Working With Lists
Most beginners get overwhelmed by the new powers they have found with FileMaker–the sheer number of features is overwhelming even to more advanced users at times. And working with lists is one of the more arcane topics, no doubt.
Check out Andrew Duncan’s post on Lists for a great introduction:
As you become more familiar with FileMaker Pro and make the leap from beginner to intermediate developer you will inevitably become accustomed to working with lists. By list I’m referring to a series of values separated by carriage returns such asapple banana pear mango
The list might be referencing a series of repeating fields, some related fields from another table, or it might be a series of values that you concatenate manually to achieve the desired result.
Uses for Lists
Here are some of the most common uses of lists:
- Loop through the list to make new records
- Loop through the list to update records
- Loop through the list to make a virtual list (this advanced topic combines values from different tables into one table. Pretty handy for making reports otherwise not available).
- Finding multiple matching records in a relationship (Multi-Key fields, something else FileMaker does well)
- Filter one list against another to generate a new unique list
- Brain Dunning – a popular source of custom functions
- FM Functions – another popular source
- Custom Function explanation from FileMaker
- Base Elements Plugin – lots of great functions in this plugin, not just list functions
- Magic Value Lists (warning: advanced concepts here)
- And don’t forget to search here for Free FileMaker download files
Working with lists is important for every FileMaker developer to learn, and Duncan’s article is a great place to start.