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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Occasionally, you hit certain issues within FileMaker development where you're just stumped as to why you can't do something. Let's take a super simple example like being able to show and hide a button based on having selected a given portal row. How do you know when the user is within the portal? How do you know when they've left? Think it's easy? Try to solve this issue without watching this video first. You'll quickly find out, that because of how FileMaker's "event model" works, known as script triggers, that some times things happen when you want and other times they don't. And, ultimately, you don't have control. FileMaker picks the Pre vs. Post. Unless, that is, you get creative with how you solve this particular problem. In the case of Pre vs. Post script triggers, it is possible to extend how FileMaker behaves. In this video, I showcase how to solve the simple problem of showing and hiding a given button when a portal row is selected. It's a bit of a trick, but it can certainly be done. Additionally, if you don't yet know the value of knowing when a user has a given portal row selected then you'll learn that lesson as well by watching this video! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. When you need to display data which is dynamic by nature, it tends to boil down to who's viewing the data and how do they need it presented. There's typically more than one way to solve the same problem and knowing what your options are helps you make a good decision when it comes to displaying that data. In this video, I showcase what I would consider are the top three methods of displaying dynamic data. Starting with the easiest method first, we talk about how to make things easier by using a templating method to get the dynamic data on screen or for hard copy output. From there, I discuss the other options you can use for presenting data dynamically from within FileMaker. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. As with all software projects, one of the biggest prices you'll ever pay is the accumulated technical debt. It's a cost which starts as soon as you make the choice to simply write a new script with every new feature you add into your FileMaker solution. Thus, the trick with creating something which is easier to manage is to simply decide to limit the number of things you create. So, what does one do when you've made that decision? Well, you focus on using the available toolset, using great organization and creating a small amount of utility scripts in order to limit the number of things you would otherwise have to create. In this video, I showcase an enhanced version of a system I designed a while back. It's a method for making simple, or even somewhat complex searches within the UI of your solution. You simply specify what you're searching for within the script parameter you're passing into the script. With the availability of JSON now, we have a very descriptive method of knowing what is being searched for. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. There are all kinds of methods for using indicators within FileMaker. We have multi-segment button bars, using the Hide calculation on any number of layout objects and, of course, there's simply using text alone to indicate something. In one of my more recent projects, I needed to group duplicates together. While normally you'd want to rid your system of duplicates, this particular use case actually wanted them retained as an indication of importance or urgency. So, what was really needed was a method to indicate which members were part of a duplicate group or not. Within this video article you'll find a very good use of a variety of methods to identify a duplicate and then indicate if it's part of a group of duplicates. If you've ever have a need for this type of display, you're in luck. And, even if you don't, you'll learn how you can make one record aware of its neighbors. Of course, what you do with that information is between you and your records. ;) Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. Importing data may be a very common task for some of your FileMaker workflows. Of course, not all data is going to come from the wonderful world of an online API. Some software just doesn't make its data available through the Internet. So, what you often need to do is get hold of the import file and then create the script. But, what happens if your data for import is in some obscure location and may be hard for the user to find? Well, in that situation we want to work with as many known values as possible in order to automate the process. Getting things to the point where the user really only needs to click a single button is a great solution. In this video, I showcase all the pieces to the puzzle of automating most any importing workflow. You really only need to know where the data is coming from and if you need to move things around to make the process just a little bit easier. This is a great video if you've never taken a look underneath the hood at your own computer's operating system. It will reveal a lot of insight into the many things you can do with FileMaker Pro once you know how to access the myriad of available tools. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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