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Introducing FileMaker Data Auto Entry Options – FileMaker Today

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A field can be setup to have data entered into it automatically when new records are created. A consistent and intelligent use of auto entry options can benefit your database on many levels such as data integrity, time spent entering repetitive data and creating automatic relational links (both basic and complex) between database files. A simple example is to put in the current date, time or users name into a field as a new record is created.

Again, as is the case with almost anything FileMaker, if you mix and integrate a collection of individual FileMaker technologies just right, you can create some very cool and powerful stuff. Some of these ingredients could be the use of functions to put in calculated information that is appropriate for that moment in time. That data might influence what is typed into the other fields by the user.

As you might expect, a fields options are accessed by the Define Database dialog box under the Fields tab. Once you are there, select one of the data fields and then click the options button on the lower right. With most versions of FileMaker, this will bring up a screen that will have tabs across the top for auto enter, validation and storage.

You can choose your auto enter options from six different areas via a combination of pop down menus, data fields or secondary dialog boxes. Any of the automatically entered information can be edited after the new record is created. I will cover each of these options in detail separately in other discussions. Right now, I want to introduce you to the broad concept of auto enter field options.

You can setup these auto enter options for all fields types except for calculation and summary fields. If you think about what those fields are used for, you can see why auto enter is not a worthwhile option for them. Yes, you can even have container fields have auto enter options but your choices are limited.


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