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User Specific Preferences

The wonderful thing about creating software is it feels like you're able to create your own universe. You're the master of that universe and how it functions and reacts to its users. It's a very empowering feeling to know you can direct and control data in a way that makes it useful to others. When considering all the directions that software can take there's always that simple fact that different people like different things. Heck, someone buys the Rhubarb from the grocery store - because they

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Advanced Portal Filtering

Portals are wonderful tools for showing related data relevant to what your solution is solving. Sometimes, however, there's a trick to getting them to show exactly what you want. The combination of functions required may not always be obvious and it can be hard to achieve the desired result. Essentially, you have to know how to extract the specific key values which allow you to filter only the desired rows. In this video, I walk through all the specifics of creating a custom function which allo

Restoring Deleted Records

There's this special feeling you get when developing software where you feel like you've created something magical. Sometimes, it doesn't even matter if you've done the same type of thing before. It just feels like you're the master of the universe and you've created something super useful. This may even be the case when you're simply creating a virtual trash can and providing users with the ability to reverse course on that accidental record deletion. In this video, we're taking a look at a s

Insert From URL cURL Options

Do you need to work with online APIs and find yourself wishing there was an easy way to accomplish it? Well, there actually is. In fact, in much of technology, there's something or someone somewhere which has likely already solved the problem. In the case of using REST (Representational state transfer) to interact with service APIs within FileMaker, it's nice to have a single tool which will handle most of the heavy work for you. When native JSON was added to FileMaker, the last piece to the pu

Designing with Portals

Over the years I've spent a lot of time working on a wide variety of themes for FileMaker Pro. Many of those themes involve taking advantage of every possible display mechanism which FileMaker portals offer. When getting started with creating solutions in FileMaker Pro you don't always know what you can take advantage of. When it comes to portals there are a variety of settings and theme aspects which allow you to create some really creative looks. In this video I strive to show you all those h

Detecting Data Changes

Here's an interesting dilemma. How do you track when specific fields are modified and adjust your JSON object so it only includes the data which was modified? Or, how about knowing when a user has modified specific fields, then having the user interface direct them down a different path than if they had modified others? In both situations, you simply need to know when a field was modified. Using the Get ( RecordModificationCount ) function we can know THAT a given record was modified and using

Scripting - JSON Data Writer

While working on a solution which made heavy use of an online API for REST based communication, the solution slowly revealed it had a large number of "specially dedicated" data processing scripts. Many of these scripts were quite normal in the realm of "I have some data, I want to put it into the right place." You know, your typical Go To Layout then Set Field script steps. The issue, however, was that most all of them did somewhat they same thing - a lot of code duplication. They either put th

Scripting - JSON Data Writer

While working on a solution which made heavy use of an online API for REST based communication, the solution slowly revealed it had a large number of "specially dedicated" data processing scripts. Many of these scripts were quite normal in the realm of "I have some data, I want to put it into the right place." You know, your typical Go To Layout then Set Field script steps. The issue, however, was that most all of them did somewhat they same thing - a lot of code duplication. They either put th

Writing Custom Functions - Successfully

While taking the time to write a four hour custom function the other day, it occurred to me that some viewers may think that complex custom functions are just something which pops out of your head and immediately ends up on the screen. When, in fact, the truth is it takes a lot longer than you expect because you rarely get things perfectly the first time. It's all about wading through the errors and issues and ending up with the desired result. In this video, I walk through my process of compo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Writing Custom Functions - Successfully

While taking the time to write a four hour custom function the other day, it occurred to me that some viewers may think that complex custom functions are just something which pops out of your head and immediately ends up on the screen. When, in fact, the truth is it takes a lot longer than you expect because you rarely get things perfectly the first time. It's all about wading through the errors and issues and ending up with the desired result. In this video, I walk through my process of compo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Quick Find Power Mode

Who doesn't like the simplicity of using a single field to search across many. That's essentially what Quick Find is. In fact, by default FileMaker makes the silly assumption that every field you add to a layout is something you want the user to be able to search. Essentially, you want to take control of the user experience in terms of search and make sure the user is not only searching what you want them to search, but also able to search in a fashion which is both familiar and comfortable. T

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Quick Find Power Mode

Who doesn't like the simplicity of using a single field to search across many. That's essentially what Quick Find is. In fact, by default FileMaker makes the silly assumption that every field you add to a layout is something you want the user to be able to search. Essentially, you want to take control of the user experience in terms of search and make sure the user is not only searching what you want them to search, but also able to search in a fashion which is both familiar and comfortable. T

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Killer Keywords

In many situations, you'd think the easiest solution would be the best. Saving time and getting the job done quickly. This, however, just isn't the case if you're going to allow users to use a simple text field for managing keywords or tags. A tagging system relies on making it easy for the user, but it may not be so easy to implement itself. Here are a few questions you might be faced with. What happens when one user enters "devloper" on record 1 and another user enters the correctly spelled "

Killer Keywords

In many situations, you'd think the easiest solution would be the best. Saving time and getting the job done quickly. This, however, just isn't the case if you're going to allow users to use a simple text field for managing keywords or tags. A tagging system relies on making it easy for the user, but it may not be so easy to implement itself. Here are a few questions you might be faced with. What happens when one user enters "devloper" on record 1 and another user enters the correctly spelled "

Error Handling & Logging - Updated

When talking about logging, error handling and writing clean code it's never quite as exciting as working on the key features of your solution. Adding in the "cool" stuff and simply making things work is way more fun. Yet, one of the main things you rely on when developing is information from users and from your software itself. If you don't capture any of that helpful information, then you're essentially developing in the dark. You'll get obscure support requests like "It doesn't work." which

Error Handling & Logging - Updated

When talking about logging, error handling and writing clean code it's never quite as exciting as working on the key features of your solution. Adding in the "cool" stuff and simply making things work is way more fun. Yet, one of the main things you rely on when developing is information from users and from your software itself. If you don't capture any of that helpful information, then you're essentially developing in the dark. You'll get obscure support requests like "It doesn't work." which

Reusable Dialogs Revisit

Causing a user to make an explicit choice within your software really only happens from some sort of "locked-in" process. This process most typically happens within the form of a dialog box. It's the one roadblock you can stick in front of a user and expect input. Your software then uses that input to determine the output or direction. While FileMaker Pro does have its own native dialog box, there are some limitations to the native Show Custom Dialog script step. The number one limitation is th

Reusable Dialogs Revisit

Causing a user to make an explicit choice within your software really only happens from some sort of "locked-in" process. This process most typically happens within the form of a dialog box. It's the one roadblock you can stick in front of a user and expect input. Your software then uses that input to determine the output or direction. While FileMaker Pro does have its own native dialog box, there are some limitations to the native Show Custom Dialog script step. The number one limitation is th

Assessing Performance

Who doesn't want their software to perform as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Don't we always want things to go faster and work better? Of course we do. The problem is, we don't always take the time to fully think out what is happening when we solve a problem. Sometimes, we just robot our way through the code we are creating because it's how we've always done it - and it's easy or faster. Being an "efficiency nut", when it comes to code, is something I really enjoy. It represents the f

Assessing Performance

Who doesn't want their software to perform as efficiently and as quickly as possible. Don't we always want things to go faster and work better? Of course we do. The problem is, we don't always take the time to fully think out what is happening when we solve a problem. Sometimes, we just robot our way through the code we are creating because it's how we've always done it - and it's easy or faster. Being an "efficiency nut", when it comes to code, is something I really enjoy. It represents the f

Uploading Files

Even though your "database" includes the word "data", data isn't the only thing we categorize and track. We often need to track discrete files and FileMaker is perfectly adept at doing this. In fact, FileMaker's container field is ideally suited to store all kinds of different files. The problem, however, is simply throwing a container field onto your layout is never really a good idea. If you allow users to simply drop anything into a container, then you'll surely end up with a collection of d

Uploading Files

Even though your "database" includes the word "data", data isn't the only thing we categorize and track. We often need to track discrete files and FileMaker is perfectly adept at doing this. In fact, FileMaker's container field is ideally suited to store all kinds of different files. The problem, however, is simply throwing a container field onto your layout is never really a good idea. If you allow users to simply drop anything into a container, then you'll surely end up with a collection of d

Filtering Data Methods

Like many things in life, there are multiple ways to solve a problem. It all comes down to what methods you're familiar with. If you only know one of the possible options, then that one method may limit you in terms of performance or efficiency. In this video, we'll take a look at just a few of the possible methods of filtering data within FileMaker. The default, most accessible option, may be worth while if you've already got a working relationship. But, what about when you need to present the

Filtering Data Methods

Like many things in life, there are multiple ways to solve a problem. It all comes down to what methods you're familiar with. If you only know one of the possible options, then that one method may limit you in terms of performance or efficiency. In this video, we'll take a look at just a few of the possible methods of filtering data within FileMaker. The default, most accessible option, may be worth while if you've already got a working relationship. But, what about when you need to present the

FileMaker File Patching

Ahhh, the panacea of being able to improve my FileMaker database offline, then simply applying all the dev changes to the live production file. This is the great promise of the new FMUpgradeTool. It was released along with FileMaker 19 and it's a bit hard to dig into. Unless, you have the time like I did. Fortunately, I'm going to save you the many hours of slogging through the documentation and the trial-n-error which comes with learning any new tech. In this video, I spend an ample amount of
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