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  1. JavaScript, it may sound scary because learning any new technology, which includes so much more than FileMaker, feels like an overwhelming amount of new learning. The great thing is, learning just a few little pieces at a time is the best way to learn - little-by-little. So let's start with just a few little pieces. In this video, I walk through the basics of how you get started with JavaScript within FileMaker Pro. How it's implemented and how to execute things. The great thing about getting started is once you learn a little bit, you tend to get addicted to learning more about what's possible. It turns out, when a technology, such as JavaScript, takes off as much as it has, you gain a significant amount of technological leverage. You don't have to spend as much of your own time creating "all the things", you just piece together the "various things" to make the "one thing" which is "your thing"! But, as with all things, you need to know what's going on behind the scenes so you can fix, change or troubleshoot what may not work quite right. Which, seems to be the case with all kinds of software development. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. Solving real world problems within FileMaker can actually be quite fun. It's a certain type of challenge which includes making something fast, efficient and easy to maintain. It's the type of thing which keeps us developers and learners going. Like most all software products, which allow for a high degree of creativity, it boils down to knowing the feature set and what's possible. When you learn the underpinnings, and you can really wrap your head around what the limitations or consequences are, you can often come up with really creative data solutions. In this video, I provide a solution to a problem which I had long forgotten about and previously solved. Yet, there it was, the same problem needing to be solved. The issue is related to sequencing a list of values so they sort in a specific order. When the order of values can be arbitrary and up to the user, you want to facilitate the sorting ability as easily as possible. When you try to solve this problem, you come across various issues related to how you chose to implement the UI portion. So, with this video, I present to you the underpinnings of how I go about solving these types of problems by understanding how you can manipulate data within FileMaker. Sit back and relax as we take a look at Optimized Sequence Sorting. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. Over the years, I've created a number of videos which showcase saving the state of various situations. For example, saving how many and which windows a user has open, saving the window positions and also saving the state of which panels are selected on multi-panel objects. Such as tab panels and sliders. In this video, we revisit the topic because we now have a newer function within FileMaker 18 which makes it even easier to save which panels are frontmost within your user UI. While I personally think this is something FileMaker should do natively, it's currently under our control. With a little bit of code, we can easily keep track of which panes are frontmost and then restore those panes when navigating through the solution. If keeping things clean and easy for your users is something you desire, then this video will have both the sample code and the instruction you need in order to take full advantage of FileMaker's While() statement and how to keep track of what's going on in the UI while the user is using it. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. While it's been around for a few years now, there aren't too many developers in the world of FileMaker who have explored Node-RED. Created by IBM and made open source in 2016, this visual programming tool may start to make waves in the FileMaker world. A wonderfully generous developer named Lui de la Parra has made it possible to use Node-RED with FileMaker's own Data API. This means that anything in the world of Node-RED is now accessible to FileMaker. This is an amazingly powerful technology for connecting all kinds of things, both physical and virtual, into the FileMaker ecosystem. In this video, I walk through my own personal use of Node-RED and showcase how I use it in order to capture XML data from an online store and process that data directly into FileMaker. Whether you need to collect moisture data from physical hardware in a vineyard to interacting with any online web service or API, Node-RED, in conjunction with the Data API, will allow you to realize all kinds of powerful solutions! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. When first learning about file operations, while working with PHP, I remember having to learn about the concept of buffers and buffer streams. Fortunately, we're not quite there yet within FileMaker. But, we have arrived at the point of learning about the nitty-gritty details of understanding all the details of files and how they factor into the FileMaker universe. FileMaker 18 released support for file IO and we're certainly going to be taking advantage of it in this new world of APIs and inter-connected applications. If you've been using various FileMaker plugins which support the input and output of file data, then this video and its lessons may not be necessary. However, if you've rarely or never dealt with file IO (input & output), then you will certainly gain a lot of knowledge when watching this video and using the included file. If your solution has the need to either output or input data from external systems or files, then understanding line endings and encodings is the key to working with files. Beyond the basics, we have FileMaker specific implementation of file IO. And, that's exactly what this video covers! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. As the number of web sites hosting icon collections has grown over the years, it makes little sense to have your own collection of icons custom created at a costly premium. Typically, you can find pretty much any icon you could ever want to use and in many cases, you can even modify the icon to fit your specific needs if you need a slight variation. With the release of Creative Commons licensing, a wide array of freely available collections and the easy ability to modify icons, you can quickly create exactly what you need for most any FileMaker app. In this video, I go over the recently released Elemental FM Icon database and I cover all the details and specifics about my own personal icon workflow. From finding the right icon to getting it into FileMaker quickly, you'll learn all kinds of information about working with SVG icons. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. Within every industry there's a certain terminology used to express how things work and how to accomplish things. FileMaker is obviously no different. So, with this video, we start discussing some of the FileMaker specific terms and terminology. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. You may be familiar with the routine when you have multiple duplicate records in your database. You end up having to reference multiple sources. Which can be a real pain. Ultimately, you end up needing to decide which record is the master and then merging as much of the data as possible from any of the duplicates. This is a common scenario with any multi-user database system. Where, anytime you have more than one person working on the same data, you can inevitably end up with duplicates. There are a few ways to deal with duplicates. The first is to try to prevent them in the first place. While this is certainly possible, there are other times where routine imports come from external sources or you've simply allowed duplicates to be entered into the database. The question now is, "How do you identify duplicates?" and how do you address the fact that our eyes can trick us when we're looking at data which appears exactly the same - yet it's not. This video will show you how to truly approach duplicates and how to deal with them by giving you full control over defining what determines a duplicate or not. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. It's just like when you see someone who is well-dressed, clean and sharp looking, your FileMaker user interface is no different. You're more impressed by that sharp, clean look. In this regard, not having something on your user interface is quite possibly one of the very things which makes your user interface look that much cleaner. Portals and list views, pretty much anything which repeats itself many times, can be very overwhelming when there are a lot of options. Quite simply, if there are too many buttons, it's too cluttered. In this video, we talk about getting those buttons off your user interface and making them available only when needed. It's a great way to start to clean up your user interface and make sure that certain option are only available after the user has made the selection of where they want to go next. It's a simple concept, but one which is often ignored by newer developers because the examples they are shown do not take advantage of the opportunities to hide these types of buttons. So, we end up with FileMaker solutions which are littered with buttons on every list view row and every portal row. So, let's get rid of them until they are needed! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. FileMaker 18 was released on Wed. May 22nd 2019. This video walks through all the new features implemented within the latest version of FileMaker Pro Advanced. Here's a short list of all the new features. 01) Hosting: FileMaker Cloud 2.0 & FileMaker ID 02) Security: Revised Manage Security Area 03) Security: Unsigned Plug-ins 04) Security: File References by Default 05) Data: New Import Dialog 06) Develop: Recursion & While 07) Develop: Script Error Logging 08) Develop: Insert From URL Protocols 09) Develop: FMP urls version specific 10) Design: Shift+Arrow 10x movement 11) Integrate: New Barcode Types 12) Develop: XML File Representations 13) Develop: File IO operations Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. Web browsers and their primary language, Javascript, have a very robust ecosystem. In fact, there's few solutions you can't find out in the world of Javascript. So, in FileMaker, when it comes to our data and its presentation within a user friendly fashion, we can easily create a layout, set it to list view and allow users to simply start using FileMaker. But, wait, using FileMaker itself isn't always super user-friendly. In fact, you have to learn how to sort by multiple columns by actually heading into a dialog box. Which, admittedly, becomes easier to use, but it's not immediately UI friendly in that you can't just click on the column you want to sort. Let alone select a second or third column and have those sorts apply too. Enter the world of the Web Viewer and Javascript and it's quite refreshing what you can do and in such a short time. This video walks you through the process of setting up a Javascript library called Datatables. It's a very powerful, and immediately usable UI for working with tabular data. While you can implement the same features within FileMaker itself, it takes quite a bit longer to do so. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. Is there really any question the PDF file format will be going away any time soon? Personally, I don't think so. And, neither should you. Adobe released their license to the technology in 2008 and it became an open standard for the world to use. Airlines use it for tickets, ticket companies use it for concerts and basically it's the digital equivalent of good old real-world paper for the digital world. So what does this mean to you and your FileMaker database? Well, if you've got data within your database or you're capturing data in something like Web Direct, then knowing you can merge that data into a form fillable PDF can be invaluable. Especially if you need to put that data into a fixed format - like a PDF! By running a server side script, and running some freely available software which is super fast an efficient, you can send out contracts, invoices, notices or even event tickets with merged in data from your FileMaker database. Yes, you can certainly generate a PDF right from within FileMaker using your own data, but there are those situations where replicating an existing PDF just takes too much time. So just merge the data into a form fillable PDF. Plus, it just might be faster than generating it from within FileMaker! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. Keeping things private, so only those who need access can access them, has been a desirable situation for as long as people have wanted to keep things private. The only difference between the invention of invisible ink and today is trying to keep ahead of those who have the knowledge on how to access what you're trying to keep private. It's the eternal game of cat and mouse between those who seek to access what they shouldn't and those who want to keep those people out. Within FileMaker, we now have the option of using the FileMaker 16 added Crypt* functions. This functionality, formerly only accessible through plug-ins, can now be used to securely encrypt your data within regular text fields. There's some terminology and understanding that needs to be paired with using the provided functions in order to make sure you're staying truly as secure as you possibly can when using them. This video provides the information needed to understand what that terminology is and how to securely encrypt private data within you own FileMaker solutions. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. While FileMaker may promote the low-code/no code aspects of FileMaker Pro, there's a lot to be said about knowing how to design a great system as opposed to thinking you'll end up with one by default. Especially, one which will perform under load and scale to the degree which FileMaker can. This type of knowledge is learned and simply won't come out of the box when you just start adding fields to your database. If you need to store images, or any type of heavy media, then it may not be a good idea to carelessly start throwing container fields into your tables. In fact, there's a whole bunch of details to know about FileMaker and how it transfers data on a record level basis. As well as knowing what can be done to optimize your storage of container based data. While you'll want things to be easy for your users for adding media, and you'll also want to build a system which will be easy to maintain and update. That's what this video is all about. An optimized approach to container storage and making it easy on yourself when you're going to be working with these types of solutions in the future. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. FileMaker Pro provides a more than capable UI surface in order to design great looking user interfaces. In fact, it's the speed with which you can create that user interface which makes FileMaker Pro so appealing. The great thing about recent releases has been the flexibility of the newer layout objects. When you combine the utility of sliders, tab panels, popovers and layout mode's various layout parts, you can further extend what you can do within FileMaker by quite a bit. This video presents the top five tips and tricks you can accomplish with offscreen options possible with both native layout widgets and layout parts. If you're looking to increase what you know about how you can make creative combinations within FileMaker's presentation layer, then look no further! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
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