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  1. FileMaker Magazine

    Server Restored Contexts

    Prior to FileMaker 13 we never even had the option of performing scripted tasks where the data actually exists. The processing of a script, client side, always had, and still does, make a full round trip for all kinds of these processing activities. Many times, FileMaker does it's best to optimize whatever is being done, but it's still not as fast as executing certain things directly on the server. With the addition of Perform Script on Server we gained a REALLY BIG performance boost by being able to perform most any script on the server. While there are still various limitations, such as the number of simultaneous server side scripts, it's absolutely something that any serious FileMaker developer needs to know how to use. One of the biggest issues with running server side scripts with Perform Script on Server is the fact that you need to know what's happening when the script is running, how to troubleshoot and most importantly, how to replicate the current user context. That is, the proper layout and the exact same found set to be used for processing the data. This video specifically covers how to restore the user context for processing a found set of data. If you're interested in making this process happen as quickly as possible, then using Perform Script on Server is what you should learn to use. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. FileMaker Magazine

    Universal Tagging System

    One of the most wonderful aspects of FileMaker, or any development project, is implementing a portion of the software which can be used system wide. Meaning you don't have to recreate functionality over and over again in order to benefit from what you implement initially. Especially when it can be used in all locations universally. In this video, I show you how to implement a Universal Tagging System in which you can apply tags to any other element you're managing within your database system. Are you needing to divide up the people you are tracking into multiple different groups? No problem. Do you anticipate that those groups will change and vary over time? No problem. Do you have more than one thing which could benefit from being tagged for the purpose of organization? No problem. This system implements tags in such a way that they can be used to pretty much tag anything you can think of within your database solution. The data is managed via a join table and the logic for the UI will handle tagging any system element universally as well. Watching this video and using the provided file should make your system that much more flexible in terms of data organization and you can expand upon it as much as desired. If you enjoy flexible, yet powerful features, within your database solution then make sure to watch this video and learn from the provided file! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. FileMaker Magazine

    Advanced JSON Script Parameters

    While many FileMaker solutions will manage multiple parameter passing in very simple and straight-forward ways, there are some solutions which you know will grow over time. Because of this expected growth, you may want to have an additional level of comfort knowing you've implemented a very strict system for managing data transfer between scripts. You also may be interested in working with external APIs and connecting to systems and data which is provided via the currently popular format of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). Since the release of FileMaker 16, we've had access to the fundamental JSON* functions. With their initial release, there were a number of developers who immediately jumped on the bandwagon. Since FileMaker 16 was released, we've had a good bit of time to codify some methods and helpful custom functions for working with JSON formatted data. This video is all about providing comprehensive initial coverage about how JSON can be used for passing multiple parameters within FileMaker. If you never quite taken the plunge into using JSON for parameter passing then this video and the associated file may very well provide you with the incentive to take a more serious look. At the very least, you'll know what's going on when other developers mention they're using JSON parameters! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. FileMaker Magazine

    Single Source of Truth

    Having worked with FileMaker for well over 20+ years, and experiencing a wide variety of data models, it's always possible to get into a situation where you need to re-evaluate the data decisions you've made with regards to your structure. The data model you may have initially thought would handle all situations may need to be modified. Knowing about the multiple options you may have available for structuring your data makes a big difference when you start to consider simply "adding that new field" to your database. It may be that the workflow or process required would cause duplication of data and therefore increase the complexity of your solution unnecessarily. In this video, I cover the topic of a Single Source of Truth for storing field data. While the topic isn't limited specifically to fields, and should be considered for tables and data overall, it's good to know how to deal with specific cases where storing data becomes a big concern when dealing with additions, updates and deletions. Be prepared to learn more about strategic ways to store data in this video about Single Source of Truth. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. FileMaker Magazine

    Time Picker Widget

    It's a curious question and the answer may be good or bad depending on your perspective. "Why doesn't FileMaker have a time picker?". It has a calendar widget for working with date fields, why not time values? The solution to the problem, as is often the case, can be managed by simply creating your own picker. In fact, if you don't like FileMaker's desktop based date picker you can create any variation you desire based on being able to create any style of layout you can imagine. While the same applies to a time picker, it may not be obvious how to implement if you've not worked with FileMaker for some extended amount of time. In this video, I showcase a straight-forward time picker which works with both timestamp fields and time fields. It also includes some valuable utility scripts and concepts which can certainly be used in other areas of your FileMaker solutions. If you've ever come across the need for a time specific picker then adding this to your solution should save you a ton of time! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. FileMaker Magazine

    Time Picker Widget

    It's a curious question and the answer may be good or bad depending on your perspective. "Why doesn't FileMaker have a time picker?". It has a calendar widget for working with date fields, why not time values? The solution to the problem, as is often the case, can be managed by simply creating your own picker. In fact, if you don't like FileMaker's desktop based date picker you can create any variation you desire based on being able to create any style of layout you can imagine. While the same applies to a time picker, it may not be obvious how to implement if you've not worked with FileMaker for some extended amount of time. In this video, I showcase a straight-forward time picker which works with both timestamp fields and time fields. It also includes some valuable utility scripts and concepts which can certainly be used in other areas of your FileMaker solutions. If you've ever come across the need for a time specific picker then adding this to your solution should save you a ton of time! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. FileMaker Magazine

    Google Maps APIs

    Unless you've got a billion dollars to send out tens of thousands of cars with specially fitted technology mounted on their roofs; and, you can send them all across the planet, then you'll likely need to rely on mapping data from a third party. So, here we go with learning how we can leverage Google Maps APIs within FileMaker. This video will cover the essential knowledge you need in order to make the requests about geolocations whether they be latitude longitude coordinates or an address. As you've likely used Google Maps within the web browser, it's great to know you can access that same data directly within FileMaker; even the traffic data. It's just a simple matter of creating the right url. Making a request for what you want, and then parsing the data right back into your FileMaker table. Let's learn about the process and wire up the technology! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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