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Saving A Found Set of Records

Find a group of records once, then keep it for all time.

By Jonathan Stars

One of my clients recently asked me how to save a complicated found group of records so they can find them again without all the hard work. Here's the lowdown.

Once you have your found set, FileMaker remembers what you just did. (It also remembers the last sort, import and export you performed, too - among other things.) So you should immediately create a script to find that group again.

(The following steps are specific to FileMaker 9, but you will find that most of it applies to versions way back and going forward. The main differences are how you close the various script windows.)

1) Go to the Scripts menu and choose ScriptMaker. (Or Manage Scripts)
2) Click the "New" button.
3) Give your script a name that will mean something to you 6 months from now.
4) Scroll down on the left until you see the "Found Sets" heading. Double-click the "Perform Find" step to send it over to the work area on the right.
5) In the lower right corner, click the Specify button. The Specify Find Requests dialog will show you the find you just ran. You don't need to do anything here except click OK.
6) Click the X to close the window. FileMaker may ask you if you want to Save the script - and you do!
7) Make sure your script has a checkmark to the right of it in the list. That means it will show up under the scripts menu.
8) Click the X to close the Manage Scripts window.

Now whenever you want to get your complicated find back, just go to the Scripts menu and choose that script.

But what if you want to make some small changes to your find each time? For example, let's say you were looking for a group of sales records in a specific date range. Each time you run the script, you might want to choose a different date range.

1) Run your script.
2) Go to the Records menu and choose "Modify Last Find." (Keyboard shortcut is Command-R for Mac and Ctrl-R for Windows. Think "re-find."
3) Make your changes to the find and click the "Find" button on the left (or type the Enter key on your keyboard).

There you go! A complicated find performed easily with small changes whenever needed.

If you make changes to your find that you want to make permanent, just create a new script following steps 1-8 above.

Keep in mind that trying to find data in a portal may not provide the expected results. For the details on that click here.

Hope this inspires you to start using ScriptMaker to make your job easier. That's what this technology stuff is all about!

Technology marches forward doesn't it? FileMaker 11 introduced an interesting feature called Snapshot Link. With it you can save a little file and send it to anyone who has access to your database and it will return you or them to the exact set of records on the same layout you were looking at when you saved the snapshot.

Once you have the set of records you want, go to the File menu and choose Save/Send Records As > Snapshot Link. In the next dialog you'll be asked what you want to name the file and where you should save it. I recommend the desktop where you can find it easily. You'll also notice you have the option to create an email and attach the Snapshot Link file to it. Just keep in mind that the user needs to have access to the file, which must be open and shared when they try to access it. One added feature of Snapshot Link is it will even tell the user if one or more records have been deleted since the snapshot was created. Very clever!

The disadvantage of Snapshot Link over a script is the script stays with the FileMaker file and it's always right there under the scripts menu or attached to a button you create for the user. It's easy to lose the Snapshot Link file. Oh, yes... and FileMaker also offers Saved Finds. That's a topic long enough for its own newsletter. Click here for that.

J **


© 2009 Jonathan Stars


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