Identifying Unique Records

[Update 15 May 2011: see this posting for additional information about this technique.]

Demo file: 2010-11-21-count-unique.zip (requires FM 10 or later)

A question that comes up regularly on various FileMaker forums is some variation on “I have a table of sales data for my organization. For a given found set within that table, it’s easy to produce a report grouped by salesperson showing number of sales, total sales amount, etc…

…and at the bottom of the report, I can easily display grand totals for number of sales and total sales amount…


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Selective Modification Timestamp

Demo file: 2010-11-25-selective-modification-timestamp.zip (requires FM 8 or later)

Have you ever wished for a modification timestamp that would only update if a user manually edited a field? In other words, a timestamp that would not update based on scripted actions, or non-field-based activity like creating, duplicating or importing records? This can be achieved in a variety of ways, but the technique here uses a simple auto-enter calc, which I was introduced to by Nick Orr at Goya Pty Ltd.

Define a timestamp field, ts_mod_selective, with this auto-enter syntax:

Let ( [
trigger = GetField ( "" ) ; // note the innovative use of GetField
ros = Get ( RecordOpenState ) ;
ies = IsEmpty ( Get ( ScriptName ) ) ;
ts = Get ( CurrentHostTimeStamp )
] ;
Case (
ros = 1 ; "" ;
ros = 2 and ies = 1 ; ts ;
ts_mod_selective // for FM 9 or later, we could use Self
// instead of specifying the field name
)
) // end let

Note: if you just want the date or time component, you can enclose all of the above in GetAsDate() or GetAsTime(). And of course, this technique can easily be adapted to work with modification account name as well.