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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Because of the rich UI experiences which JavaScript provides within a web browser, it makes sense to take advantage of the various possibilities. The difficulty may be putting all the pieces together in order to get something working correctly. Fortunately, JavaScript isn't just for those "other developers". Those who already know what they're doing. You too, can easily integrate and use JavaScript within your own solutions. You simply need to be ready to learn enough in order to integrate successfully. You need to be a JavaScript integrator. When you're comfortable with getting data in and out of FileMaker, then you're able to have all those rich experiences which are found within the world of the web browser. An open source project named Carafe, created by Jeremiah Small, and released by Soliant in April of 2019, has provided a very easy way to integrate various JavaScript resources. In this video I walk through the tool and some of its features. I then show how to take one of the bundles and integrate into a brand new FileMaker file. If you're looking for more reasons to explore the use of JavaScript within your solution then this video provides a great place to start. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. JavaScript, it may sound scary because learning any new technology, which includes so much more than FileMaker, feels like an overwhelming amount of new learning. The great thing is, learning just a few little pieces at a time is the best way to learn - little-by-little. So let's start with just a few little pieces. In this video, I walk through the basics of how you get started with JavaScript within FileMaker Pro. How it's implemented and how to execute things. The great thing about getting started is once you learn a little bit, you tend to get addicted to learning more about what's possible. It turns out, when a technology, such as JavaScript, takes off as much as it has, you gain a significant amount of technological leverage. You don't have to spend as much of your own time creating "all the things", you just piece together the "various things" to make the "one thing" which is "your thing"! But, as with all things, you need to know what's going on behind the scenes so you can fix, change or troubleshoot what may not work quite right. Which, seems to be the case with all kinds of software development. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. Solving real world problems within FileMaker can actually be quite fun. It's a certain type of challenge which includes making something fast, efficient and easy to maintain. It's the type of thing which keeps us developers and learners going. Like most all software products, which allow for a high degree of creativity, it boils down to knowing the feature set and what's possible. When you learn the underpinnings, and you can really wrap your head around what the limitations or consequences are, you can often come up with really creative data solutions. In this video, I provide a solution to a problem which I had long forgotten about and previously solved. Yet, there it was, the same problem needing to be solved. The issue is related to sequencing a list of values so they sort in a specific order. When the order of values can be arbitrary and up to the user, you want to facilitate the sorting ability as easily as possible. When you try to solve this problem, you come across various issues related to how you chose to implement the UI portion. So, with this video, I present to you the underpinnings of how I go about solving these types of problems by understanding how you can manipulate data within FileMaker. Sit back and relax as we take a look at Optimized Sequence Sorting. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. Over the years, I've created a number of videos which showcase saving the state of various situations. For example, saving how many and which windows a user has open, saving the window positions and also saving the state of which panels are selected on multi-panel objects. Such as tab panels and sliders. In this video, we revisit the topic because we now have a newer function within FileMaker 18 which makes it even easier to save which panels are frontmost within your user UI. While I personally think this is something FileMaker should do natively, it's currently under our control. With a little bit of code, we can easily keep track of which panes are frontmost and then restore those panes when navigating through the solution. If keeping things clean and easy for your users is something you desire, then this video will have both the sample code and the instruction you need in order to take full advantage of FileMaker's While() statement and how to keep track of what's going on in the UI while the user is using it. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
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