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Creating a nmae field

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am creating a music databse, but I am not sure what the best way to handle artist name.

In some cases it is a band, but in others it is an individual artist with first and last name.  I want to be able to sort the field alphabetically.  Is the best option to list individuals names LAST, FIRST or is there another way of doing it so it vies FIRST LAST, but sorts by LAST?
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Question by:jarrodprice
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6 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 16950884
The most flexible way would be to store first and last name separately, because that will let you easily sort by either at any time. You could then use a calculated field to concatenate the names together in whatever order you prefer. You could even change the display on the fly.

In the case of artists who go by one name (Bjork, Prince, etc), you can decide whether that goes in the first or last name field, or possibly both.


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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:lesouef
ID: 16951543
there is no perfect answer, because whatever you do, you'll get exceptions ruining the organisation:
think about these:
Led Zeppelin, should that be ordered by L or Z
Jack de Johnette, should that be ordered by D or J
Al Di Meola, same
Rolling Stones, R or S
...etc, its really the way you remind their name in fact.
I think I would make an auto-enter field created from the last name if you use 2 fields, or the last word of the name if you use only 1, and alter that manually in the rare cases where it would not appear where you'd like it.
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by:billmercer
ID: 16952776
It gets worse, too.
What about Prince -> the artist formerly known as Prince {funny squggly symbol} -> the artist -> Prince
What about John Cougar -> John Cougar Mellencamp -> John Mellencamp

Here's how I organize my music collection:
If the artist is a group, I alphabetize by the whole group name. Led Zeppelin would be under L.

If the artist is an individual, I use the last name.
If it's an individual with a single name, I use that as the last name.
Tribute albums with multiple artists I put under the artist the tribute is to.
If I buy an album that includes work by an artist who I like, and that's the primary reason I have the album, it will go with that artist. For example, if you're a big Yanni fan (god forbid) and you get a collection that has some of his stuff on it along with other things, you might want to file it under Yanni.
If it's classical or orchestral music, I use the last name of the composer instead.
Soundtracks are ordered by the name of the movie.

Really, it's all a personal decision. If this is a system for yourself, do what you want. If it's something you're creating for someone else, make it as flexible as possible, so anyone who uses it can choose their own preferences.

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Author Comment

by:jarrodprice
ID: 16964742
I am new to Filemaker.  How do I create a calculated field so it displays the name together, but sorts by last name?
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Accepted Solution

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billmercer earned 200 total points
ID: 16965693
Store the first and last names in two separate fields, and create a third field, a calculation field, that you define to concatenate the first and last name together, like this:
  FullNameCalc = FirstName & " " & LastName
Then use the last name field to sort your records, but display the calculated field on the layout.
Or, if you're creating a report, you can simply use merge codes to combine the fields in a text box.


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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:lesouef
ID: 16966635
if he's new to fm, he probably does not know yet what is a merged expression.
in the layout, use a text block as you would do for a label then place in it field information by using <<field-name>>.
this way you can even build complete sentences:
this is the full name of the current user <<firstname>> <<lastname>> and its phone number is <<phonenumber>>.
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