Checkbox clears itself in WebDirect

Hello, I have a text field that is accessed primarily via WebDirect. This field, Estimates::Services, is used to track services for a landscape company. There are 3 different types of services, chemical, snow, and maintenance. I created three instances of this field and placed them in separate slider panels. Each instance of the field uses a value list for the different types of service. So one instance shows chemical services, one shows snow, etc. Each field is a checkbox.

The user can select the services they want from among the three categories. Everything works fine on everything but WebDirect. On WebDirect, I can fill in one instance of the field, but when I select anything in a different instance, my prior selections are all cleared.

For example: I select Lawn Mowing and Lawn Trimming in Instance 1. In Instance 2, I select Snow Plowing. When I commit the record, only Snow Plowing is actually in the field. What I expect is for the field to include all 3 selections. Does anyone know why? Or have a good workaround?

Do you mean that the same field from the same table is displayed in three places ?

That is correct. I considered using three separate fields and an auto-enter calc to get a combined list. The problem is that there is also an option to select a Package, which is a customizable group of services. So if it were three fields, I would have to determine upon selecting a Package, which services come from which categories. Sorry, it's not the easiest to explain.

Having the same field in three places will/should not work, whether FMP or WebDirect. Thing is each time you go to a different slider panel and pick a choice, you changes the selection(s) for the other instances on the two other slide panels. Remember, it's the same field.

To explain how such a field works, say you have a field set to display as checkboxes, with a value list containing "blue, green, orange". Then the field will display:

[ ] Blue [ ] Green [ ] Orange.

Remember it's a text field. Say you check Blue and Orange. What you see is two checkboxes checked. But since behind the scene you have a text field, the text in the field is a list with two entries, that is 'Blue' and 'Orange'.

In you case, when you go to a different panel, you have a different value list, so you set a different text.

WebDirect shows the right behavior, but FMP should not work as expected, unless you have different layouts for the platformsé

Actually, unless putting it on a slide panel changes a behavior, you can have the same field from the same record of the same table, with checkbox-formatted value list that has
[ ] Blue [ ] Green [ ] Orange over here and next to it the same field with a different value list containing
[ ] Purple [ ] Red [ ] Yellow

... and if you check Blue in the first incarnation it looks blank (but isn't) in the second version, which lets you check Yellow. Behind the scenes, the actual text field contains


Does the use of a slider panel keep FIleMaker from retaining the choices? If they weren't slider panels, it should work fine. (It is, in fact, more often the bane of Fm users' existence — a value that's in there doesn't show up anywhere precisely because the value isn't a part of the value list that's been applied as a checkbox VL format, effectively making the value that's in there invisible; often incurred by someone deciding to "clean up" the value list itself).

Assuming for the sake of discussion that a slider panel does have different behavior that results in what the original poster is describing, how about invoking something that commits the record between deployment of the different slide panels?

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Many copies of a checkbox field with different value lists will work in FMP. The checkbox only controls the presence/absence of a single value in the field. Other values are ignored.

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I actually tried putting the three field instances next to each other on the same layout, and I got the same results in WebDirect. So it appears to be a WebDirect problem and not something related to sliders.

Here is a simple example file I just made. If you upload it to a server and open it WebDirect, you'll see the problem I'm describing.
Account Name: Admin
Password: 1234

WebDirect checkbox example.fmp12 (276 KB)

Each field is a checkbox.

Do you mean each line item of the value list has a check box next to it?

I mean the Control Style of each field instance is a Checkbox Set.

and @AHunter3 I get your explanations. But this behavior as implemented is completely wrong, going against comprehension. That means in a single field one gets the value of multiple controls, I would have never think about that, I would never create a database where I would gather data from multiple controls in a single field.

I understand that FileMaker is one of a kind, but this implementation is, hum, stunning.

That reminds me when I discovered in a post that is FileMaker, you may have more than one radio button checked at the same time, going against the rules on Windows, Linux and MacOS.

I understand how this can work. However, your field for each record, contains the list of the selections. Given that checkboxes values are listed in the order the items were checked, wouldn't this give you problems in the future to consolidate your data? Would not be easy to make statistics of usage with data set up that way...

It's not completely crazy. Just think of it as a single list that has been separated into three different parts to assist the UI.

Here's one value list for FRUIT.


Here are three different values lists for POMES, CITRUS and STONE fruit




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It's actually the SAME control Gilles, a checkbox SET. Just presented in a filtered view 3 times to get the SET split in 3 categories.

The order in which they are selected doesn't matter in my case. All that matters is the full list of what was selected.

With respect to WebDirect, the strategy cannot work, imo because in a browser, the 3 fields are not consolidated before the commit. If you click outside of the first field instance after input, than click in the second instance, you are limiting the list of what can be selected to the value list for that instance; it seems to end up clearing what is already in the field when you enter a new value.

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I thought that might be the case. So if you commit between switching slidey-panels it should work as intended. But unlike native FileMaker that commit is necessary because of the limitations of the web and hence of WebDirect.

Ok. But when in a script you wish to use the contents of the field, what do you do, since you are out of context ? You are in a script !

Indeed. Hence my question about the usability of the data collected.

I can confirm that this is NOT the case. Committing between switching field instances has no effect.