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  1. One of the great things about FileMaker Pro is it starts you off with a completely blank slate. One of the bad things about FileMaker Pro is it starts you off with a completely blank slate. Yep, that's right, there are things in FileMaker's UI which non-intentionally urge you to do things which may not be as helpful in the future. Of course, some of this comes down to learning as much as you can about how things work. Which, is likely why you'll be watching this video. In this episode, we take a look at FileMaker's themes and styles and how they relate to the Default styles which all layout objects start from. FileMaker defaults to the Default styles and that may not be the best way to start a new layout design. In this video, I answer the question about using the Defaults for your actual design and what you may be missing if you choose to use the Default style within your layouts. Want the most leverage possible? Well, you may need to stop using the Default styles - sort of. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. These days, the future of FileMaker's flexibility is being created right in front of our eyes. While it's a relatively quiet feature right now, FileMaker Add-ons may blossom into a very beneficial way of enhancing a FileMaker file. True, there are a few rough edges in this preview version of Add-ons, but it's definitely going to be a killer feature if it takes off. Because Claris has been expanding the definition of a FileMaker file within the world of XML, the ability to modify and/or enhance a FileMaker solution will be GREATLY expanded. This comes in the form of Add-ons and the ability to update an existing solution with new features by simply "patching" a FileMaker file. In this video, I walk through what's available as of the FileMaker 19 release. As a preview of an intended feature, the future looks really cool. While Claris hasn't released any official Add-ons as of the release of this article, there's no doubt that developers will be gearing up to provide feature-rich add-ons that any FileMaker user can quickly add to their own solutions. If you'd like to be one of the developers who knows what's going on behind the scenes, and know how to create your own Add-ons, then you'll find all the info you need within this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. Without a fundamental understanding of some programming topics, it's often difficult to solve certain problems in the easiest possible fashion. In fact, one of the things I've enjoyed learning about programming is that more code isn't always better. Searching for the simple answer sometimes takes a bit more time. And, learning to solve the problem with less code is more enjoyable. In this video, I walk through a simple process of massaging some data into a desired format. While the objective often seems simple, the solution isn't always obvious. Especially, if you haven't been programming for good amount of time. There's also those hidden tips or tricks which you don't really know about until you've invested the time into improving your craft. I remember learning about writing loops in FileMaker and feeling the sense of power that comes with any type of data processing. To this day, most of programming comes down to looking for a pattern and then processing that pattern in some fashion. Usually, with a loop. As the seasons cycle and the fields wither and then return, such is the way of software. You find the pattern and process it with a loop. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. On Wednesday May 20th, 2020 Claris International Inc. released a new version of FileMaker Pro. Version 19 includes just a handful of changes, but they are far reaching and will extend FileMaker's usefulness in many ways. Of the changes, the biggest is an extensible architecture which allow for portable components called Add-ons to be distributed. The same underlying technology, which uses XML, is also being used to provide support for updating a database file using a command line tool. FileMaker 19 also marks the start of a more rapid release schedule for future releases of FileMaker Pro. This video includes a hit list of the top new features and I discuss the functionality they implement and how they could be used. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. Security. While it isn't as sexy as a nice UI widget or as crafty as a really cool scripted workflow, setting up your security is something you must consider before any database deployment. When it comes to security, you can't miss a beat. If you do, then that one attack vector might be the one that bites you. And, unless your FileMaker solution is never going to connect with the network at large, knowing who can do what within your system is an essential requirement of security. Getting to know FileMaker's privilege sets, and how they work, is one thing. But, weaving this knowledge into a system which provides a good degree of flexibility is another. If you're interested in the User/Group/World permissions model, then applying it to your FileMaker solution isn't too hard. You just need know which fields to add and how to make them interact with the rest of the security model in order to accomplish your intended goal. This video, and the companion file that comes with it, will provide you with the best starting point possible for figuring out how you might want to integrate your security objectives. If you've never quite gotten FileMaker's security under your belt, then give this video and file a good look over. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. It's always nice to have someone simply show you what you need to know in order to solve a problem. There is, however, a problem with just being shown only what you need to know. You deprive yourself of the deeper level of retention that comes from self-discovery of the topic being explored. So, consider this video a comprehensive introduction. One where I guide you through the process of learning the tools of JavaScript within FileMaker Pro. The advantage is the fact that you have your own FileMaker solution you're working on and this solution can inevitably benefit from using JavaScript implementations. The motivation should be there. You just need some of the know-how. The result of watching this video is growing your skillset and branching out into other methods of solving problems in FileMaker. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. Learning from a technology you don't already understand, while receiving an immediate benefit, is one of my driving reasons for creating content. In this two part series, I dig into the depths of understanding the JavaScript mechanisms natively available to FileMaker developers and learners. This first video focuses on the implementation of an internal cropping tool which uses a web viewer to provide the interaction and actual cropping. The demo file and video show you how to implement the JS libraries required and how to use the technology available. Understanding how to crop, and also the distinction of what you want to crop versus what you need to crop, is an important step for some high impact database systems which may use larger sized images. If you're looking for a better understanding of JavaScript and also how to crop and image directly within FileMaker then I'm sure these videos will cover what you need to know. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. What do the following have in common? Products with component parts, generations of people, complex study topics with prerequisites and a chain of historically related events. Yep, you guessed it, it's a hierarchy of things. Something which comes before another thing and are somehow tied together. Within any database system, this is easily accomplished with two simple fields. Yet, facilitating the navigation of the content can be accomplished in a number of ways. One of the more common methods for moving up or down any hierarchy is to use what are known in the UI world as breadcrumbs. When your number of levels is beyond two, you can implement breadcrumbs into your user interface and provide a lot of UI coherence. In this video, we walk through the data structure as well as what's required to use FileMaker's tab panels in order to accomplish this task in the most efficient manner. If you're taking users down (and up) any hierarchy, then you need to know how to use this technique! This video and the technique file will provide you with all the know-how and code to get it done. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. Within the world of FileMaker development, there are always those golden gems which become the hallmarks of "how to do something" - despite there often being more than one way to solve a problem. For managing lists of data, prior to the existence of the While function, the go-to custom function is CustomList. When it comes to variable output display using a portal you'll almost always reference Virtual List as the commonly understood approach. When it comes to saving user state, there's always been a number of ways accomplish this. But, for my part, I'm going to declare Layout Variables as the way to solve many issues when it comes to saving user state in FileMaker. While the term "Layout Variables" can apply to either locally scoped variables or global ones used within the layout, the concept is such that you're using variables to store things for the specific layout the user is on. When it comes to saving state, whether for the specific session or in order to persist, there has to be a simple and easy way to store, reference and retrieve these values and I think that solution is finally here. In this video, I showcase the Custom Functions and methods I use to implement Layout Variables. If your FileMaker solution has a need to maintain state and make it easy to both store and restore global variables used for the user interface, then you simply must watch this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. One of the most powerful features of any and all software is the ability to search and identify things which would be human impossible without computers. The ability to search for any given string and have that combination of characters be instantly presented is what has made our current world possible. In this video, we take a look at FileMaker's default Find & Replace feature and we integrate this into our database systems. We then enhance that feature by implementing a Highlighting feature based on what the user is searching for. With both the Find & Replace feature and the ability to highlight all occurrences, we have a pretty powerful solution for users who need to be able to modify and make changes to data based on what they're searching for. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. Communication amongst solution users is often a desirable feature. While many companies will standardize on generalized options such as Slack, it's not your only option when it comes to messaging within a FileMaker solution. In the past, there've been a number "FileMaker only" solutions which take advantage of FileMaker's constant polling of the main data store. However, these solutions pale in comparison to what is available today. With the prevalence of super powerful browser-based Javascript solutions, we can simply use a Web Viewer and integrate directly into FileMaker. The question, however, is which one do you pick and how can you test things out before making your choice? That's what's covered in this video. How you can test out all kinds of different software integrations within FileMaker. Also, how you can determine if FileMaker's Web Viewer can handle what the software is designed to do. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. We all love those "Top 10" videos because we know what we're getting into. It's just a list of 10 things right? But it's the best 10 things - right? Ok, well, "best" is possibly relative to what your particular daily workflow is like, but at least there's always something new to learn! Right! And, that's exactly what this video is about. It's about learning those little time-saving tricks which make it much nicer to work within FileMaker's Layout Mode. Need some incentive to check it out? Here's the first 5 of the top 10 list of what's covered. #10: Easier cursor selections #09: Using the Object Inspector #08: Shortcuts for Align & Resize #07: Top Object Wins #06: Know your Parts Want to know what's covered in the remaining 5? Just watch the video and pick up some new skills! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. Knowing how to take advantage of Server Side scripting within FileMaker is quite critical when you want the best performance possible. Of course, it makes total sense that you'll get the best speeds when working with the data where it's most accessible. The trick with creating scripts which will also work on the server side is being very specific with the context of things. There's also the very important choices of which method you're going to use. In 2018 I covered a method using a dedicated table occurence which is perfectly viable today. However, I didn't show the other methods possible and we also got some newer features which allow us to do things even more differently. This video shows you how to write a script which will duplicate related record sets and do so using the method of exporting and importing. I also cover a method which uses JSON in order to replicate a set of related records. This code can be used in many more places than just duplicating related record sets. I hope the content helps you advance your level of FileMaker development knowledge. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. When someone asks a simple question like "How can I make FileMaker export a second worksheet in Excel?" The method you use to achieve this may not be immediately apparent. Especially if you've not worked with other programming languages like Python. Rest assured, however, you can certainly solve most any FileMaker problem as long as you're willing to take a little journey into the land of other tools. And, it's probably not as scary as you think it is. Yes, FileMaker is nice and comfortable, but it has it's limits. When you want to become a power developer, you have to become familiar with what's possible. In this video, I walk through the use of Python, in conjunction with FileMaker in order to export a multiple sheet Excel workbook. Need to include Excel calculations, multiple worksheets, graphics and charts? Do the corporate leaders demand that you provide your report within Excel? Well, let's take a quick trip to Python land and we find all kinds of wonderful gems in our brand new toolset! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. When "dark mode" finally creeps into your operating system, you know it's time you consider the trend and possibly adapt your FileMaker user interface as well. Although, "light mode" is still perfectly acceptable too! In this video, I walk through some of the tips and tricks I use in order to style a FileMaker user interface into a "dark mode" theme. I cover topics such as where and how to find colors, how to deal with grid settings and how to generally convert a light theme into a dark one. If you've been considering giving your FileMaker UI a facelift, then I'm sure you'll find some valuable goodies in this video about converting a theme into a "dark mode" compatible one. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
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