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  1. Changing User Privilege Sets

    Managing user accounts within FileMaker is pretty easy and straight forward. This, however, is an aspect of access control which only applies to what a user can do within the world of FileMaker's interface. When it comes to your own solution's user interface, it doesn't exist until you create it. And, of course, FileMaker knows nothing about what you create. It's just a tool. This means it's up to you to add your own security controls. In order to do this, you need to take advantage of all of FileMaker's security controls. Once you understand how to use these controls, you can create an access system which has various levels of access and allows some users to advance or reduce the access of other users. If you have a database which needs to have managers, employees and various levels of access then you need to watch this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. Parsing XML into JSON

    In the world of serialized data, there's only been a few key technologies and XML was certainly the forerunner. It's been around since the mid 90's and was originally added into FileMaker around version 5 - if memory serves. The implementation of XML/XSLT/XPATH wasn't fully complete with compatible functions and it only works as an import and export feature via the use of an XSLT style sheet. Learning XSLT and XPATH weren't the easiest things to do and as computing moved forward, so did other technologies. Now, with JSON and JavaScript taking the programming world by storm, we have a new method of serialization and this one is baked into FileMaker. So, these days, you have the choice of learning xpath and using a plug-in in order to extract data out of XML or you can just convert it into a format such as JSON for simply pulling the data out using FileMaker 16's new JSON functions. With this technique file, and video, you'll be well on your way to extracting data out of XML files if you need to do so. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. iOS Native Looking Tab Panels

    Hacking away at FileMaker objects seems to be the theme for a few of my most recent videos. In this video, I'm back at it and hacking again on Tab Panels. These ever so useful layout objects allow you to show a ton of information on screen by allowing users to reveal what's important to them when they want to see it. Through understanding how individual layout objects are composed, we can take a crack at customizing them in ways in which are not current possible - at least not through FileMaker's inspector palette. And so, a handy little tool is born for performing a simple little task. Making iOS-looking native FileMaker tab panels. If you're creating any type of solution for iOS and using either FileMaker Go or the iOS SDK for FileMaker, then this video will help you make your FileMaker user interface that much sweeter! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. Card Window Progress Bars

    One of the most wonderful things about FileMaker 16's release were Card Windows. While we've been able to create new windows for quite some time, the number of controls afforded those windows was limited. With card windows we can now present those windows within the main window. This provides for any other context than the current context. You can show related records or completely unrelated records. The great thing about the card window is, like all windows, it can use any of the 3 possible views FileMaker provides. Need a list? Use List View. Need a form? Use Form View. And, once the window is shown, it can present any number of records. In particular, it can show a related set of data which needs to be processed. The only thing missing is a progress bar to indicate the status of the processing of said records. No problem, we'll just build the feature directly into our card window. That's what this video is all about. Using a card window in order to process a related set of records. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. Switching from serial keys to UUID keys

    While creating videos on my YouTube channel for my beginner/intermediate series of videos, a viewer asked if I would create a video about migrating from using Serial values as primary/foreign keys to using UUID key values. The process is actually quite simple, but not so obvious when you start thinking about all the scripting you might have to do for all the various tables and connections within your solution. The benefits of switching to a UUID key based system is that you no longer have worry about duplicates with disconnected files and you also gain the piece of mind that you don't have to worry about updating the serial value every time you perform an export/import process for updating a database which is not updated directly within production. So, in this video, I show the easiest method for moving from using serial key values to using the more modern UUID values. If you have an older FileMaker system and you'd like to update it to UUID keys, then this video should have all the info you need. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. Adding a logo to your theme

    When FileMaker, Inc. released the new theming system for FileMaker Pro a while back, they made one of the best decisions possible for a development platform. They chose to go with an industry standard instead of rolling their own solution. The standard they chose to use was CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). While their implementation was specific to the platform, and the whole "cascading" part didn't really apply, the choice was a good one. Today, the upside is the fact that it's the same language of the web. The same which is used to provide ultimate control over how everything looks on a given web page. Essentially, full power and control to the designer or developer. The downside, in FileMaker's case, is they can only expose certain aspects of the CSS as their internal development resources allow. They have to keep moving the product forward in other areas as well as the user interface. So, knowing that CSS is behind the scenes, there are certain things we can do to modify the look and feel beyond what FileMaker's Inspector palette exposes. This video is about a certain insider trick which can make your use of a company logo infinitely easier when it comes time to make a simple change down the road. Check it out! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. Making it easy for users to search for content is what your job is all about. If you're relying on FileMaker's default Query By Form method of searching, then many users may not know how to use the full functionality of FileMaker's search. This is where you, as the developer, get to control how users interact with the data. By taking advantage of both FileMaker's QuickFind and the normal Query By Form, you can implement really nice features like an easy-to-use search bar. In this video, we walk through the process of adding just such a search bar into the Custom Function database. If you're interested in learn about how you can take full control over the searching process then this video will provide you with a lot of insight! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. Button Bar Indicators

    There are all kinds of methods in which you can provide visual feedback to users. You can use FileMaker's containers fields, calculation fields, and even normal text fields. There is, however, a great way to provide the visual feedback you desire by using FileMaker's Button Bar object. You gain a lot of flexibility with this method because it's so easy to copy and paste once you've put it into your solution. By using multiple segments in the button bar, and some creative use of hiding and conditional formatting, you can achieve all kinds of cool visual indications of whatever you might want to showcase. In this video, I walk through the process of adding some up/down arrows and show you how to take advantage of FileMaker's unique tool set in order to accomplish this useful technique. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. Basic JavaScripting - Adding a color picker

    If you've been learning and using FileMaker for any amount of time, then you'll likely know that FileMaker also has access to JavaScript. It does this through the Web Viewer object which can easily be added to any layout. For some FileMaker developer's they may answer the question of "Why don't you know/learn Javascript?" with a response of it either being too hard or not being able to take the time to learn it. It' only when FileMaker can't do what what needs to be done when some developers start to look outside of FileMaker's core set of available tools. The cool thing about JavaScript is that like many tools, it can do a variety of things better than FileMaker alone. I've never come across a single tool which can do it all the best way possible. If you've never implemented any JavaScript within your FileMaker solution, then this video may be the best way to start that journey. The implementation of a JavaScript based color picker is so easy you'll be craving more and more JavaScript by the end of the video. Whether you need a color picker or the ability to draw content on top of an image file, JavaScript will offer a lot more extensibility than just sticking it out with FileMaker alone! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. Inline Card Windows

    FileMaker 16 introduced a new and very powerful feature. Its called Card Windows and they allow you to access a totally different context than what is currently being viewed. If you're unfamiliar with what context is in FileMaker, then to put it plainly, it's the layout being viewed, its own associated table plus all related tables connected to that layout's table occurrence. It's what the current layout can "see" in terms of accessible data. Yep, that's a bit confusing if you're not super familiar with FileMaker. But, if you are, then congratulations, you should be able to see how powerful this new feature is. The way FileMaker, Inc. has implemented Card Windows is a nice start. The Card Window is truly another window being drawn on the screen with the exception of being able to drag it around. It's a modal window which is typically presented within the parent of where it was created. In order to continue working in the user interface it must be dismissed. It's not quite like dynamic or context independent layout parts, but it's getting closer to the ultimate feature. When you take the results you can get from a layout object's bounds ( its location and relative size ), using FileMaker's GetLayoutObjectAttribute function, you can put a few pieces together to make for a great windowing feature which allows you to draw a window wherever you want. This is enhanced by using the info supplied by a target layout object. It's a great feature for any solution where progressive disclosure is a desirable feature. Have too many elements and info on the screen? Use an Inline Card Window! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. Local Development using FileMaker Server

    Whether you're a hobbyist developer or a full-time professional, it's important to make sure your development environment is both stable and reliable. Unless you're in the process of learning a new environment, not that many developers are keen to spending a bunch of time re-configuring their development environment. The worst feeling in the world, while developing, is one of instability. Having that looming fear that your application or file may crash at any time is not a happy place. It's like you're constantly looking over your shoulder waiting for the next FileMaker crash. For FileMaker development, the solution to this problem is to always develop using FileMaker Server. When FileMaker Server is within your development environment it provides crash protection, automated backups and other learning benefits which you simply won't get if you only upload your FileMaker file to a host and simply work that way. If you're still developing locally with just a copy of FileMaker Pro Advanced then this video should be especially appealing. Also, if you're a developer on-the-go and you can't be tied to a local network, and may not have WAN access, then running a local FileMaker Server is a great solution. One possible issue is that FileMaker Server has be structured for a production environment and not for a development. You can, however, with a few setup changes, make your local development machine use FileMaker Server in order to facilitate the ideal development environment. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. Adding a startup splash screen

    When it comes time to “professionalize” your FileMaker solution, this typically includes integrating a splash screen. Even if your solution is only used internally, that extra bit of branding solidifies that mental spot of recall when a user needs to communicate which database they’re using. So what better way to say “You are here” than presenting a nice, attractive splash screen? In this video, I walk through the step-by-step process of adding a cool-looking splash screen to our ongoing project of the Custom Function database. In the process of doing so, I explain a variety of other reasons as to why I choose the method showcased in the video. It’s more than just the pretty picture which shows on startup. It deals with startup speed and other helpful features such as increased security potential. If you’re going to put your best foot forward, then follow the method shown in this video! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. Using Multi-key Relationships

    Within FileMaker development, there are a variety of must-know features and methods for doing certain things. You’ll be hard pressed to find these critical bits of info within the provided help. However, these are nuances which come with the environment and really only make sense once you start to integrate them into your user interfaces. One of these “hidden” features is known as Multi-key relationships. Using multi-key relationships, you can present data within the user interface which is derived from a variety of tables. There’s really no limit on how much data you can show from however many tables you desire. The limitation is truly only your imagination about how the data should be presented. While the implementation is super easy, the understanding behind how things work is what will move your FileMaker solutions to the next level. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. FileMaker "One Liners"

    As you see and write more and more code within any development environment, you start to view code which simply looks clean and efficient as opposed to long and inefficient. In this video, we’re taking a look at some so called FileMaker “One Liners”. These are simple snippets of code which typically only take one line in order to do something pretty cool. While the code doesn’t always take exactly one line, because FileMaker uses more than just actual code, it’s the super simple implementation which makes them so cool. Take a look at this video to see five different examples of FileMaker One Liners and see how this know-how will help you with your own FileMaker development! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. Our FileMaker Custom Function database is moving along quickly as we add more user-based features. The feature being added in this part of the series is a Tags/Tagging feature where it takes the concept of a “favorite” much further. Rather than using a single field for tagging a record as a favorite, we’ll be using a join table and allowing the user to add as many different tags as desired. The implementation applies to “all users” of the database system, but could easily be modified to become a user centric tagging feature - such that each user could maintain their own set of tags and tagged records. Understanding how to implement the full suite of options for interacting with tags is the key to making this feature so valuable for the user. This video will walk you through the pieces and parts of how to implement this useful functionality. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet