Virtual Lists – “Let’s start at the very beginning…”
Posted: November 12, 2013
“Virtual List” in Filemaker is not really a technique, but a concept. And it’s one that, although tricky to understand (at least for me!), is actually a very simple one, albeit with scope for complexity that can be rather scary. So I’m creating a series of steps, starting with this, the most simple of implementations, and working upwards in terms of complexity.
The requirement for this first example is simple: we have a table of People, and we want to produce a listing of each person’s first name. Obviously this first example does not even need a Virtual List – we could simply have a layout showing the values directly from the table – but diving straight in with a more complex example runs the risk of clouding the simplicity of the concept. (When I was trying to get my head around this concept, the complexity of available examples was a problem.)
The components required for any use of Virtual List are:
- A global variable, e.g. $$PEOPLELIST, which will contain all the values for the list, in a return-delimited list. The return-delimiting of the list means that each value in the variable will have a “value number”, and any value can be referenced using the GetValue function, e.g.
via Virtual Lists – “Let’s start at the very beginning…” | A Filemaker Miscellany.