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  1. 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 templating method to get the dynamic data on screen or for hard copy output. From there, I discuss the other options you can use for presenting data dynamically from within FileMaker. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. 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 organization and creating a small amount of utility scripts in order to limit the number of things you would otherwise have to create. In this video, I showcase an enhanced version of a system I designed a while back. It's a method for making simple, or even somewhat complex searches within the UI of your solution. You simply specify what you're searching for within the script parameter you're passing into the script. With the availability of JSON now, we have a very descriptive method of knowing what is being searched for. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. 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 method to indicate which members were part of a duplicate group or not. Within this video article you'll find a very good use of a variety of methods to identify a duplicate and then indicate if it's part of a group of duplicates. If you've ever have a need for this type of display, you're in luck. And, even if you don't, you'll learn how you can make one record aware of its neighbors. Of course, what you do with that information is between you and your records. ;) Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. 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 as possible in order to automate the process. Getting things to the point where the user really only needs to click a single button is a great solution. In this video, I showcase all the pieces to the puzzle of automating most any importing workflow. You really only need to know where the data is coming from and if you need to move things around to make the process just a little bit easier. This is a great video if you've never taken a look underneath the hood at your own computer's operating system. It will reveal a lot of insight into the many things you can do with FileMaker Pro once you know how to access the myriad of available tools. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. 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 FileMaker client works. And, within this knowledge, you can accomplish some really cool features within your FileMaker solution. In this video, I present a wonderful solution to a problem one of our subscribers was having with trying to support a method of drag-n-drop between portals and allowing for the groupings of various people within the context of a specific event. If you'd like to know more about how to take advantage of drag-n-drop within FileMaker, then you'll find a number of valuable tidbits in this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. 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 impressive? That's when you take the opportunity to enhance your portals such that they're more attractive and more user friendly. In this video, we take a look at the various steps you can take to make your portals a bit more attractive and in most cases more useful. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. 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 the most basic of calendars. If you don't care about multiple calendars, flexible displays and interaction, the ability to drag-n-drop and many more features then, sure, you can make a grid of 42 objects and show "some" of your solution data. However, if you're in the need of something which will handle user editing controls, multiple time zones, multiple view styles and is HIGHLY extensible, then you can't beat free if you're willing to take the time and learn about FullCalendar. Of course, that's why you're subscribed to the magazine site right? We'll save you many hours of effort and struggle by getting you up and running with a very powerful Javascript based calendar! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. 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 visualization is being able to extract the data you need to present. This data may also change as the user navigates through the chart or your user interface. So, in short, we need to be familiar with all the various ways in which we can collect our data out of the database. Fortunately, there is a somewhat small collection of methods, but knowing how each of them work and when you might use one over the other is a matter of experience and practice. In this video, I cover the possible variations and you get to choose which method you want to use and when. The ultimate method is something you'll find towards the end of the video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. 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 compelling use of Javascript within a web viewer. It's because native FileMaker simply can't generate a Sankey flow diagram. FileMaker doesn't do curves, it does data. However, FileMaker can make it happen with the use of Javascript and a web viewer. The best part yet is that it's already been done for us. All you have to do is become familiar with how to modify and integrate with your own data. That's exactly what this video does. It will teach you how to understand the implementation of this particular Javascript and give you the confidence to integrate other examples as well. If presenting your data with a very compelling visualization is something which you'd like to do, then you'll find the knowledge you need within this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. 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 of FileMaker Pro. So, you're still stuck with Google Maps if you are needing Windows support. However, if you're using either Macintosh computers and/or iOS with a FileMaker Go, or an SDK bound iOS solution, then it may be the case that Apple Maps would be a wonderful solution within a Web Viewer. Especially, now that we know that native bidirectional communication within JavaScript is coming to a Web Viewer near you! Now seems like an ideal time to take a look into this very capable mapping technology. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. 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 issue was tied to the type of data I was searching, it provided a great opportunity to explore how one would address this particular issue. Using FileMaker's search operators is something which every great FileMaker developer should be aware of. Fortunately, the descriptions provided by FileMaker's documentation helps us solve the issue. Watch this video if you've got an interest in learning how FileMaker searches for content and how you solve unique issues which may prevent your system from providing the results you intend. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. 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 FileMaker solution gone awry. So, what is one of the best solutions for keeping a system easy-to-maintain while also being able to understand what you're doing while developing? Naming standards or conventions of course. In this video, I discuss some updates to my own personal conventions which will lend themselves to helping to make a FileMaker solution much more streamlined. If you consider your own FileMaker solution a special kind of mess, then give this video a peek for information about why naming certain things in certain ways can give you a helping hand for keeping your FileMaker solution easier to maintain and update. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. 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 look at how you can jump between the free standard Maps URL APIs and how you can create a solution which will allow a user to double-click to capture the desired coordinates. This type of solution can be used for any situation where capturing initial intended coordinates is desired. Once you have the initial coordinates, you can always send someone out into the field to capture the true coordinates using a copy of FileMaker Go. Whatever your mapping needs are, you can certainly solve the solution with Google Maps JavaScript APIs. You just have to dip your feet into the pool and that's exactly what this video will do for you. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. 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 to implement is certainly worthwhile. In this video, I walk through the use of a variety of custom functions and show the multiple options possible when considering a multi-selection technique for record rows. This video is great tool for understanding what can be done and how to implement a multiple-selection strategy. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. 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 in your UI, or your filtering needs extend to multiple field values, the use of a global field, in conjunction with a portal object, is how you can achieve a lot of your display objectives. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
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