most cases, it would be a calculation field that always equaled 1. If you convert your FileMaker 6 database system to FileMaker 7 and higher, this will still work. FileMaker conversion will not automatically update this relationship to the more elegant comparison operator design. You will need to do that manually.
Here you can see how every record in one file is related to every record in the other file in a universal relationship.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
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