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  1. With FileMaker Pro development, there are so many little areas which take a bit of time to investigate and discover. One of the more important areas is that of search and making sure you provide users with the results they might expect. While using one of my own personal tools, I found that FileMaker itself couldn't find the result I was looking for when using its own Quick Find feature. I thought that was a bit odd and had to dig into the code to find out what the real issue was. While the issue was tied to the type of data I was searching, it provided a great opportunity to explore how one would address this particular issue. Using FileMaker's search operators is something which every great FileMaker developer should be aware of. Fortunately, the descriptions provided by FileMaker's documentation helps us solve the issue. Watch this video if you've got an interest in learning how FileMaker searches for content and how you solve unique issues which may prevent your system from providing the results you intend. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. When you work within a development environment long enough, you end up realizing where some of the pain points are for certain types of situations. For FileMaker Pro development, and many other systems, one of the biggest pain points is maintenance of a growing system. Where older code may be replaced instead of refactored. What ends up happening is the older, unused code just sits there and only contributes to the growing mess which is what I call the "Giant Ball of Spaghetti Mess" that is a FileMaker solution gone awry. So, what is one of the best solutions for keeping a system easy-to-maintain while also being able to understand what you're doing while developing? Naming standards or conventions of course. In this video, I discuss some updates to my own personal conventions which will lend themselves to helping to make a FileMaker solution much more streamlined. If you consider your own FileMaker solution a special kind of mess, then give this video a peek for information about why naming certain things in certain ways can give you a helping hand for keeping your FileMaker solution easier to maintain and update. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. Well now, you really can't get away from it, because most of the Internet is pretty much dependent upon it. Yep, it's JavaScript of course. So, should you be afraid of using it within FileMaker Pro? No WAY! You should take advantage of it as much as possible. Integrating JavaScript solutions is what makes FileMaker solutions that much more powerful. In this video, we take a look at using the Google Maps JavaScript API in order to capture latitude and longitude coordinates. Along with that, we look at how you can jump between the free standard Maps URL APIs and how you can create a solution which will allow a user to double-click to capture the desired coordinates. This type of solution can be used for any situation where capturing initial intended coordinates is desired. Once you have the initial coordinates, you can always send someone out into the field to capture the true coordinates using a copy of FileMaker Go. Whatever your mapping needs are, you can certainly solve the solution with Google Maps JavaScript APIs. You just have to dip your feet into the pool and that's exactly what this video will do for you. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. Over my many years of working with FileMaker Pro, I've often talked about adding in a multiple selection feature. Whether working within FileMaker's List View or working with portal rows, this can be a critical feature for allowing users to make selections and then being able to take some type of action against that selection. Whatever the desired result is, such as processing the data, saving the set, or just being able to see a set of selected records, knowing what your options are, and how to implement is certainly worthwhile. In this video, I walk through the use of a variety of custom functions and show the multiple options possible when considering a multi-selection technique for record rows. This video is great tool for understanding what can be done and how to implement a multiple-selection strategy. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. One of your most powerful methods of showing data, within a fully controlled manner, is using the combination of global fields and portals. The portal object isn't simply for showing the related data as it belongs to one single record. A portal is a display tool useful for presenting whatever data you want and, however you want. In this video, I use the example of showing multiple events based on the selection of multiple locations. Whether you need to provide a simple multi-selection option in your UI, or your filtering needs extend to multiple field values, the use of a global field, in conjunction with a portal object, is how you can achieve a lot of your display objectives. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. Because of the rich UI experiences which JavaScript provides within a web browser, it makes sense to take advantage of the various possibilities. The difficulty may be putting all the pieces together in order to get something working correctly. Fortunately, JavaScript isn't just for those "other developers". Those who already know what they're doing. You too, can easily integrate and use JavaScript within your own solutions. You simply need to be ready to learn enough in order to integrate successfully. You need to be a JavaScript integrator. When you're comfortable with getting data in and out of FileMaker, then you're able to have all those rich experiences which are found within the world of the web browser. An open source project named Carafe, created by Jeremiah Small, and released by Soliant in April of 2019, has provided a very easy way to integrate various JavaScript resources. In this video I walk through the tool and some of its features. I then show how to take one of the bundles and integrate into a brand new FileMaker file. If you're looking for more reasons to explore the use of JavaScript within your solution then this video provides a great place to start. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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