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  1. 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 keep stocking it - right? So, what is the best way to offer user specific preferences to your solu
  2. 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 allows you to filter unique keys such that only the desired records will be shown. If you've ever had t
  3. 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 super simple trash can metaphor. It's easy-to-implement and allows users to bring records back from t
  4. 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 puzzle was a more expanded method of interacting with the network. The cURL library was already being
  5. 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 hidden features and how they might impact the look of your designs. With this video, I hope you lear
  6. 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 a modification field we can know WHEN it last happened. What we don't know is when only a specific s
  7. 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 the data into a field on some layout or they moved it into a global variable. For myself, while devel
  8. 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 the data into a field on some layout or they moved it into a global variable. For myself, while devel
  9. 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 composing Custom Functions and talk about every detail I can think of. Many of the tips and tricks will a
  10. 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 composing Custom Functions and talk about every detail I can think of. Many of the tips and tricks will a
  11. 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. This technique file and video will walk you through the details needed to take full control of the Qu
  12. 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. This technique file and video will walk you through the details needed to take full control of the Qu
  13. 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 "developer" on record 2? How do you make it easy to rapidly enter multiple keywords with a high degre
  14. 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 "developer" on record 2? How do you make it easy to rapidly enter multiple keywords with a high degre
  15. 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 is... Oh so helpful - isn't it? So, one of the core things you should add to pretty much any system
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