Restricting Filemaker Pro 10 users from deleting master records only related records

Posted on 2012-08-17
Last Modified: 2012-09-13
I have two relational Filemaker Pro 10 databases, master & slave. The master contains the general information about the item and the slave contains the sub components that make up the bill of materials for that item. In the master file, users enter the sub components in a portal of the slave file.  Is there a way to restrict a user from deleting the master record in the master file and only allow deletions of a related record in the slave file. I realize that I can select "Allow deletions of portal records" in portal setup, but it still allows the user to accidentally select the master record when the popup window says "Do you want to delete the entire master record or just this one related record? <master>  <related>  <cancel>". Certain users to need the ability add master records at the master level, but cannot delete master records and they can add or delete slave records in the slave file. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Question by:JohnnyObbq
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    Before answering your question I would strongly encourage you to consolidate your two files into one, presumably into the "Master" file rather than having two separate files. It will make the change you are seeking here as well as any future development much simpler to have all tables in the same file.

    Assuming your "Slave" (aka "child") file is very simple and does not have a lot of scripts or layouts, you can start by simply importing the "Slave" table directly into the Master file by using "Import Records" and, after selecting the "Slave" file, in the import matching dialog, select "New Table" form the popup menu above the right-hand column. This will import all records from the other files and create a new table in the process with the same field names.

    Then, in your relationship graph, double-click on the existing reference to the "Slave" table, and select the newly imported table within the Master file instead. Since the fields are identical, the relationship should re-establish itself and work properly. Any layouts or scripts in the old Slave table will need to be re-created in the Master file. If things are more complicated, it's still most likely worth consolidating but you should check out my article on consolidating FileMaker files at:


    You can restrict delete of your Master records by creating a Privilege Set that allows creation of new records but disables delete, and it can be specific to the table. To set this up, go under File -> Manage Database -> Security. Click on Privilege Sets and then click the "New" button to create a new Privilege Set.

    Security settings
    Give the Privilege Set a name (I used "Standard User") and notice that by default everything is set to "All no access". Change layouts and Value Lists to "All View Only" and Script to "All executable only", unless you want users to have the ability to edit those things. The main one you are going to want to change is "Records". Select "Custom Privileges.

    Edit Privilege Set
    In the Custom Privileges Dialog you should see both tables. You can then determine which tables the user is allowed to delete from.

    Once you have the Custom Privileges specified. Go back to the "Accounts" tab in security and change the Privilege set to "Standard User" for each user that you want to restrict Master Record delete on. You can of course also create other Privilege Sets that give more or less control including the ability or not to see certain layouts, access certain fields, modify value lists, scripts, layouts, etc.

    Author Comment

    Thanks, that makes sense. I will try it today as I have been out of town.

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