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Join Us at DevCon 2019

Every summer, our team enjoys traveling to DevCon, FileMaker's developer conference. As a FileMaker Platinum Partner, we attend the conference to build on our skills, meet with clients, and share our knowledge. In fact, a handful of team members are presenting and sharing their insights with attendees this year: Advanced Training Bob Bowers, President Learn advanced techniques and strategies for creating high-performing, scalable FileMaker custom apps. Explore tools and techniques to make yo

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Intro to Carafe: The Open-Source FileMaker-JavaScript Solution

Web viewers first appeared in FileMaker 8 to allow users to display various forms of content. It didn’t take long for developers to figure out how to leverage them to display html and JavaScript, which greatly expanded their power. Now there are thousands of open source JavaScript libraries allowing users to visually represent data in seemingly endless ways. The Problems with JavaScript in FileMaker Unfortunately, there is a downside to this method of powerful, free data display. Implementing
 

Carafe: The Fast & Free Tool to Implementing JavaScript In FileMaker

Adding JavaScript to your FileMaker solution allows you to customize your functionality and do more on the platform. The opportunities are endless. While these capabilities have only recently started to become mainstream, it's evident FileMaker, Inc., has aligned behind the programming language. The company has launched native JSON functions, two robust JSON APIs, a Node.js server that ships with the product, and a pure JavaScript Admin Console. As a result, interest in JavaScript within the Fi
 

Boolean Algebra and De Morgan’s Laws

Not ( Having a Computer Science Background ) The FileMaker developer community seems to consist of people with quite a wide range of backgrounds, much more so than is the case with developers from other programming languages and software development platforms. I suspect this is a consequence of the rapid application development (RAD) nature of the platform and its lower learning curve. This makes it possible for individuals to change course in their careers once they serendipitously encounter F
 

FileMaker Templates: Are They Right for You?

FileMaker Templates are out! Our team here at Soliant was lucky enough to help build the files and tutorials, and I wanted to share our hopes for how you can make use of them. Three templates are available so far, and each one targets a different business model: Job Tracking, Event Management, and Memberships. Each template comprises a few parts: A core file Tutorials for how to add Build-On features A final file that includes all Build-ons The idea is that you begin with a core file and
 

FileMaker Templates: Give Your Users a Better Experience

Our team worked with FileMaker to build several template files to help businesses launch specific functionality. These files encourage workplace innovation without requiring extensive development experience. File Foundation Built for You At the core of these templates, you’ll find a solid, consistent design, clean look, and strategic user interface and user experience. Look under the hood and you’ll find much of the same. That wasn’t by accident. Our team spent a great deal of time determining
 

Using Perfmon to View Live FileMaker Server Stats

Do you miss the statistics chart? Figure 1. FileMaker 16 Admin Console with Statistics live view The admin console was rewritten in FileMaker Server 17, and the Statistics section was not carried over to the new version. But when you are dealing with server performance issues, having a live view of the FileMaker Server statistics can be critical. If your FileMaker Server runs on Windows, you can regain most of this lost functionality using the Performance Monitor tool ("Perfmon"). Perfmon
 

Search as You Type Using ExecuteSQL

FileMaker introduced a very different kind of capability with the ExecuteSQL function. First introduced in FileMaker 12, it allows you to perform “select” queries against your FileMaker data, as opposed to the more familiar “Find” functionality available in FileMaker. SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standard used with other, more traditional, database servers. Using SQL, SELECTS on indexed data is blazing fast and efficient. It allows you to construct relationships in SQL that do not neces
 

Project Estimation Best Practices: A Look at Our Three-Point Estimator

One of the biggest risks in undertaking a big software development project is underestimating the time and effort involved from start to finish. Our team has provided estimates for hundreds of projects, and sometimes we’ve missed the mark, especially in the early days of our business. Over the years, we’ve put together a strong model for estimating how much time and effort a project is likely to require; our employees undergo annual training on the method. Using these methods ensures we present

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Passing Script Parameters: A Complete Summary from Simple to Complex

What Are Script Parameters? Script parameters are one of many tools that all FileMaker developers should learn to utilize when developing custom FileMaker applications. Numerous benefits include writing fewer scripts, increased code reusability, and improved coding organization. By designing your scripts to pass parameters, you can use a single script with logic branching (i.e., IF, ELSE IF, ELSE) to perform multiple actions within your FileMaker solution. For example, you can create a Sales Or

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Portal Column Techniques: Sort, Filter, and Batch Update

FileMaker Portal Columns I was recently asked to sort portal columns for a client, and I figured there has to be a newer and cooler technique out there to accomplish portal sort than when I did it last. I reached out to the other FileMaker developers at Soliant, and I got a great sample file from Ross Johnson. He shared a really cool technique with me, crediting mr_vodka (sounds like a fun guy!). Read mr_vodka’s original post here. For my client, I was also asked to filter the portal and batch

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker Portal Columns: Sort, Filter, and Batch Update Demo

Take Your Portals to the Next Level FileMaker portals are invaluable for showing related data; there are several techniques for enhancing their functionality. Our demo contains three methods for adding the ability to sort, filter, and batch update portals. Follow along with our step-by-step guide and get started with expanding the functionality of the portals in your FileMaker solution. Complete the form to receive the demo file: Trouble with this form? Click here. The post FileMaker P

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Document Field IDs: Compare Field IDs Between Deployment Environments

Gemini to Apollo Just like trailblazers such as Gus Grissom, working on the Mercury, and later, Gemini projects for NASA, we sometimes require separate or parallel environments in project deployments. Gemini could be viewed as the “Dev” phase that led up to the “Prod” project that followed, Apollo. Development environments are a critical part of projects where experiments and testing can be done without risk to critical resources, allowing bugs to be found and worked out. Similarly, in FileMa

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

DevCon 2018 Follow-up: The Story of Billy Bass – Part Five

This is the final post in my series about the demo I presented during my “IoT and the FileMaker Data API” session. Using Visemes The 'master' branch is the more interesting one as it uses the viseme information that Amazon Polly provides. For this to work I needed some linguistics help to interpret what those visemes mean. In my DevCon session I jokingly stated that the session happened because of the help of both my daughters, one is in university studying Biology (fish, get it?) and the oth

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

DevCon 2018 Follow-up: The Story of Billy Bass – Part Four

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the demo I presented during my “IoT and the FileMaker Data API” session. Making it Work in Python The first half of my DevCon presentation would be about collecting sensor data from a Raspberry Pi and sending that data to FMS through the Data API, and I am using Windows 10 IoT and .NET code for that. If I could do the second half of the presentation using Python, then it would show off the versatility of both the Raspberry Pi device and the FileMak

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

DevCon 2018 Follow-up: The Story of Billy Bass – Part Three

This is the third in a series of posts about the demo I presented during my “IoT and the FileMaker Data API” session. Construct #2 - Billy Bass Bones As mentioned in my previous post, I decided to do everything from the Raspberry Pi to control the Billy Bass toy. While I was scouring eBay looking for pristine Billy Basses I came across this one as shown in Figure 15. Figure 15 - Ordering a Billy Bass I thought that would be funny and I could make the story about the fact that almost 20

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

DevCon 2018 Follow-up: The Story of Billy Bass – Part Two

This is the second in a series of posts about the demo I presented during my “IoT and the FileMaker Data API” session. Construct #1 - the original Billy Bass I wanted to find a Billy Bass that was as close to the original one used in the 2001 DevCon session, so I started digging around on eBay, and this is the one I ended up buying: Figure 9 - Buying an original Billy Bass When it arrived, I unscrewed the back to see how I could get at the motors (see Figure 10). There's a small controller

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

DevCon 2018 Follow-up: The Story of Billy Bass – Part One

At this year’s DevCon in Dallas, TX, I presented a session on FileMaker and IoT (Internet of Things); in preparing for it I settled on this definition of IoT: Based on that definition and the highlighted core elements, I split up the DevCon session into two parts: Collecting sensor data and sending it to FileMaker Server through the Data API; and Manipulate the environment by driving motors based on data retrieved from FileMaker Server. The first part was easy, using a couple of Raspberry

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker DevCon 2018: Training Day – Part Two

Last week I wrote about my experience assisting with Bob Bowers’ Advanced session. I also interviewed two other trainers about how their sessions went. That was so much fun I decided to interview everyone who gave trainings this year. I managed to track down three more: Mike Beargie of MainSpring, Jeremy Brown of Geist Interactive, and Cris Ippolite of iSolutions. It was a pleasure to speak with them all. Here’s some of what they had to say. Intermediate - FileMaker Shared Hosting Master Class

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker DevCon 2018: Day 3

Today was the final day of DevCon, and it has an entirely different flavor. It is Customer Day! Rather than technical topics, the majority of today’s sessions show-and-tell client stories of problems solved by utilizing FileMaker. Success Stories of Soliant's Philanthropy Committee The first session I attended began with a presentation by our own Makah Encarnacao. Makah shared her own story of a chance conversation with Chris Manto during DevCon a few years ago. Over a drink at the bar he shar

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker DevCon 2018: Day 2

After a busy first day of FileMaker DevCon 2018, day 2 continued the theme of FileMaker being a Workplace Innovation Platform. FileMaker + Tableau, a Match Made in Data Heaven! The morning sessions included an eye-opening Tableau integration session from Vincenzo Menanno. In his session, Vincenzo demonstrated how one could use Tableau charting and graphing tools inside a FileMaker WebViewer and subsequently use Tableau's URL Actions, to call specific FileMaker scripts within your solution, whi

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker DevCon 2018: Day 1

The FileMaker Developer Conference has become, for me, a bit of a reunion. As a remote employee, FileMaker DevCon is a chance to hang out with my co-workers… and it feels like the FileMaker community at large is just an extension of that group. The sessions are good, too. Workplace Innovation Platform The morning kicked off with a Special Session, where Andy LeCates introduced FileMaker as a Workplace Innovation Platform. This framing hits the nail squarely on the head. They’ve summed up wh

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

FileMaker DevCon: Training Day – Part One

Although I’ve been going to DevCon for Lo These Many Years, and even had a role in shaping how Training Day has evolved, I’ve never had the chance to assist with a Training Day session, or for that matter even attend one. This year I had the opportunity to join my Soliant team-members assisting Bob Bowers with his advanced session, and I’d like to share a few observations from that. First I want to say that I wish I could have attended all the Training Day sessions, especially the one on User Ex

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: Sidebar Panes in Layout Mode

Over the past few years, FileMaker has started incorporating collapsible sidebar panes into the design of FileMaker Pro. They started with modernizing the Script Workspace, then added a right-hand pane in the Specify Calculation dialog box, and now the canvas in Layout Mode also follows the same design pattern (see Figure 1): A new left-hand pane contains two tabs labeled "Field" and "Object". The Field tab contains the Field Picker, previously a floating palette, and the Object tab replaces t

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

How to Enhance Your FileMaker Solution with Microservices

There are many ways to boost your FileMaker solution's capabilities by going outside of the scope of typical platform functionality. For example, you can adopt one of the many plugins available on the market; you could partner with an experienced developer to customize functionality from the ground up and integrate with the tools and APIs provided by other software. A good example is emailing. For this, the FileMaker platform has native capabilities. You can leverage plugins to get additional fe

Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

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