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  1. The world of JavaScript libraries is so rich and full that once you start using some of them you start to ask yourself "Should I even try this natively with FileMaker?" When it comes to something like QR codes we don't even have a native option to create them. Currently, there's no GenerateBarcode() function. There's also the situation where you're using one of these fabulous JavaScript Libraries and you want to loop through a found set of records. The problem is... — You try to use your new cool JavaScript library on a range of records. Creating a QR code for a collection of records. Just a few hundred or a few thousand is all you need. There's a few problems with this situation however. One of them is that you MUST know how the FileMaker.PerformScript() function behaves within a Web Viewer. If it's not ready to go, then you'll get an error (which you can't even see unless you use a JavaScript debugger). The second issue is that FileMaker will simply stack any script calls until you get to the last record of a record loop and then execute them all on the last record. This is why you need to know the two critical things which must be set for successful loop based JavaScript use with a web viewer. Fortunately, we'll walk you through these critical issues and show you everything you need to keep in mind for using JavaScript, a Web Viewer and a Record Loop. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. Even in today's interconnected world, you'll still find systems which are so legacy that the only thing you get out of them is some type of output which was popular back in the late 80's and early 90's. One of those formats, which isn't actually an import format, is PCL (Printer Command Language). Yep, there's still a lot of education institutions which will output a PCL file as an export, which is simply just fixed length text with instructions about how a printer should handle the output. It's probably from the heavy use of the good old dot matrix printer days. PCL, however, is used for more than just dot matrix printers. The great thing about ANY structured content is that you can easily parse and extract exactly what you need from it - so long as you decipher the formatting. PCL, CSV, HTML and JSON - they're all just structured data. This video and its associated file is all about parsing a fixed field length PCL file. It's a collection of scripts and information about how to go about dynamically parsing a well structured PCL based text file. So, if you're doing development for a business or educational institution, which still only provides PCL output, and you want a clean way to parse the data into your FileMaker solution, then you'll find everything you need to do so successfully and flexibly within the provided file and video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. As with most every database solution, one of your primary goals is to facilitate easy navigation. You want users to be able to get to where they wish to go without hassle. You also want relevant navigation based on the fact that a database isn't just a one-trick pony. A lot of software tends to focus on one singular thing. However, in many database systems you may be catering to wider range of users. This is where it becomes helpful to have a navigational method which is not only flexible, but easy to maintain. Using a portal to accomplish this is an obvious solution. But what about making the portal vary the navigational options based on the logged in user? This can be done when you marry FileMaker's native security controls with the values shown within a portal. In this video, we walk through a "build it with me" approach to implementing this exact feature. Setting up a navigational sidebar menu system which responds to the user who's logged in. This system can either be a bit more general or as granular as desired. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. Finding things within any database system requires the understanding of how to make a proper query of what you're searching for. In FileMaker, this comes in the form of FileMaker's Query By Form method of searching. To fully understand all of its power, you need to explore the concept of multiple requests, omit requests, using search operators and more. However, before you even start to get into Query By Form, you need to know what's going on with FileMaker's Quick Find feature. It's a very powerful method of searching which will satisfy most users' needs. In this video you'll find a step-by-step approach to using the two primary forms of searching FileMaker data. First, we start with maximizing Quick Find and then move on to using FileMaker's Query By Form method of searching for data. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. FileMaker provides a good number of UI widgets which allow for a wide mix of cool things. Sometimes, it's all about knowing the various features and functions which allow you to implement a really helpful navigation feature. For this video/article release you're going to find a wonderful technique which allows you to assign keyboard commands to the navigation of a Button Bar widget. There are a number of ways this technique could be used, but the fundamental reason for doing so is because you don't always want the user to use a mouse to navigate your Button Bars. So, if your solution has any use for Button Bars, which allow a user to navigate to various areas, be it Layouts, Sliders or Tabs, then give this video and its associated technique file a good look over! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. One of the best parts of learning to develop within FileMaker is you have a great sense of "full control" over the data you want to manage. This applies to situations even as simple as a hobby or something you enjoy. In fact, these "hobby databases" are some of the best ways to expand your learning about how to both structure and present data. If you haven't before, you should give yourself a challenge with something you enjoy! In this video, I decided to break down the series of steps I took while simply creating a game tracking database for managing a hobby sport of mine. Pickleball is a fast-growing sport which seemingly sits right between tennis and table tennis (ping pong). I wanted my own solution to manage some games and decided to take a few hours to create the needed structure. Yeah, there's software out there, but I really like that "full control" feeling. The solution developed quickly and I saved versions of the file as I went along. The benefit of your time investment in this video is, hopefully, a good explanation of how to approach the process of structuring and presenting your data. Along the way you may pickup some useful tips which may help your current and future database systems. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. Portals can be used for essentially two different functions. Either data presentation or interaction. Of course, as you already know, you can also use a portal for both aspects of presentation and interaction as the same time. In this video, we continue the growth of our Home Project database where we take a look at the core differences between a Master/Detail portal (Current found set) and one which uses a Self Relationship. If you've not come across the differences between portal types, and simply selected one over the other, then hopefully, this information will help out. Using the information from this video you'll be able to make an informed decision about which version of a portal will fit any certain set of circumstances. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. Any FileMaker solution is a growing collection of stuff to be maintained. By the nature of development, some things will be replaced leaving some aspects to be abandoned and others to be lifted up by revitalizing them. Regardless of what goes and what stays, it's best to have a plan for how things will be added and how easy it will be for your future self, or anyone else, to be able to identify those things. In this video, I walk through the Home Project database I'm working on and I talk about adding styles to it and how it will impact my use of the theme down the road. This video provides great insight into how themes work underneath the surface and showcase a variety of good habits to have when adding styles to your FileMaker theme. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. Designing within FileMaker can either be pretty easy or somewhat hard. There's no exact way to design the look and feel of your solution, but the process of implementing the design can be easier when using FileMaker's grid. In this video, I talk about the process I use to first determine the size of a layout and then go on to refining its size so it fits within the golden ratio. Finally, I talk about implementing my use of the grid to make the styling of objects easier and give myself some guidelines which makes the layout process much smoother as the solution grows. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. Being in need of a new database system myself, I decided to simply document the process of adding new features to a FileMaker system as it evolves. This is a great way to learn about the ins-n-outs of what goes on when developing a new system. There's a number of things which may or may not make sense when you take a look into how someone else created something. So, why not make videos as the solution progresses. In this first video, I showcase how I originally started the file and where I should start to plan for a larger solution. There's a bit more needed than simply just throwing some fields into a table. There are also a number of settings and defaults which are created by FileMaker. This video talks about those default elements, how to deal with them and how to start planning for an easy-to-maintain database solution. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. Having recently consulted with a newer developer unfamiliar with the way FileMaker hosting/sharing works, I found that discussing the process would be a good primer for anyone just starting with FileMaker. If you've only ever worked or developed your file on your local machine, then learning how to host that file will be a big benefit. Especially if you need to collaborate with another developer. One of the key benefits of developing with FileMaker is the fact that it allows for collaborative live development. This is a feature which makes it quite nice to create a system where multiple developers can provide input and development into a solution which can reach maturity faster than when developed solo on a local machine. Code sharing is also a great benefit. In this video, I walk through the steps to be aware of when hosting your FileMaker file. We go through privilege set settings, encrypting the file for sharing and other settings you should be aware of when developing with FileMaker. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. Over the years I've created a number of videos about restoring user state. Returning windows to their last viewed location, restoring tabs and slider panels to those last viewed, etc. I've also created videos about super quick startup and managing users within a Users table. What I haven't shown is how I combine all of those processes into a powerful user environment restoration routine. Along with highly maintainable (and transportable) code. I've used this approach on most all of the solutions I create and have found it to be the most flexible and best way to manage the user environment. It all came about when FileMaker 16 released with the then new JSON functions. If you haven't yet used JSON in your solutions, then this single video will give you reason enough to start using them. If you'd like to provide each and every user of your solution with their own personal settings and make sure your FileMaker solutions acts and reacts like professional software, then you'll certainly want to take advantage of this video and the provided technique file! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. Sometimes, it's just good to reflect on how you use certain FileMaker features. You know, the simple ones. Like Show Custom Dialog and Get ( LastMessageChoice ). If you use FileMaker for mobile a lot, then Show Custom Dialog is a great way to go. With Desktop, you might have less than optimal results because users can reposition and resize the dialog. Aside from those few issues, however, it's probably one of those script steps you find yourself sprinkling all around your FileMaker solution. Then, that one day comes, it dawns on you that you'd like to take advantage of that newer FileMaker Card Window option. You'd like to customize your dialogs even further or optionally use a card window for some, and FileMaker's default Show Custom Dialog for others. Then, you find that potentially using a plugin might be a good way to go in some situations as well. Well, we can plan for all those situations with a little bit of dialog abstraction! This video is for all levels of developers, it's starts out with the basics, but moves on to cover the essentials of dialog abstractions which uses JSON based parameters. I hope this helps address any of your dialoging needs. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. When you really want to master creating all kinds of powerful solutions within FileMaker, then you'll have to be familiar with as many functions as possible. In fact, it doesn't hurt to know and have used every single one at least once or twice. The sooner you become familiar, the more things you'll be able to accomplish. Reflecting on my own journey with learning all of FileMaker's functions, I remembered working with a dog-eared paper manual with sticky notes popping out all over the place. There were many trips back and forth to the same functions as I became familiar with how they could be combined in creative ways. At the same time, I was digging through other developer's code in order to better understand how I could use those functions in various other ways. In this video I show you the best way to go about learning FileMaker's functions in our current paper manual-less world where documentation is digital and you can play with the functions to your heart's content - in real time. If you know you need to learn more of FileMaker's functions, then try the methods and tips you'll find in this week's video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
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