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  1. No Duplicate Emails

    FileMaker Pro has some very simple and straight-forward validation options. For example, if you only want one field named email to only ever have a single copy of a given email, you choose the Unique option in the Validations section of the field's options. But, what if you want to allow a given contact record to have multiple email addresses. How do you check for uniqueness across multiple fields? The same email could appear within one field and then would be perfectly valid in a second field which doesn't contain the original email. Well, here's the solution. Watch this video and use the provided technique file to simply copy the solution into your own FileMaker database. We'll use some creative tricks in order to make the process both robust and very powerful! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. Reducing Available List Options

    Whether you're just starting out with FileMaker Pro or you've been hovering in the intermediate zone for a little while, it's always a good thing to have a solid understanding of how to structure data and use the Relationship Graph in order to accomplish the end objective. When it comes to presenting a reducing set of available options, you have to understand how to get at what isn't being used in order to present it. The steps you need to take to show what isn't being used requires you to, first, know what IS being used. In this example technique file and video, we take a look at breaking down the individual parts which make it easier to understand how to present a list of reducing available options. Once you know how to create dedicated filtering keys and how to construct your value list, it should be pretty easy to present the data you want to present. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. FileMaker Overview: Aggregate Functions

    So, what's the point of collecting all that data if you're not going to determine what it's telling you? Well, a lot of those burning questions are often answered with the power of the Aggregate functions. Whether you simply need some total using the Sum() function or if you're an advanced developer writing crazy scripted loops using the List() function, you need to know how to use the Aggregate functions to achieve the desired results. There are a few peculiarities about using the Aggregate functions, but once you've got them down you can decide how you want your database to behave. Using the Aggregate functions, you can store your aggregate data and move in the direction of better performance in favor of FileMaker figuring it out for you all the time. Or, you can just use FileMaker in the same way you've always been doing and simply take advantage of its easy power. Either way, it's all covered in this video about the Aggregate functions. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. Zoomable & Clickable SVG Navigation

    Don't get me wrong, FileMaker has a lot of cool things it can do all on its own. In fact, they keep adding more and more useful tools which makes it easy to create great working software. There are, however, those certain things that FileMaker just can't do on it's own. For example, you can't interact with images within container fields quite like you can certain web pages. Yet, right in front of us, we have the wonderfully powerful Web Viewer which exposes access to the power of JavaScript and all those wonderfully free libraries. Enter the common scenario where an easy-to-understand image file directly represents a nicely complex data structure. We'd like to use the image to navigate the data and we can certainly add it directly to a layout and overlay buttons over it. But, hold your horses there señor gung-ho developer. What if your image is so complex that it would be absolutely tiny if you placed it on the layout at 100%. Well, that's when we ring up our wonderful friend Mr. SVG. He'll take care of us. He's scalable you know! So, how about a zoomable and clickable SVG which directly represents how we'd like users to navigate the data? No problem! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. FileMaker Overview: Container Functions

    When first learning about database development, and how to store large files such as media, archives and documents, I was introduced to the concept of a BLOB (Binary Large OBject). At that time, I wasn't using FileMaker Pro as of yet but a database called FoxPro. The concept of FileMaker's Container fields, as places to store BLOBs, came so much easier than having to convert a file into another format which can be stored within a SQL data store - which is what you have to do with some other database systems. In today's modern computing world you need to be familiar with how to encrypt things and how to transfer them between various services. This video will overview the Base64 encoding functions, the Crypt functions and all the other Container related functions. If you'd like to understand how and where the container functions will help you out with working with containers then you'll likely find what you need in this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. FileMaker Overview: Date & Time Functions

    Knowing how FileMaker's Date and Time functions actually work is quite a big help when you're creating anything related to time based data. When I first started learning FileMaker, I was pleased to see how easy it was to use the date and time functions. However, I didn't quite know how things worked underneath the hood. It wasn't until I tried creating my first calendar within FileMaker that I had to really get into the guts of what was going on. Once I learned how the functions really worked, I was able to easily achieve the results desired. This video goes through the insides of how the date and time functions really work. This is what you really need to know in order to get the most out of FileMaker's date and time capabilities. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. FileMaker Overview: Number Functions

    If you're the type of person who's into Math, then you probably know when you need to use Factorial() versus Exp() versus Div(). Inevitably, you're a better mathematician than I. My use of the Number functions extends to how useful they can be when you're creating your FileMaker user interface and solving workflow related problems. When it comes to FileMaker's Number functions, there are number of tricks I've picked up over the years from those who are much smarter at the "math part" than I am. For the most part, the functions are there when you need them and are obviously useful when your required solution deals with math. In this video, I go through the Number functions and talk about when and how I've used them. Which ones I've used the most and what you can do with them. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. While placing fields and merge text onto a layout is a simple matter of adding the elements to the layout, the formatting you apply to onscreen data can only go so far. Sure, we can use Conditional Formatting in order to achieve all kinds of great looking layouts, but, what if there were a way to go beyond these straight-forward layout tools and leverage even more control. What about dynamically displaying colored and formatted text without having to create calculated fields? Well, all of this, and more, can be accomplished when you take advantage of FileMaker's Text Formatting functions. This will video will walk you through what you need to know about the Text Formatting functions and how they can be used to give your layouts a much more impactful presence. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. FileMaker Overview: Text Functions

    When you're learning a new skill or programming language, you don't always know what you might need to know. Such was the case when I received an email asking me to go through the various groups of FileMaker functions. I thought to myself, "In most of my videos, I showcase the use of certain functions, but, I've never really gone through each function one by one." So, in this video, I do exactly that. I relay my experience and exposure to each of the various FileMaker functions. Starting with the Text group, I walk through each of the functions, or function types, and talk about their use and what I consider their frequency of use to be in daily FileMaker development. Granted, each solution built in FileMaker is always different and where some solutions may need more math and numbers, others may just store and manipulate data, it's a great thing to know about all the possible functions you can use. And, that's exactly what this video is about! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. Generating SVG Barcodes

    While barcodes have been around for decades, and we all know how fundamental they are to everyday life, it doesn't mean your last implementation is still the best way to integrate them. Technology is always changing and it's moving forward while new technologies replace older ones. A barcode which used to be in JPEG format can now be in the scalable SVG format. In this video, I walk through the use of a JavaScript library which allows for the easy creation of SVG barcodes. This works without a specific font and allows for a scalable file which can be integrated into a PDF or any other type of output. Need barcode support on FileMaker Go on iOS? Need to generate barcodes client side on either Mac or Windows? If you're building a solution which needs to use barcodes, and you're looking for the least expensive option, then you can't get much better than a commercially free JavaScript library. All it takes is a little bit of know-how and you're creating barcodes in very little time! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. JavaScripting PDFs

    FileMaker Pro has a wonderful PDF generator. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of using FileMaker for the purpose of output is that you can make any layout look exactly how you'd like and with a few script steps, you've got PDF output which will fit 95% of the situations you'll come across. There are, however, certain situations where knowing how to generate a PDF using JavaScript, from within a Web Viewer, will give you the exact results you're looking for. There are a number of advantages with this approach. First, it can be SUPER fast when generating the PDF and second, you can selectively decide what you want to output from within the whole of your HTML. So, if you're using HTML to present a lot of information, but only want a PDF of a portion of that HTML, then you can certainly accomplish that with this technique. Even if you don't need the exact functionality of HTML -> PDF output there's a lot to learn from this video if you've never used JavaScript in order to call a FileMaker script and pass in some data. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. Pivoting data

    While FileMaker's own Layout Mode provides excellent tools for formatting data for display and output, it isn't always the most convenient for certain types of output. A prime example is a pivot table. Or, the output of data which is normally columnar formatted into a horizontal format. When attempting to do this with native FileMaker functionality, it quickly becomes a bit of a hassle, typically including more relationships than should be otherwise necessary. There are solutions which can make use of repeating horizontal fields, but these typically have a hard limit and the width of the data does not dictate the largest column width. If you work creatively with HTML/CSS and the other available features within FileMaker, you can realize a more flexible solution for horizontal data display and output! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. Card Sidebar Navigation

    FileMaker 16's new Card Windows have opened the flood gates for all kinds of new methods for presenting information. Not least of which are your common dialogs and wizards. But, what about using them for navigation? Why not? In fact, you'll find so many benefits from using a Card Window, for the purpose of navigation, you may think it makes little sense to use anything else. Especially, when you want the navigation to both hide and reveal as needed. In this video, we walk through a wonderful technique of using a Card Window for the purpose of sidebar navigation. Not only does it blend in well with the user interface but it retains which menus were collapsed and which were expanded. It works in both Form view and List view. Overall, it's one of the best methods you can choose for solution navigation if you're using FileMaker 16 or later. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. Card Sidebar Navigation

    FileMaker 16's new Card Windows have opened the flood gates for all kinds of new methods for presenting information. Not least of which are your common dialogs and wizards. But, what about using them for navigation? Why not? In fact, you'll find so many benefits from using a Card Window, for the purpose of navigation, you may think it makes little sense to use anything else. Especially, when you want the navigation to both hide and reveal as needed. In this video, we walk through a wonderful technique of using a Card Window for the purpose of sidebar navigation. Not only does it blend in well with the user interface but it retains which menus were collapsed and which were expanded. It works in both Form view and List view. Overall, it's one of the best methods you can choose for solution navigation if you're using FileMaker 16 or later. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. 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
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