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Identifying Duplicates

You may be familiar with the routine when you have multiple duplicate records in your database. You end up having to reference multiple sources. Which can be a real pain. Ultimately, you end up needing to decide which record is the master and then merging as much of the data as possible from any of the duplicates. This is a common scenario with any multi-user database system. Where, anytime you have more than one person working on the same data, you can inevitably end up with duplicates. There

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Hiding Buttons

It's just like when you see someone who is well-dressed, clean and sharp looking, your FileMaker user interface is no different. You're more impressed by that sharp, clean look. In this regard, not having something on your user interface is quite possibly one of the very things which makes your user interface look that much cleaner. Portals and list views, pretty much anything which repeats itself many times, can be very overwhelming when there are a lot of options. Quite simply, if there are t
 

FileMaker 18 - New Features

FileMaker 18 was released on Wed. May 22nd 2019. This video walks through all the new features implemented within the latest version of FileMaker Pro Advanced. Here's a short list of all the new features. 01) Hosting: FileMaker Cloud 2.0 & FileMaker ID 02) Security: Revised Manage Security Area 03) Security: Unsigned Plug-ins 04) Security: File References by Default 05) Data: New Import Dialog 06) Develop: Recursion & While 07) Develop: Script Error Logging 08) Develop: Insert Fr
 

Javascript Datatables

Web browsers and their primary language, Javascript, have a very robust ecosystem. In fact, there's few solutions you can't find out in the world of Javascript. So, in FileMaker, when it comes to our data and its presentation within a user friendly fashion, we can easily create a layout, set it to list view and allow users to simply start using FileMaker. But, wait, using FileMaker itself isn't always super user-friendly. In fact, you have to learn how to sort by multiple columns by actually h
 

Populating Form Fillable PDFs

Is there really any question the PDF file format will be going away any time soon? Personally, I don't think so. And, neither should you. Adobe released their license to the technology in 2008 and it became an open standard for the world to use. Airlines use it for tickets, ticket companies use it for concerts and basically it's the digital equivalent of good old real-world paper for the digital world. So what does this mean to you and your FileMaker database? Well, if you've got data within yo
 

Encrypting Private Data

Keeping things private, so only those who need access can access them, has been a desirable situation for as long as people have wanted to keep things private. The only difference between the invention of invisible ink and today is trying to keep ahead of those who have the knowledge on how to access what you're trying to keep private. It's the eternal game of cat and mouse between those who seek to access what they shouldn't and those who want to keep those people out. Within FileMaker, we no
 

Optimized Container Storage

While FileMaker may promote the low-code/no code aspects of FileMaker Pro, there's a lot to be said about knowing how to design a great system as opposed to thinking you'll end up with one by default. Especially, one which will perform under load and scale to the degree which FileMaker can. This type of knowledge is learned and simply won't come out of the box when you just start adding fields to your database. If you need to store images, or any type of heavy media, then it may not be a good i
 

Top 5 Offscreen UI Tricks

FileMaker Pro provides a more than capable UI surface in order to design great looking user interfaces. In fact, it's the speed with which you can create that user interface which makes FileMaker Pro so appealing. The great thing about recent releases has been the flexibility of the newer layout objects. When you combine the utility of sliders, tab panels, popovers and layout mode's various layout parts, you can further extend what you can do within FileMaker by quite a bit. This video present
 

Account Management

When developing a FileMaker solution, you often want a system where the distribution of labor is such that other administrators can create and manage the users of that system. It can't always come back to the developer who has the only Full Access account. When considering FileMaker's authentication methods, you basically have three options. Internal, external and third party. The external option is typically Active Directory on Windows or OpenDirectory on Macintosh. The newer third party optio
 

Effective Script Writing - Plus Twilio API

When you first start writing scripts within FileMaker, you're typically so focused on the feature or solution you're working on that you integrate it directly into the area where you're working. It takes a bit of time and skill, however, to quickly recognize when you need to make a particular script more generalized in nature and treat it like a routine which simply needs to take input and provide some output. Once you get to this point in your development path, you discover all kinds of oppor
 

Google Maps iOS & Parsing URLs

The number of features available within FileMaker Go on a mobile device is more than icing on the cake. It's just downright cool we have access to so many features. And, all without having to write super complex code. There is, however, some learning to do when it comes to interacting with URLs and web viewers. It turns out that many web sites, including Google's web based maps site, will change its url as you interact with the web viewer. This causes a problem when you supply an original url t
 

Hybrid Layout Design

When mobile devices first became prevalent over a decade ago, it was a pretty easy process to design for both mobile and desktop. You just made one layout for each respective device. There weren't as many variations as there is now. In fact, these days, things are much more complex. If you decide to design for smartphone, tablet and desktop you could easily end up having to create three layouts for each possible view. This isn't something I'm personally fond of. I'd much rather limit myself to
 

Field Data Validation Options

When you're the one creating the database, you're the one who says which data makes it in and which data doesn't. This all happens through the various methods of data validation. Data is either considered valid or not - and this happens according to your data validation rules. If the data is valid, then everything proceeds as normal. If, however, the data isn't exactly what's required, then you get to choose what happens. In most cases, you can let the user keep taking a whack at it until they
 

Server Restored Contexts

Prior to FileMaker 13 we never even had the option of performing scripted tasks where the data actually exists. The processing of a script, client side, always had, and still does, make a full round trip for all kinds of these processing activities. Many times, FileMaker does it's best to optimize whatever is being done, but it's still not as fast as executing certain things directly on the server. With the addition of Perform Script on Server we gained a REALLY BIG performance boost by being a
 

Universal Tagging System

One of the most wonderful aspects of FileMaker, or any development project, is implementing a portion of the software which can be used system wide. Meaning you don't have to recreate functionality over and over again in order to benefit from what you implement initially. Especially when it can be used in all locations universally. In this video, I show you how to implement a Universal Tagging System in which you can apply tags to any other element you're managing within your database system. A
 

Advanced JSON Script Parameters

While many FileMaker solutions will manage multiple parameter passing in very simple and straight-forward ways, there are some solutions which you know will grow over time. Because of this expected growth, you may want to have an additional level of comfort knowing you've implemented a very strict system for managing data transfer between scripts. You also may be interested in working with external APIs and connecting to systems and data which is provided via the currently popular format of JSO
 

Single Source of Truth

Having worked with FileMaker for well over 20+ years, and experiencing a wide variety of data models, it's always possible to get into a situation where you need to re-evaluate the data decisions you've made with regards to your structure. The data model you may have initially thought would handle all situations may need to be modified. Knowing about the multiple options you may have available for structuring your data makes a big difference when you start to consider simply "adding that new fi
 

Time Picker Widget

It's a curious question and the answer may be good or bad depending on your perspective. "Why doesn't FileMaker have a time picker?". It has a calendar widget for working with date fields, why not time values? The solution to the problem, as is often the case, can be managed by simply creating your own picker. In fact, if you don't like FileMaker's desktop based date picker you can create any variation you desire based on being able to create any style of layout you can imagine. While the same

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Time Picker Widget

It's a curious question and the answer may be good or bad depending on your perspective. "Why doesn't FileMaker have a time picker?". It has a calendar widget for working with date fields, why not time values? The solution to the problem, as is often the case, can be managed by simply creating your own picker. In fact, if you don't like FileMaker's desktop based date picker you can create any variation you desire based on being able to create any style of layout you can imagine. While the same

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Google Maps APIs

Unless you've got a billion dollars to send out tens of thousands of cars with specially fitted technology mounted on their roofs; and, you can send them all across the planet, then you'll likely need to rely on mapping data from a third party. So, here we go with learning how we can leverage Google Maps APIs within FileMaker. This video will cover the essential knowledge you need in order to make the requests about geolocations whether they be latitude longitude coordinates or an address. As

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Subtle UI Widgets

If it's not obvious by the types of videos I produce, one of my most favorite areas of software development and design is the user interface. It's where the real test of your software happens. A user either "gets it" or not. If they don't, then you're back to the drawing board. Of course, there's always the learning curve which is present for anyone, but if you can create something that has less of a learning curve, then you feel like a winner. In this video, I cover a wide variety of topics r

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Limiting Field Access

These are often asked questions regarding setting up a new FileMaker database system. "How can I limit when the user can enter data into the field?" Or, the alternative, "Once the user enters data, how can I make sure they don't change it unless I want them to?" Both of these types of questions can be answered using a variety of methods. The core to understanding their answers is that there's really only only two methods for limiting field access. One is controlling the display of the field and

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Powerful Summary ListOf Fields

One of the nicest additions FileMaker made awhile back was within an area you wouldn't quite expect. It was within the Summary functions that FileMaker added a simple new option named ListOf. This happened with FileMaker version 13 and this one type of summary field can be use for so many different things within the user interface that it's quite invaluable for driving all kinds of user feedback. With a ListOf summary field, you can control the content of a custom portal, grab data necessary fo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Design Tips for List Views

What would our world be if we didn't have list views? They're the ubiquitous method for viewing a selection of items in relation to each other. In FileMaker, you can sort them, filter them, apply conditional formatting and basically present your data however you wish. Heck, most of the smart phone revolution revolves around a list view. A list of data, a list of settings, a list of options, a list of pretty much anything and "the list" goes on an on. There are, however, a number of settings wit

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Better Print Previews

When you think about printing these days, you probably think about saving the environment and just sending out the digital version. Of course, it turns out that many solutions still need to use the good old paper method and print something out. The great thing about having the data in a digital format beforehand is that you can preview the content before you actually hit that potentially wasteful print button. This video covers just a few of the possible methods for previewing content created f

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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