Technique: Dynamic-Dynamic Value Lists

I’ve been showing around a technique that I’ve come up with that, while not overly mind-blowing, I have not seen demonstrated anywhere else. It allows the developer to create a value list that changes to entirely different content for each record that it is used on.

Now you may be thinking of what is known as a “dynamic value list” and indeed this uses that technique as well, but other tricks are employed to give an even greater variety of content to popups and menus.

It all depends on the fact that a list to FileMaker is any set of values that are separated by carriage returns. You can create any text values, stick carriage returns between them and they become a list. If you put them in a field and point a value list definition at that field you can receive back all the values listed there. This can be done on a field by field basis.

In addition you can also stuff that field with the contents of a predefined value list (static or dynamic) using the ValueListItems function.

The other bit of geekery is a calculation field that takes as its input the content of another field, makes some decisions about it and turns it into a list. Add a new related table occurrence and use that (and your new calculation) in your value list definition.

Whew, now I have me confused. Maybe I should go watch the video I just created so I know what I’m talking about!

If you’d like, you can too, right¬†here.


One Comment

Dwayne Wright  on March 24th, 2010

Very cool, like the video! Seasoned developers will probably know the ingredients you used but a list of functions you used might be helpful for other “less experienced” developers.

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