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Leveraging Layout Variables

Within the world of FileMaker development, there are always those golden gems which become the hallmarks of "how to do something" - despite there often being more than one way to solve a problem. For managing lists of data, prior to the existence of the While function, the go-to custom function is CustomList. When it comes to variable output display using a portal you'll almost always reference Virtual List as the commonly understood approach. When it comes to saving user state, there's always

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Highlighted Find & Replace

One of the most powerful features of any and all software is the ability to search and identify things which would be human impossible without computers. The ability to search for any given string and have that combination of characters be instantly presented is what has made our current world possible. In this video, we take a look at FileMaker's default Find & Replace feature and we integrate this into our database systems. We then enhance that feature by implementing a Highlighting featu
 

Integrated Messaging within FileMaker

Communication amongst solution users is often a desirable feature. While many companies will standardize on generalized options such as Slack, it's not your only option when it comes to messaging within a FileMaker solution. In the past, there've been a number "FileMaker only" solutions which take advantage of FileMaker's constant polling of the main data store. However, these solutions pale in comparison to what is available today. With the prevalence of super powerful browser-based Javascript
 

Top 10 time-saving Layout Tricks

We all love those "Top 10" videos because we know what we're getting into. It's just a list of 10 things right? But it's the best 10 things - right? Ok, well, "best" is possibly relative to what your particular daily workflow is like, but at least there's always something new to learn! Right! And, that's exactly what this video is about. It's about learning those little time-saving tricks which make it much nicer to work within FileMaker's Layout Mode. Need some incentive to check it out? Here'
 

Server Side Related Record Duplication

Knowing how to take advantage of Server Side scripting within FileMaker is quite critical when you want the best performance possible. Of course, it makes total sense that you'll get the best speeds when working with the data where it's most accessible. The trick with creating scripts which will also work on the server side is being very specific with the context of things. There's also the very important choices of which method you're going to use. In 2018 I covered a method using a dedicated
 

Multiple Worksheet Excel Exports

When someone asks a simple question like "How can I make FileMaker export a second worksheet in Excel?" The method you use to achieve this may not be immediately apparent. Especially if you've not worked with other programming languages like Python. Rest assured, however, you can certainly solve most any FileMaker problem as long as you're willing to take a little journey into the land of other tools. And, it's probably not as scary as you think it is. Yes, FileMaker is nice and comfortable, bu
 

Dark Mode Theming in FileMaker

When "dark mode" finally creeps into your operating system, you know it's time you consider the trend and possibly adapt your FileMaker user interface as well. Although, "light mode" is still perfectly acceptable too! In this video, I walk through some of the tips and tricks I use in order to style a FileMaker user interface into a "dark mode" theme. I cover topics such as where and how to find colors, how to deal with grid settings and how to generally convert a light theme into a dark one. I
 

Pre vs. Post Script Triggers

Occasionally, you hit certain issues within FileMaker development where you're just stumped as to why you can't do something. Let's take a super simple example like being able to show and hide a button based on having selected a given portal row. How do you know when the user is within the portal? How do you know when they've left? Think it's easy? Try to solve this issue without watching this video first. You'll quickly find out, that because of how FileMaker's "event model" works, known as sc
 

Dynamic Data Display

When you need to display data which is dynamic by nature, it tends to boil down to who's viewing the data and how do they need it presented. There's typically more than one way to solve the same problem and knowing what your options are helps you make a good decision when it comes to displaying that data. In this video, I showcase what I would consider are the top three methods of displaying dynamic data. Starting with the easiest method first, we talk about how to make things easier by using a
 

UI Searching

As with all software projects, one of the biggest prices you'll ever pay is the accumulated technical debt. It's a cost which starts as soon as you make the choice to simply write a new script with every new feature you add into your FileMaker solution. Thus, the trick with creating something which is easier to manage is to simply decide to limit the number of things you create. So, what does one do when you've made that decision? Well, you focus on using the available toolset, using great orga
 

List View Grouping Indicators

There are all kinds of methods for using indicators within FileMaker. We have multi-segment button bars, using the Hide calculation on any number of layout objects and, of course, there's simply using text alone to indicate something. In one of my more recent projects, I needed to group duplicates together. While normally you'd want to rid your system of duplicates, this particular use case actually wanted them retained as an indication of importance or urgency. So, what was really needed was a

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Automating FileMaker Imports

Importing data may be a very common task for some of your FileMaker workflows. Of course, not all data is going to come from the wonderful world of an online API. Some software just doesn't make its data available through the Internet. So, what you often need to do is get hold of the import file and then create the script. But, what happens if your data for import is in some obscure location and may be hard for the user to find? Well, in that situation we want to work with as many known values

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Drag-n-Drop Groupings

As a long-time developer, I can certainly say that FileMaker development has advanced quite significantly over the past decade. However, I can also say that FileMaker was never developed from the ground up to have a highly robust event model. The bolt-on method of supporting events through script triggers never really planned on having too much support for drag-n-drop between various layout objects. Fortunately, there are a number of little tricks you can apply with your knowledge of how the Fi

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Enhanced Portal Design

Hopefully, we can all agree that when something is more fully refined, it's the craftsmanship which showcases the higher quality of the work. The time and effort put into making something that much cleaner and that much more efficient. Such is the case with enhancing FileMaker's portals. Sure, you can use portals as they're provided, and you'll certainly get all the benefits of using them "as is". But, what happens when you want your solution to be that much easier to use and that much more imp

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

An Awesome FullCalendar

As a long time developer of FileMaker solutions, I clearly remember the first time I personally attempted to create a calendar solution. It was not as easy as I'd initially thought. There were a TON of "little things" which you find out about down the road. Don't get me wrong, the learning experience is well worth it and made me a better developer for sure! But, when it comes to building one natively within FileMaker today, it just doesn't make much sense. That is, unless you really only need t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Collecting Data (arrays & lists)

Your FileMaker database is obviously designed to store data. FileMaker also provides the tools for precisely extracting that data as needed. When and how you extract the data is based on your needs. Sometimes, you need the data for an external system or API. Maybe it's needed for an export or you need the data specifically for a given visualization of that data. In a recent video, I showed some Sankey Diagrams and how cool they are as visualization tools. One of keys to presenting a great visua

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Beautiful Sankey Diagrams

There are so many times I hear lamentations from stalwart "FileMaker only" developers who declare that you should do everything within FileMaker and FileMaker alone. This is just crazy. It's like saying you should build an entire house with only a hammer and nails. How could you ever do that efficiently? What about the plumbing? The electrical? Well, you can't. You always have to increase what you know and become familiar with other tools and newer technologies. In this video, I showcase a very

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Integrating Apple Maps

Yes, while it's unfortunate FileMaker Go doesn't run on Android devices, we can still take advantage of what's offered on the iOS side of things. This comes in the form of Apple Maps using MapKit JS. True, Google Maps does seem to have the slight edge when it comes to feature set, but if you need full control over an integrated mapping experience, then Apple's MapKit JS may just be the perfect solution for you. MapKit JS, currently in beta since WWDC 2018, only seems to work on the Mac version

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Enhancing Coded Searches

With FileMaker Pro development, there are so many little areas which take a bit of time to investigate and discover. One of the more important areas is that of search and making sure you provide users with the results they might expect. While using one of my own personal tools, I found that FileMaker itself couldn't find the result I was looking for when using its own Quick Find feature. I thought that was a bit odd and had to dig into the code to find out what the real issue was. While the is

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Updated Naming Conventions

When you work within a development environment long enough, you end up realizing where some of the pain points are for certain types of situations. For FileMaker Pro development, and many other systems, one of the biggest pain points is maintenance of a growing system. Where older code may be replaced instead of refactored. What ends up happening is the older, unused code just sits there and only contributes to the growing mess which is what I call the "Giant Ball of Spaghetti Mess" that is a F

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Google Maps Capturing Coordinates

Well now, you really can't get away from it, because most of the Internet is pretty much dependent upon it. Yep, it's JavaScript of course. So, should you be afraid of using it within FileMaker Pro? No WAY! You should take advantage of it as much as possible. Integrating JavaScript solutions is what makes FileMaker solutions that much more powerful. In this video, we take a look at using the Google Maps JavaScript API in order to capture latitude and longitude coordinates. Along with that, we

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Making Multiple Selections

Over my many years of working with FileMaker Pro, I've often talked about adding in a multiple selection feature. Whether working within FileMaker's List View or working with portal rows, this can be a critical feature for allowing users to make selections and then being able to take some type of action against that selection. Whatever the desired result is, such as processing the data, saving the set, or just being able to see a set of selected records, knowing what your options are, and how t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Global based portals

One of your most powerful methods of showing data, within a fully controlled manner, is using the combination of global fields and portals. The portal object isn't simply for showing the related data as it belongs to one single record. A portal is a display tool useful for presenting whatever data you want and, however you want. In this video, I use the example of showing multiple events based on the selection of multiple locations. Whether you need to provide a simple multi-selection option i

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Easier JavaScripting with Carafe

Because of the rich UI experiences which JavaScript provides within a web browser, it makes sense to take advantage of the various possibilities. The difficulty may be putting all the pieces together in order to get something working correctly. Fortunately, JavaScript isn't just for those "other developers". Those who already know what they're doing. You too, can easily integrate and use JavaScript within your own solutions. You simply need to be ready to learn enough in order to integrate succ

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Getting started with JavaScript

JavaScript, it may sound scary because learning any new technology, which includes so much more than FileMaker, feels like an overwhelming amount of new learning. The great thing is, learning just a few little pieces at a time is the best way to learn - little-by-little. So let's start with just a few little pieces. In this video, I walk through the basics of how you get started with JavaScript within FileMaker Pro. How it's implemented and how to execute things. The great thing about getting

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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