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  1. 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 related to FileMaker development. The video introduces a subtle ui widget which I implemented based on the intended usage of the software. This is what reflects the real process of software development within FileMaker. Not just taking the super obvious approach, but the one which might make more sense to the user and is a bit more difficult for the developer to implement. This requires you to know how to get things done in FileMaker and implement a feature which is user friendly and facilitates a fluid workflow process. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. 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 the other is truly limiting access to the field data itself. Using the knowledge in this video you should be able to come up with a method which fits your exact situation. The video walks through the use of the various options which FileMaker provides for limiting access to a field. If you'd like to know which options you should use to control access, then give this video a view. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. 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 for looping over, or simply show the user an overview of the records they have loaded in the current found set. Understanding how to use, and take advantage of, the ListOf summary field is what this video is about. We'll walk through two different uses and take a look at a nice user feature which allows the user to determine which data they would like to interact with. If you've never used a ListOf summary field, then you certainly need to be aware of what's covered within this video! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. 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 within FileMaker's List View which you need to know about in order to creatively present your data. You're probably shooting for something both appealing and easy to visually process. When you apply the knowledge learned in this video, you'll be a master of List Views and able to present a wide variety of data for a wide variety of situations. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. 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 for output. You may have already discovered how easy it is to simply take a user into Preview Mode and allow them to make whatever choices FileMaker provides, but, you'll now have more options available as you can easily use a Dialog or Card window in order to present a more customized view of the possible options a user may have. If you've struggled with automatically generating your printable reports as PDF files, and then injecting them into container fields, then you'll certainly love to learn from what this video has to offer! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. FileMaker Magazine

    Super Powerful Breadcrumbs

    What's truly great about FileMaker Pro is that you can have 5 different developers come up with 5 different ways of doing the exact same thing. There are, however, some pieces to a puzzle which will inevitably require the same structure or settings. Breadcrumbs, for example, work infinitely better within a Tab Panel object than any other object type in FileMaker. This is because tab panels provide the feature of shrinking to fit their content. But, when it comes to the implementation of the logic and feature set, you can use any of the supported technologies which FileMaker provides. You can use ExecuteSQL() or you can just use a simple $$GLOBAL.VARIABLE. The limits of what you can do are extended even further when you consider newer technologies such as FileMaker's support for using JSON. By integrating a Breadcrumb solution by using JSON to manage what and how those breadcrumbs should work, you arrive at a wonderfully powerful breadcrumb solution. And, that is exactly what this video is about. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. FileMaker Magazine

    Accessing Google Services - Part 3

    Having made the connection to Google's Services using Oauth 2, and spending a touch of time investigating how we can discover documents within Google Drive, we're in the home stretch of reading and writing data to a Google Sheet. By simplifying the way we make API calls to any of Google's services, we end up with a great solution for working with any of Google's available APIs. Also, by focusing on the simple example of working with one simple Google Sheet, we end up capturing data via a Google Form which dumps data into the Google Sheet. All we need to do is read and write to that sheet. This video covers the topic of watching for an expired access token and making sure that each call to the API has the greatest chance of success. Within no time you'll be reading and writing to a Google Sheet as if everything was right there within FileMaker Pro itself! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. FileMaker Magazine

    Accessing Google Services - Part 2

    This video is a continuation of the first video in this series where we took a look at connecting to Google's myriad of available services. Once you know how to make the secure connection which Google requires, you can access all the possible services. The trick with working with web services, such as Google or AWS, is that you need to become familiar with how FileMaker requests data and then process the response. We tackle that task within this video then move on to working with Google Drive in order to determine which file it is we want to work with. After making a successful connection we also need to know how to maintain or re-establish that connection. Google doesn't keep the door open forever you know. So, settle in for another longer, but valuable exploration of connecting to Google's services. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. FileMaker Magazine

    Accessing Google Services - Part 1

    Buried within the layers of complexity inside any technical system are the simple settings of multiple parameters and/or settings. You simply need to get the right pieces into the right places. You know - like a jigsaw puzzle. And, once the puzzle starts to reveal itself, the understanding of what the picture is becomes so much more clear. That's the goal of this particular video when it comes to connecting to the myriad of possible Google services. FileMaker Pro, in the last few years, had improved by leaps and bounds with regards to working with external systems and services. With everything you need now built in the the native client, you can easily connect to Google's services and make the most of them right within your own FileMaker solution. You may just need a head start on the understanding in order to see the whole picture. Fortunate, that's exactly what this video will do for you. If you need to connect to Google services for any reason then look no further! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. FileMaker Magazine

    Universal Date Picker

    FileMaker Pro provides us with a wonderfully blank canvas in order to present data however we wish. It's called Layout Mode. When you combine that feature with the recently added Card Windows the power to solve presentation problems goes up quite significantly. Such is the case when it comes to providing users with a date picker, or a calendar widget if you will. In previous videos, I've provided instruction on how to make a very simple calendar widget. When you combine that widget with a Card Window you simply gain full control about how a user makes selections for date values. So, what's the best method of implementation? Well, like all things, there are many ways to approach the problem. In this video I discuss the use of global variables and the differences in context when working with Card Windows. I present some of the better ways to approach the solution and how to clean up after yourself when considering the use of global variables. If you're in need of expanding your FileMaker knowledge and you happen to also need a simple, yet powerful date picker, then I'm sure you'll enjoy watching this video about a Universal Date Picker. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. FileMaker Magazine

    Using FileMaker's Grid

    Recently, while providing intermediate training at the annual FileMaker Devcon, I had an attendee approach me and ask a very simple question. "How do you turn off the grid in FileMaker?" Like all questions, it was asked within the context of innocent ignorance. This was simply because this person had not yet used, nor explored this area of FileMaker. This is totally understandable with the increasing number of options found across the increasing number of palettes within FileMaker. However, if you think this video is simply about how you turn on/off the grid, then you'll be missing out on a whole host of features and options which can both benefit your layout designs and make things much faster for you within the area of your designs. This video is about taking full advantage of the grid and making decisions about how to use it and how to choose the right width for your designs. Plus, you'll get all kinds of tips about how to make your layouts feel "visually comfortable" so they appeal to users. Think you know about using FileMaker's Grids? Double-check by watching this video! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. FileMaker Magazine

    Duplicating Related Records - Server Side

    The age old question commonly arises on FileMaker forums around the world. "How can I duplicate the whole record?" In other words, how can I duplicate the parent record and all related children records which make it seem like it's one whole entity. Well, at least, that's how a newer user/developer sees it. They may visually see the one record with all of its related records presented within the portal, but making the distinction that you're actually looking at 1 record plus N related records isn't super obvious from a UI standpoint. However, as a FileMaker developer, you need to know how to duplicate the whole collection of records so the user can conveniently click that one single button which reads "Duplicate". There are many methods you can use to accomplish this task, but there are a few tricks to making to work successfully and reliably depending on your specific requirements. In this video I present one of the most efficient methods for duplicating whole related record sets. No matter how many sets of related records you have, you can always take advantage of the inside knowledge on how to accomplish this type of task in FileMaker Pro. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. FileMaker Magazine

    Reusable Dialogs

    Card windows will continue to impact our FileMaker solutions for years to come. Released in FileMaker 16, who would have thought that simply creating a new way to draw windows would be so empowering. We've long been able to create modal windows which force user interaction - but taking off the title bar and dimming the background window was all it took to make things much more powerful. So, what is the most common thing you can do with a card window? Well, create a reusable dialog box of course. In previous videos I've covered card windows for progress bars, menu navigation systems and ultimate card window positioning. In this video, I show you how to take advantage of the new FileMaker 17 feature of being able to target a script based on the name of the script. By doing this, we can create a reusable dialog box system which provides us with full visual control and styling of the content. If you're interested in taking full advantage of the latest features and you'd like to standardize your own custom dialog boxes then this video will have the information you need. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. FileMaker Magazine

    List Processing with Custom List

    While FileMaker's calculation engine is super powerful for managing all kinds of unique calculations, the one thing it lacks is a feature for running a repetitive function across a range of data. This is certainly possible within the Scripting engine with the use of the ever wonderful Loop script step. However, as stated, there's no way to really process a range of data using just a function. Unless... you create your own or use one which has already been created. As it happens, there is just such a function which has long been one of the most powerful custom functions of all possible FileMaker custom functions. It was created over a decade ago and is still, too this day, one of the most powerful custom functions you could ever learn to use. The function is called CustomList and it's a must-know function for any FileMaker developer. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. FileMaker Magazine

    Oauth External Authentication

    Using multiple files for developing a robust FileMaker solution can be pretty normal when you plan out the distribution of your data and servers. Some solutions benefit from breaking out part of the solution into one or more separate files. So, whether taking the load off a given server or simply planning for quicker data access across multiple time zones, one of the bigger problems which pops up with your standard FileMaker accounts is password management. This is where it becomes much easier to use external authentication. In earlier days, we only had access to Active/Open Directory or system accounts hosted on the same machine as FileMaker server. But, since FileMaker Server 16, we now have the ability to use external authentication through Oauth. This means we can use a third party like Amazon, Google or Microsoft in order to allow users to access solutions and manage their own passwords. If you're looking for an easier way to manage the users of your solution, then you'll find out how it works and how to make it happen within this video about Oauth External Authentication. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet