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  1. One of the best feelings for any database developer is knowing that duplicate data simply can't sneak into your solution. You've got clean data such that when you search for a specific email address you know there's only one and it belongs to the right entity. In the associated video and sample file you'll get all the details for how you can use FileMaker's Unique value validation option. You'll see how you can prevent FileMaker from showing it's annoying dialog box which uses the name of the field when a duplicate is entered. Additionally, you'll be able to execute your own script when the v
  2. Pretty much all over the world you'll find technology which can scan barcodes. Smartphones with cameras just waiting to scan either their very first, or even their 1000th barcode scan. With just over a decade since the first iPhone came out, it's pretty hard to not find a use case where a barcode can help you retire some antiquated manual process. Barcodes can be used almost anywhere to make faster and/or easier solutions. Given that FileMaker Go supports all major barcode types, you simply need a method for creating your own barcodes within FileMaker. In 2017 I created an article about using
  3. Out of the box, FileMaker is a really easy solution for inputing data and simply finding the results you want when searching that data. There are, however, times when you need to break away from FileMaker's "solve all" solution of case insensitive searching. Times where you simply want to present some data within your user interface - without setting up extra relationships or fields. Or, those times when you simply need to search based on the case sensitivity of the data within a field. In order to accomplish this, there are pretty much two different methods. In this video I show you how to
  4. Some of my most favorite moments, when working with technology, are when you see the result of a few lines of code do what used to take hours and hours of work. Seeing the fruits of knowledge labor which replaces a lot of manual labor. It's glorious! The example I'm mentally referencing is any time you need to extract some content from a web page and it's literally SITTING RIGHT THERE in front of your face and you end up using your precious time doing the good old copy and paste. Every day there are SO many mistakes made by human error because of duplicate entry that if the data is in digita
  5. Who doesn't want to know how long something takes? It's not like we, as the busy bees we are, have all the time in the world - right? Well, how about some convenient progress information. One of the most common procedures within all of computing is to cycle or iterate over a set of something. In FileMaker, this comes in the form of records. A record loop is one of the most common things you'll ever do within FileMaker. Setting a field value to something else across a range of records? You'll likely use a record loop. So, what's the easiest way show the progress of that record loop? It's curr
  6. FileMaker Pro provides a variety of methods for extracting your data from its database. From memory, we have standard relationships and calculated concatenations, the Copy All Records script step, scripted data loops and using the ExecuteSQL function. In FileMaker 19, we're provided with yet one more method for pulling data out of the system. The Execute FileMaker Data API script step allows us to use what was formerly available only from outside of FileMaker Pro via a url. Now, within our scripts, we can use this fast retrieval method for extracting data in the popular and common JSON format
  7. There's a great feeling about writing functional code when it's something you can rely on. You know it's just going to work. Which, for some import routines, doesn't always feel this way. Sometimes the import may fail or you can't figure out how to make it work. Columns may get renamed, they may be shifted around and vary or you may be importing from multiple different providers. If you're consolidating data from multiple sources or you have a situation where you need to manipulate the data before the import, then we've got a great solution for you. Not only is this video about server side i
  8. Every trade has its own tips for making your work go faster or happen more easily. During this holiday season I thought it would be great to bring you 12 Tips of Developing in FileMaker Pro. So, I opened FileMaker and stared at the blank screen of a new file thinking about the things that tend to help me out the most. I pulled down a CSV file from Data.gov and just let the tips flow out from there. I hope, with this list of 12 tips, you'll pick up some productivity enhancements that will carry you forward into the new year! Happy Holidays! Click the title or link to this article to view the
  9. With a handful of simple scripts and just a few fields, you can easily accomplish some powerful image organization both inside and outside of FileMaker. In this video, we take a look at how FileMaker can be used to organize a collection of images. This is prior to sending them out or making them available for a web server to host them. If your FileMaker solution needs to work with images used for verification or any form of media communication, then learning how you can make FileMaker bend to your media will can have a number of big benefits. Need to know how to manage the whole process and
  10. Using JSON for passing multiple parameters can be a real life saver. Because JSON keeps all individual parameters separate from each other, you can pass pretty much any type of data except for container data - although you can pass a reference to a container easily enough. Your parameters can also have as many levels as necessary and the JSON can easily be modified as it moves from script to script. When writing a complex and large collection of scripts, you eventually hit errors and issues. You end up spending extra time hunting down problems and eventually you find out it's a simple issue w
  11. FileMaker natively provides us with some really nice tools for user feedback. We can use the Show Custom Dialog or even create a dedicated dialog using a Card Window and Layout. There are, however, times when you need something a little more subtle. Just a simple message on screen will often suffice. The next question is whether you need the user to interact with that message or not. The solution is simply to provide both options of course. In this video and technique file, we explore a super simple method for providing user feedback via a simple message which is shown using a dedicated Butt
  12. The wonderful thing about creating software is it feels like you're able to create your own universe. You're the master of that universe and how it functions and reacts to its users. It's a very empowering feeling to know you can direct and control data in a way that makes it useful to others. When considering all the directions that software can take there's always that simple fact that different people like different things. Heck, someone buys the Rhubarb from the grocery store - because they keep stocking it - right? So, what is the best way to offer user specific preferences to your solu
  13. Portals are wonderful tools for showing related data relevant to what your solution is solving. Sometimes, however, there's a trick to getting them to show exactly what you want. The combination of functions required may not always be obvious and it can be hard to achieve the desired result. Essentially, you have to know how to extract the specific key values which allow you to filter only the desired rows. In this video, I walk through all the specifics of creating a custom function which allows you to filter unique keys such that only the desired records will be shown. If you've ever had t
  14. There's this special feeling you get when developing software where you feel like you've created something magical. Sometimes, it doesn't even matter if you've done the same type of thing before. It just feels like you're the master of the universe and you've created something super useful. This may even be the case when you're simply creating a virtual trash can and providing users with the ability to reverse course on that accidental record deletion. In this video, we're taking a look at a super simple trash can metaphor. It's easy-to-implement and allows users to bring records back from t
  15. Do you need to work with online APIs and find yourself wishing there was an easy way to accomplish it? Well, there actually is. In fact, in much of technology, there's something or someone somewhere which has likely already solved the problem. In the case of using REST (Representational state transfer) to interact with service APIs within FileMaker, it's nice to have a single tool which will handle most of the heavy work for you. When native JSON was added to FileMaker, the last piece to the puzzle was a more expanded method of interacting with the network. The cURL library was already being
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