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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 FileMaker developer community is growing. Unfortunately, working with JavaScript in FileMaker isn’t exactly straightforward. It takes a lot of time and effort to implement and maintain required specialized techniques. This deters many developers on the platform. After implementing JavaScript for our FileMaker clients, we quickly realized we had to find a better method. That’s why we built Carafe, a free, open-source project that streamlines the process of integrating and working with JavaScript in FileMaker. Announcing Carafe Carafe provides built-in package management, versioning of your implementation, simplified debugging, round-trip integration with JavaScript code editors. You can easily integrate and configure JavaScript libraries such as Datatables.js, Google Maps, rich text editors, an image gallery, calendar, charting, and so much more. A Free, Open-source Solution We want to share Carafe to help other developers customize their FileMaker implementations with JavaScript, so we’ve decided to make the solution publicly-available. It’s open-source, so you can download the files and make it your own. In fact, we encourage you to add to it and share your upgrades with others. Launching Soon Carafe is coming soon! Get the files first by signing up for alerts here. The post Carafe: The Fast & Free Tool to Implementing JavaScript In FileMaker appeared first on Soliant Consulting.
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Soliant Consulting

Soliant Consulting

 

Daylite vs. FileMaker®-based CRMs — Which is the Better CRM?

With so many high-quality CRMs on the market, choosing the one that’s the best fit for your business can be difficult. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at two types: Daylite by Market Circle and FileMaker-based CRMs. Each offers a range of capabilities and the ability to scale for growth. But there [...] The post Daylite vs. FileMaker®-based CRMs — Which is the Better CRM? appeared first on The Scarpetta Group, Inc..
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FileMaker : Performance et mobilité (3)

Partager des données… Une plateforme logicielle complète Depuis quasiment ses origines, qui remontent maintenant à plus de trente ans, FileMaker autorise le partage de données. C’est donc dans son ADN, et cette ouverture n’a fait que s’amplifier à l’apparition de toute nouvelle technologie : partageables depuis une simple licence utilisateur à une autre licence utilisateur, les […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

Truc n°90 – Créer un menu conditionnel dans FileMaker (5)

Construire par vous-même un menu qui décline des sous-menus en fonction des choix de l’utilisateur, voilà ce que vous rêvez de réaliser et que nous travaillons depuis plusieurs semaines… Un beau travail qui conjugue modélisation, interface graphique, calculs et scripts… Dans cette cinquième étape, nous nous appuyons sur ce que nous avons déjà mis en […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

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 get the right combination, or you can shuttle the user off to another part of your UI. In this tutorial video, we take a look at the three primary tools FileMaker provides for data validation. You can use any single option or combine them to mix and match for the perfect data validation solution. We've even got a nice little text formatting mask feature which provides a great looking phone number field. Click the title or link to this article to view the video.
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Convertir une feuille Excel en un fichier FileMaker

Vous êtes nombreux à utiliser des feuilles Excel pour gérer vos données… Et puis, peut-être avez-vous entendu parler un jour de FileMaker. C’est d’ailleurs la raison pour laquelle vous êtes ici : pour en savoir un peu plus sur ce logiciel qui, dit-on, fait des prouesses avec vos données 😉 La principale prouesse de FileMaker […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

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 FileMaker and see how easy and fun software development can be. This diversity of backgrounds is a strength of the FileMaker platform, but one of the consequences is that many of the developers come to FileMaker without much formal computer science training. Boolean Algebra This blog post is intended to provide one small, tiny lesson that I recall from one of my computer science classes (taken long ago). The "lesson" has to do with Boolean algebra which describes the rules for how Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are evaluated. One of my colleagues, someone who has taken up FileMaker development just a few months ago, recently asked me the following question: Can a long chain of Boolean operations like the one below be simplified somehow by extracting the negations (the "not's") out of the expression: not A and not B and not C and not D De Morgan's Laws To find out the answer, we have to learn about De Morgan's laws. There are two of them: not (A or B) = not A and not B not (A and B) = not A or not B With this knowledge under our belt, we can now rewrite the original expression as: not ( A or B or C or D ) The "Hide object when" calculation There are occasions when it's easier to think about when something should be false instead of when it should be true. An example of this is the "Hide object when" FileMaker calculation. For me, it's much easier to think about when an object should be displayed instead of when it should be hidden. The De Morgan's laws are very useful in these situations. For instance, suppose we have the following expression for when an object should be shown: ( not A or not B ) and ( not C or not D )   // display object I can negate this so that it can be used in the "Hide object when" calculation. not ( ( not A or not B ) and ( not C or not D ) ) // hide object = not ( not A or not B ) or not ( not C or not D ) = ( A and B ) or ( C and D ) Of course, we could have just kept it as this: not ( ( not A or not B ) and ( not C or not D ) )   // hide object I tend to go with whichever one I think will be easier to understand later on, in case I (or some other developer) have to return to this calculation down the road. References Boolean Algebra De Morgan's Laws If you have any questions or need help with your FileMaker solution, please contact our team. The post Boolean Algebra and De Morgan’s Laws appeared first on Soliant Consulting.
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FileMaker : Performance et mobilité (2)

Mesurer la performance Le sujet que nous avons traité dernièrement, grâce à la question de Stéphane sur la construction de modèles avec un en-tête unique pour plusieurs modèles, nous a amenés à prendre conscience que l’on pouvait certes gagner du temps en tant que développeur dans la réalisation de modèles FileMaker, mais également viser à […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

iOS Shortcuts to the FileMaker Data API

Shortcuts, on iOS, are a new way to automate tasks by mixing together apps, content on your iOS device and web APIs into custom workflows. Now, via the FileMaker Data API, you can use shortcuts as a way to interact with your FileMaker solutions. Here’s an example of automatically uploading a photo from your iPhone […]
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vincenzo

vincenzo

 

Truc n°90 – Créer un menu conditionnel dans FileMaker (4)

Depuis trois articles, nous apprenons à créer un menu conditionnel… On souhaite en effet pouvoir afficher un premier menu dans lequel l’utilisateur clique sur un item. S’affiche alors un sous-menu, qui, en fonction du premier choix de l’utilisateur, en affiche d’autres… Et ainsi de suite… Nous avons donc le projet de réaliser une interface qui […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

FileMaker OneDrive Integration

FileMaker OneDrive Integration OneDrive and Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most popular business software packages and services on the planet. Its reach has expanded 238% since 2014 and 81% since 2016.  And with the Microsoft OneDrive API, integrating has never been easier. OneDrive is excellent for sharing documents with other people without giving them access to your FileMaker system and allows for editing files without the hassle of downloading, editing, then re-uploading. We will walk through how to use the Microsoft OneDrive API to upload documents, list documents in a folder, and download documents, allowing your documents to be stored and shared easily in the cloud to keep your FileMaker database lean and mean.  What You Need You must have a OneDrive account to use this article’s integration which is included in the Office 365 package. Also make sure you have admin access to your Office 365 subscription if you have a business or school user account. Creating a Microsoft Graph Application Make sure you a create Azure AD Tenant first if you are using a personal account and not work school account. Similar to other API integrations, you need to create an app first. Go to the application registration portal and add an app. You will be given an application ID and a new key pair that you can use to make API calls from FileMaker to OneDrive. Managing App Permissions Microsoft OneDrive requires that each user give the app permissions to be able to read/write data from their OneDrive. Before users can give permissions, you need to set up the default permissions on the application registration page. You’ll need one delegated permission for this OneDrive Integration: Files.ReadWrite Authenticating With Microsoft Graph Once you have your API information, you will need to authenticate your solution with the OneDrive API. The sample file at the end of the article has the calls & web viewers that you can reference to authenticate FileMaker with OneDrive. When the user clicks the Connect button, they will be asked to log in to their Microsoft account and approve delegated permissions for the application. After the user logs in, a FileMaker script parses the redirected page’s URL for the client ID and auth codes that will be used for requests to OneDrive. Making Requests And Parsing The Response Microsoft OneDrive API supports multiple types of requests such as HTTP POST, GET and DELETE. You can perform all actions by using the native Insert from URL[] script step and giving it a valid URL and cURL options including required fields within the JSON body specified by the documentation. Here’s a sample request body to download files from a folder. Note how the DateTime element is formatted. For more details, refer to Microsoft OneDrive documentation under the List Children Page. -X GET https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me/drive/items/E9953196A1CE2F19!28596/children?$expand=thumbnails
--header "Authorization: Bearer EwBwA8l6BAAURSN/FHlDW5xN74t6GzbtsBBeBUYAAROJk..." The response will have an array of documents from the selected folder and will include URLs to the thumbnails so we can download those in a bit. You’ll also notice that some of the object names are prefixed by “@odata.” which will not work with FileMaker’s built-in JSON functions, because FileMaker does not allow periods in an objects name. If you need to read one of these properties, you can simply substitute the entire object to remove the prefix. Substitute ( $response ; "@odata." ; "" ) Downloading Files Downloading a file is relatively easy once you know a quirk of the FileMaker cURL library. By default when you try to download a file it first authenticates your call, and then redirects you to download the file. FileMaker will not follow the redirect and won’t return anything unless you include the -L or –location flag in your cURL command. Another tip is that you can pass the –output flag with a URL encoded file name when downloading, to ensure the downloaded file has the correct name. -X GET https://onedrive.live.com/?id=E9953196A1CE2F19%2129992 --header "Authorization: Bearer EwBwA8l6BAAURSN/FHlDW5xN74t6GzbtsBBe..." -L --output Screen%20Shot%202019%2D01%2D14%20at%204%2E54%2E41%20PM%2Epng Uploading Documents Uploading files to OneDrive is a bit more difficult. OneDrive provides 2 API methods for uploading docs, one for files under 4MB and another resumable upload method for larger files. We will strictly be using the resumable upload method as it is more flexible. The first thing you need to do is to create an upload session. The documentation is not very clear on how to do this. You’ll need the folder ID you want to upload to and the filename URL encoded. When constructing the URL you’ll need colons after the folder and filename, though the documentation makes no mention of this. -X POST  https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me/drive/items/E9953196A1CE2F19!29992:/picture%2Epng:/createUploadSession --header "Authorization: Bearer EwBwA8l6BAAURSN/FHlDW5xN74t6GzbtsBBeBUYAAQScvI1+tUkC1GcS1z+E6..." --header "Content-Type: application/json" -d {    "@microsoft.graph.conflictBehavior": "rename",    "description": "description",    "fileSystemInfo": {       "@odata.type": "microsoft.graph.fileSystemInfo"    },    "name": "Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 4.54.41 PM.png" } This will return an uploadUrl that you’ll use to actually upload the data to. {   "@odata.context":"https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/$metadata#microsoft.graph.uploadSession",   "uploadUrl":"https://api.onedrive.com/rup/e9953196a...",   "expirationDateTime":"2019-01-31T18:16:08.186Z",   "nextExpectedRanges":["0-"] } After you have the uploadUrl you need to calculate the content range of the file so we can tell the API what bytes we are uploading. You can use GetContainerAttribute ( TABLE::container ; “fileSize” ) to get the size of the file in bytes. From there you just can determine the content range. The range starts at zero, while the total starts at one, meaning a 25-byte file will have a content range of 0-24 and a total byte size of 25, thus setting the content range to 0-24/25 is telling the API that we are uploading the entire file. To actually upload the contents of a container you’ll first set a variable with the contents of the container and then you’ll use that variable with the -T or –upload-file flag. -X PUT https://api.onedrive.com/rup/e9953196a... --header "Content-Range: bytes 0-24/25" -T $data Displaying Files and Folders in FileMaker One thing you’ll want to keep in mind when working with the API is that you’ll need to store a representation of all the files and folders as records in your FileMaker solution. In the sample file, I have a file table to store the document names, OneDrive ID, size, etc. You might also want to include a container field to store a thumbnail of your files as well, which are quite small at around 100px by 100px. OneDrive will also generate thumbnails of file types FileMaker doesn’t natively support such as Word and PowerPoint. Conclusion The Microsoft OneDrive API can help keep your database size down, make sharing files easier, and allowing you to edit files without downloading and re-uploading to FileMaker. Contact us if you need help integrating your FileMaker solution with OneDrive! Download FileMaker OneDrive Integration Database Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* FileMaker Experience* New to FileMaker Platform Existing User of FileMaker Existing Developer of FileMaker Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime.  
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DB Services

DB Services

 

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 able to perform most any script on the server. While there are still various limitations, such as the number of simultaneous server side scripts, it's absolutely something that any serious FileMaker developer needs to know how to use. One of the biggest issues with running server side scripts with Perform Script on Server is the fact that you need to know what's happening when the script is running, how to troubleshoot and most importantly, how to replicate the current user context. That is, the proper layout and the exact same found set to be used for processing the data. This video specifically covers how to restore the user context for processing a found set of data. If you're interested in making this process happen as quickly as possible, then using Perform Script on Server is what you should learn to use. Click the title or link to this article to view the video.
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FileMaker Pro : Trois nouvelles solutions de démarrage à votre disposition

Peut-être en avez-vous déjà reçu l’information ? FileMaker propose pour FileMaker Pro 17 trois nouvelles solutions de démarrage ou plus exactement « templates » en anglais : Memberships.fmp12 pour gérer vos contacts, EventManagement.fmp12 pour gérer les événements et les sessions de travail et enfin, JobTracking.fmp12 pour organiser vos tâches… Vous pouvez les télécharger ici : https://www.filemaker.com/templates/ Et […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

Cloud Availability and Price Changes for Award-Winning Jarvis CRM

Cloud Availability and Price Changes for Award-Winning Jarvis CRM™ Simpsonville, South Carolina - February 1, 2019 – The Scarpetta Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that their flagship product Jarvis CRM is now available as Jarvis Cloud™ as another option to get started with Jarvis CRM.  Pricing has changed to per user to be [...] The post Cloud Availability and Price Changes for Award-Winning Jarvis CRM appeared first on The Scarpetta Group, Inc..
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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 take it in the direction that suits your needs. This is a new effort that has a lot of different uses, depending on who you are. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but with fewer deadly caves. For the Beginning Developer Templates are absolutely for you! You can poke around the core files to see what you can pick up about how they were developed. At the right of each layout, in Layout mode, you’ll see notes about the layout if we did something interesting or less-than-obvious. When you’re ready to add on to the core files, choose one of the Build-Ons your business needs. Then follow the tutorial for that Build-On, step by step. The tutorials look long, but don’t let that slow you down! They were written with enough detail for a beginner to be able to follow the steps and construct complete features in a FileMaker app. Begin by scanning the list of lessons in the tutorial, seen in the left-hand menu below. Some Build-Ons can be completed in one lesson, while others build up more complex functionality lesson by lesson. We broke out each piece of user functionality (AKA user story) into its own lesson, so that with each one you end up with something useful.For example, in the iPad Attachments Build-On for the Job Tracking Template, the complete work takes four lessons. First you give users iPad layouts, then let them add attachments, then view other attachments, and finally loop it all back to your FMPA users. Figure 1. iPad Attachments Lessons The tutorial Overview (always the first lesson in a tutorial) tells you what the Build-On will do, so you’ll know whether it does what you need, and can decide whether to build it. Figure 2. iPad Attachments Lessons Overview Once you’re in a lesson, take a moment to scan the Lesson Overview. This is a table of contents listing each major step in the lesson, and it’ll give you the big picture of what you’ll be doing. (“First I’ll add a table and some fields, then I’ll work on a layout, then I write a script…”). Figure 3. Lesson Steps When you’re ready, walk through each step closely. Before you know it you’ll be at the Review your work section watching your skills in action. For the Intermediate Developer The Templates offerings should be right in your wheelhouse. Consider the core file a solid jumping-off point: each core file was developed to the extent that it is usable as-is for basic functionality. However, it leaves room for additional work so you can customize it yourself. (The core files are more robust than Starter Apps, but less complex than Sample Apps.) Think of your own needs and get creative with the modules you add on! We wrote and commented on the scripts, so they’d be transparent enough for an intermediate developer to expand on without a ton of investigation. Have at it! If you want to add functionality described in one of the Build-On tutorials, you could follow that tutorial explicitly. Or, you could just scan it and follow the broad strokes. The tutorials are quite granular. However, we designed them so that if you don’t need that level of detail, you can scan them quickly to see the overarching steps within each one. Check out the Lesson Overview, scan through the screenshots for a quick view of the development, and then use your skills to quickly build the new functionality. If your build doesn’t work the way we describe the end result in the Review your work section, you can always go back through the instructions to see what we did differently. For the Advanced Developer Check out the files to see the development standards we used and consider adopting them for your own solution. These standards include passing parameters using custom functions, semi-modular scripting, and naming conventions. The theme itself went through a few rounds of vetting; you may find that useful for your own work. For more on the design choices the team made, check out Alycia McGuire's post. Whatever your skill level: you’ve got this! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or contact our team directly. We’re happy to help! The post FileMaker Templates: Are They Right for You? appeared first on Soliant Consulting.
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UserAccounts

A simplified user management solution, where all users are listed in a table. Each user has its own FileMaker account with settings you can define. The module synchronizes between the user table and the FileMaker accounts. FileMaker based user management module Manage accounts with a user table Every user gets its own FileMaker account The module synchronizes between user table and FileMaker accounts Complete login strategy Download More information and direct download at fmstarter.com:

https://fmstarter.com/en/user-accounts-2/ Basic Workflow
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FA135 – Répartir des données concaténées dans plusieurs rubriques FileMaker (1)

Vendredi dernier, vous avez pu télécharger et lire la fiche Astuce 135. Grâce à elle, nous avons pu, à partir de l’exemple de Stéphane, réorganiser en partie les données qu’il avait reçues dans un fichier Excel. Dans ce fichier de contacts converti en FileMaker, nous avions eu la désagréable surprise de trouver toutes les données […]
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MagalieJ

MagalieJ

 

myFMbutler — myFMApiLibrary for PHP, one library to rule them all

myFMbutler — myFMApiLibrary for PHP, one library to rule them all Lesterius Team has developed a PHP library to make the FileMaker Data Api 17 easier to use. Lesterius co-creates FileMaker Platform based solutions with their customers. Sharing knowledge takes part of our DNA, that’s why we developed this library to make the FileMaker Data API easy-to-use with PHP. We already used it for our FileMaker 16 internal projects and we improved it enough with FileMaker 17 to share it with the world. Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on PexelsWhy do we provide a wrapper while the data REST API already works? To make it simple. In our library, we’ve already coded all cURL requests. You don’t need to read the FileMaker Data API documentation to make it work, you just have to follow our documentation. Readable by every PHP developers, you can use it even if you don’t know anything about FileMaker. Download it and it’s ready. Go to our GitHub and download it or do a composer install: composer require myFMbutler/myFMApiLibrary-for-PHP See how to enable FileMaker Data Api on your FileMaker Server with this video, then create a user with the fmrest privilege and allow him to access your target data and layouts. Here is an example that shows how to find records with credentials method login: <?php require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php'; // Link librairy to FileMalker database
dataApi = new \Lesterius\FileMakerApi\DataApi('https://test.fmconnection.com/fmi/data', 'MyDatabase'); // Log user using the credentials method
$dataApi->login('filemaker api user', 'filemaker api password', 'layout name'); // My search parameters
$query = [
[
'fields' => [
['fieldname' => 'FirstName', 'fieldvalue' => '==Test'],
['fieldname' => 'LastName', 'fieldvalue' => '==Test'],
],
'options' => [
'omit' => false
]
]
];

try { $results = $dataApi->findRecords('layout name', $query, $sort, $offset, $limit, $portals, $scripts, $responseLayout); } catch(\Exception $e) {
// log exception here
} // Show data
echo "<pre>", var_dump($results), "</pre>"; // Logout user
$dataApi->logout(); Enjoy. You can also see all the examples in the readme here. That’s all? Where there are no features, there is no pleasure. We also have ideas for some new features: Number of bytes per request, Choose response format (xml, JSON, etc), Same library, another language, And more… Free download Download the latest version and documentation from Github. You can also find the product page here. myFMbutler — myFMApiLibrary for PHP, one library to rule them all was originally published in Lesterius on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Marina Syhanath

Marina Syhanath

 

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 how these apps should look, how they should flow, and most importantly, how to develop them. Unlike starter solutions, these files are meant to be dissected, understood, learned from, and actually built upon. I’d like to go into some detail about some of the best practices we hit on as we worked through our design and development process for them. User Interface & User Experience Best Practices User experience depicts how the user perceives certain features of an app. Consider usability, efficiency, and the overall flow of the app. User interface describes the overall look and style of the app. We made our goal to build these solutions to feel and operate much like the apps we enjoy every day. Strategic Navigation For example, see how navigation between different layouts moves throughout the app. Rather than have a navigation bar on each layout, we took advantage of one of FileMaker’s newer features, card windows. We created a navigation layout that displays as a card window. Card windows, introduced in FileMaker 16, allow you to layer windows within the same window, a great feature to take advantage of when designing file navigation. It gives the user more space on each layout and eliminates layout clutter. It also allows for easier manipulation of the navigation menu. You only have to make changes to a single layout versus changing every layout that includes the navigation menu. We used a small button with the hamburger icon in the upper right corner of each layout with a script attached that opens the navigation layout in a card window. Because you have control over the size and position of card windows, you have the power to display the navigation layout anywhere within the window. We chose a slender window that appears on the far left on the screen. Using the Get (WindowHeight) script step, we are able to allow the navigation widow to always keep the same height as the active window. Using the Get (WindowWidth) and subtracting the navigation menu’s layout width (in this case 320pt), the navigation window will always open to the leftmost side of the window. The finished product is a clean, functional navigation window that only displays when the user needs, giving the main layouts a sleeker look and feel. Color Consistency Another important aspect of user experience we focused on when designing these custom solutions is the use of consistent colors throughout the app. We aimed for the workflow process to come as naturally as possible to the user, without confusion or hesitation. One way of doing is to guide the user through the workflow with specific colors. This means selecting colors for each different type of call-to-action, whether a button or clickable text. We kept the colors simple for these files and selected a single color for “positive” or next action steps, and then muted colors for “negative” or canceling action steps. For example, a user creating a new time entry in the Job Tracking file has two options for the user once they finish entering in time, “Close” and “Delete”. The natural action , “Close”, displays a brighter color for that button (in this case, blue). The user may still need the option of “Delete”, but it shouldn’t be called out to their immediate attention. Therefore we built a more muted color (for this case, gray). This part of the user experience carries throughout each of the core files and their additional build-ons. For any action we wanted to guide the user through or call an action to, we used blue for buttons and hover states. Any buttons or text we wanted to keep as an option but steer the user away from as the unnatural next action, we used a shade of gray. Design Themes Setting a design theme at the beginning of the development process allows you to easily apply a consistent design throughout the entire solution. You can use a custom theme, one of your own design. or an inherent FileMaker theme. It should include consistent colors, fonts, and styles set for each type of object.
Setting a design theme at the beginning of the development process allows you to easily apply a consistent design throughtout the entire solution. We recommend choosing a single theme at the beginning of your design process and avoid making changes. This eliminates design inconsistency during development. For our team, this process took a few iterations, but we landed on a custom theme, with styles for all layout parts, shapes, buttons, portals, edit boxes, and more. Although this required a bit more work in the beginning, this saved time and stress as we worked through designing each layout. Every added object had a style, so we didn’t need to think about how to style each object or worry about ensuring we kept things consistent layout to layout. Scripts and Coding Consistency We also recommend setting scripting and coding standards at the beginning of a project. Define and name scripts, fields, tables, variables, etc. We spent significant time on this for the template files as well. Our team defined a set of standards and naming conventions before development started. Consistency tremendously helps testing, QA, and future rework needs. Similarly, you should strive for consistency in the organization of scripts and scripting itself. Folders organize your scripts and make them easy to find. Each script within the core files has a header section providing details for each script. This includes the purpose of the script, the context, parameters passed to the script, what the script returns, and any notes that might be useful for future users. This helps keep scripts clean and easy to read. It also gives anyone wanting to manipulate the script information to help them understand the script and its purpose. Commenting throughout the script also helps others understand the logic put behind each step or set of steps. When developing larger solutions or working with multiple developers, it’s easy to forget the thought process put into the script at the time. Having comments eliminates that “What was I doing here, again?” thought. The result is an end product that not only looks and operates professionally but is clean and well-laid-out under the hood as well. Global Variables We also consistently used the native FileMaker feature of global variables for manipulating layouts throughout our design. As I mentioned before, we used card windows throughout the files, not only for navigation but also for a way to quickly input or manipulate data for different records. For instance, in the Job Tracking template, we used a card window to input new and existing time entries. Instead of creating two near-identical layouts with only slight differences, for example, in the header name, we used global variables set in the calling script that are then used on the layouts as merge variables that display the appropriate header text for that action. The header for the two actions displays as, “Edit Time Entry” and “New Time Entry”, which in layout mode shows as “<<$$globalField>> Time Entry”. When the user triggers the script to add a new time entry, the global variable, <<$$globalField>> is set to the word “New”. The user then sees the card window displaying the layout with the header “New Time Entry”. This allows the use of a single layout for multiple actions. The same concept is used for each call to action button on these layouts. Buttons used to create new records will have different actions than buttons used to edit or delete records. Following this same Job Tracking example, the case would be editing existing time entries versus creating a new time entry. Each of these different actions requires different buttons. By using global variables, hiding conditions, and layering the buttons on the layout, you can continue to use the same layout for multiple actions. This keeps the design process simple and the number of layouts to a minimum. Master-detail Layouts The last native FileMaker feature great for enhancing both user interface and user experience that I’d like to share is the use of Master-detail layouts. This is new to FileMaker 17. You can now create portals that work with the a found set of the current table. This saves time as you no longer need to create self-join relationships and additional scripting to accomplish this. The resulting layout allows users to click through a list of records and see a record’s details all in one layout. This works great for displaying things like staff or client details. Using Master-detail layouts became standard for the core files. This takes them to the next level, both visually and functionally. Ensuring a Strategic User Experience in All FileMaker Solutions Taking time in the beginning to focus on consistent design and organization pays off in the end. It reduces your development time and ensures a professional looking final product. Our team follows these best practices in all of our development. If you would like our insights in taking your FileMaker solution to the next level, contact our team to learn more. The post FileMaker Templates: Give Your Users a Better Experience appeared first on Soliant Consulting.
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8 of the Best CRM Features That Will Grow Your Business

No matter the complexity of your business operations, it takes a lot to convert new prospects, deliver your products or services, and keep customers happy. A CRM will help you automate and streamline the tasks that are required to grow your business. But not all CRMs are created equal. A CRM that’s up to [...] The post 8 of the Best CRM Features That Will Grow Your Business appeared first on The Scarpetta Group, Inc..
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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. Are you needing to divide up the people you are tracking into multiple different groups? No problem. Do you anticipate that those groups will change and vary over time? No problem. Do you have more than one thing which could benefit from being tagged for the purpose of organization? No problem. This system implements tags in such a way that they can be used to pretty much tag anything you can think of within your database solution. The data is managed via a join table and the logic for the UI will handle tagging any system element universally as well. Watching this video and using the provided file should make your system that much more flexible in terms of data organization and you can expand upon it as much as desired. If you enjoy flexible, yet powerful features, within your database solution then make sure to watch this video and learn from the provided file! Click the title or link to this article to view the video.
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