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Kevin Frank

9 May 2017: Today’s release of FileMaker 16 introduces new windowing options, and changes to existing windowing behavior… some of these are cross-platform, and one is specific to FileMaker for Windows. Demo file: FM-16-Windowing.zip (requires FM 16 or later) Cross-Platform Changes Change #1. Redesigned “New Window” dialog Note the new “Card” window style — I’ll […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Author’s note: I’d like to offer a big thank you to Christian Schmitz of Monkeybread Software, not only for creating and continually improving a fantastic plug-in, but also for promptly and patiently answering my many questions. A few weeks ago we looked at creating a table of contents for a PDF containing nine individual reports. […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Editor’s note: Today I’m pleased to present a guest article and accompanying demo file written by Joel Englander on using ExecuteSQL + a global multi-line key as an alternative to FileMaker’s built-in portal filtering mechanism, with dynamic portal sorting included as an added bonus. Demo file: fm-sqlportal-filter-and-dynsort.zip (75 Mb compressed, 230 Mb uncompressed) Portal Filtering […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Given its primary role as a database product, it’s easy sometimes to forget what a great teaching tool FileMaker Pro can be. One of my favorite educational uses for it is building models to explore problem spaces, for example… viewing all possible outcomes for a problem with boundary conditions conducting trials to confirm the likelihood […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

CustomList

Earlier this year, in Virtual List Reporting, I used a custom function written by Agnes Barouh called CustomList to generate a couple basic lists, and then remarked… Well today I’m going to attempt to make good on that assertion. In case you aren’t already familiar with CustomList, it allows you to iteratively generate and/or parse […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

INTRODUCTION Earlier this month I was contacted by a DevCon presenter asking permission to include some slides from my eleven-year old anchor/buoy materials as part of his presentation. I said I’d be honored, but then added, “You might mention that I haven’t used A/B on a new project in about eight years.” He asked what […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Welcome back for the second and concluding installment in our exploration of Virtual List Reporting (a.k.a. VLR). Demo file: VLR-part-2.zip This approach to reporting can be ideal in situations where the “shape” of your data is known in advance. I don’t mean to imply that VLR cannot be used with more open-ended reporting challenges, but the sales data we […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Today’s release of FileMaker Pro 15 brings a welcome performance boost in the form of in-line portal progress indicators, a.k.a threaded portals. Ian Jempson (@ianjempson) was kind enough to provide me with a test file that he built, and today’s demo file is based on Ian’s work, and shared with his permission. The purpose of […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Self-plagiarism alert: to avoid repeatedly referring the reader back to earlier virtual list articles, portions of text from those earlier articles are incorporated here. Welcome to the first installment of a two-part series on producing reports using the virtual list technique, or more properly, collection of techniques. Demo file: VLR-part-1.zip Invented and popularized by Bruce Robertson, virtual lists are […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Recently, in the midst of various reporting and charting projects, I’ve found myself wishing for an easy way to “dynamically instantiate” one or more variables… in other words, set them by name, with the name determined programmatically, as opposed to being hard coded. This issue has come up from time to time on this blog […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

If you do complex data analysis, then from time to time you probably need to group, summarize, and parse data into variables and/or fields. There are various ways to accomplish this, including the Fast Summary technique, which regular readers of this blog may be familiar with, as it has made a number of appearances here […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

PDF Trickery

If you produce reports or other FileMaker output in PDF format, here’s a little trick that can be a real time saver in terms of development. Imagine this: a client receives a nightly report via email in PDF format, and asked you to make sure the report would fit on a single page in landscape […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Note: Thank you to Colleen Hammersley for bringing this issue to my attention, and thank you also to Howard Schlossberg for proposing a clever and elegant work around that addresses the issue on the Windows platform. (We’ll also look at another fix that works cross-platform.) Today we’re going to explore a windowing behavior change that […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Welcome back for a second dip into the developer bag of tips and tricks. A few of today’s entries assume familiarity with part 1, so if you haven’t already checked it out, I invite you to do so before proceeding. We begin today with a couple ExecuteSQL tips. Tip #1: Get to know COALESCE The […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Over the last few years I’ve been collecting miscellaneous tips and tricks with the thought of eventually aggregating them into a blog posting, and it appears that day has finally come. Ideally there will be something new and useful here for developers of all levels, from the neophyte to the most grizzled of FileMaker veterans. […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Recently a colleague contacted me with some questions about making ExecuteSQL found-set aware, and I realized that while I had addressed aspects of the problem in various blog postings over a multiyear period (for example, here and here), I had not assembled my thoughts into one cohesive, up-to-date article. Well, that shortcoming has now been […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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Kevin Frank

Note: Interface file #1 requires FM 14 or later; interface file #2 works with FM 12 or later. What do you get when you combine the Separation Model + FM 14 placeholder text + ExecuteSQL + a million-record table + a variable array + Get(CalculationRepetitionNumber) + the Mod and Ceiling functions + a couple custom functions, with blazingly fast (local, LAN and WAN) performance thrown […]b.gif?host=filemakerhacks.com&blog=62430


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