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rearranging filemaker records manually

Posted on 2003-11-17
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
hello i have afilemaker database and would like to rearrange the order of records manually  is this possible without using a specific field and  applying sorting ???

thanks
benjamin martin
benjiart@wanadoo.fr
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Question by:benjiart
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Mariano_Peterson earned 250 total points
ID: 9765233
No.  By default FileMaker sorts the records by their interal recordID.  If you want to change the order in which they appear then you must apply a sort of some kind... whether its in a list view or a portal.  People frequently add a "sort" number field to the table and then sort the records based on that sort field.  This allows them to customize the order in which the records appear by assigning different numbers to the different records.
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by:benjiart
ID: 9765277
thanks for the quick response unfortunately thats what i thought
the sort number field is definitly a good solution the longterm problem is that the database will be frequently modified records will be added
and not necesarily in order so if a record needs to be added in as number 2 we would have to rename number 2 as number 3  etc,,,
is there a scripting solution to this ???  
thanks again for your answer
benjamin martin
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by:Mariano_Peterson
ID: 9766862
Yes, you could script it but that could rather tedious.  You'd have to create a script and layout that would show the users the current list of records, allow the user to select an existing record, and also allow the user to specify whether their record should be sorted immediately before or immediately after the record selected from the list.

The other problem is that the list would not be sorted when the users first navigate to it - you'd have to have a script that would sort the list for them based on the sort field.

I would not re-number the other fields when you set the sort field.  Rather, I'd use decimals and move 1 and 0's around:

You have Brian
select John (to move Brian AFTER John)
      .1  John
      .2  Mary
      .3  Jane
      .4  Brian
--> set Brian to John & "1" (.11)


you have Jane
select Brian (to move Jane AFTER Brian)
      .1  John
      .11 Brian
      .2  Mary
      .3  Jane
--> set Jane to Brian & "1" (.111)


special case:
you have Mary
make Mary the first
      .1       John
      .11      Brian
      .111      Jane
      2.0      Mary
--> set Mary to ".0" & decimal portion of first (1)

you end up with:
      .01      Mary
      .1      John
      .11      Brian
      .111      Jane
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by:Mariano_Peterson
ID: 9766872
Oh by the way, the sort field should be a number field, with auto-enter options "serial number", next value 0.1, and increment by 1.
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Author Comment

by:benjiart
ID: 9766902
thank yoiu and thank you also for your help on my other question

;-)) benjamin
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Expert Comment

by:Store
ID: 9839546
Another solution would be to:

1) add records your database
2) export all records (with all fields selected) to an intermediate database
3) delete all records in the initial database
4) sort the intermediate database in the desired order
5) import all records from the intemediate database to the initial database

The entire process can be scripted.

However, I would recommend that you revise your strategi entirely. Why would you want to have your records in a specific, Rolodex-style order?

One of the reasons for building a database is the ability to find records that meet specific requirements and then sort the records in the desired order and the format the output (labels, lists, etc) for your needs.

 As the number of records grow to hundreds or thousands or millions, you will lose control of the order of your records and it will become totally impossible manage it using the proposed approach.
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