Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    50
  • comments
    3
  • views
    19,247

Entries in this blog

eXcelisys

FileMaker® Pro / WebDirect: FileMaker Web Subscription Service Keeps Oil Field and Reservoir Data Flowing to Prospectors 24/7

Just because your business involves fossil fuels, the technology you rely on doesn’t need to be a fossil too. A new FileMaker web solution brings new technology to finding an old resource. 
Oil Rig

In the United States, the average person consumes about 2.5 gallons of crude oil per day — or 22 barrels per year. Offshore oil production helps meet this need. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in the past decade, offshore oil production has accounted for about 30 percent of total global oil production.

Petroleum powers our lives. We rely on it all day long. Every day — and not just to gas up our cars. Plastic water bottles, bike tires, heat, ink, crayons, bandages, toilet seats, tape, roofing tar, and even propane for the backyard barbecue. All possible, thanks to petroleum.

We utilize the fossil fuel endlessly, topping off our tanks and speeding away from the pump without ever stopping to think about the process that brought the gas into our lives.

Dr. Steve Cossey thinks about it all the time.

As a geologist and founder of Cossey & Associates Geoconsulting (based in Durango, Colorado), Cossey is in the business of helping oil companies locate underwater reservoirs of the slick, black stuff we love so much. So what is Cossey’s fantastical tool for oil exploration? The humble database.

For 20 years, prospectors have used Cossey’s comprehensive FileMaker Pro database of oil field and reservoir geology to plan deepwater explorations. The database has been available through DVD subscription. Periodically, Cossey updates the database and mails out new DVDs to subscribers.

Since the early 2000s, eXcelisys has helped Cossey with the design and maintenance of his database. Last fall, Cossey decided to take the plunge and revamp his system by adding web functionality to make the database available as an online subscription service. Several factors played into the decision, primarily a drop-off in DVD subscribers following a downturn in the oil industry. To help fuel subscriptions, Cossey decided to place the database on the Internet so it would be available to anyone willing to buy a block of time to access the information.

“I thought, ‘What am I going to do to utilize this database and find some other way of getting it out there to people to use in a different mode?’ ” The conversion went live a few weeks ago, making the Cossey Turbidite Field and Reservoir Database available online and putting Cossey’s DVD-burning days behind him. “It’s very slick, very fast,” said Cossey. “I think we’ve covered all the bases.”

 FileMaker Web Tech - WebDirect Login Screen

Drilling into the Data Made Easy

What, exactly, is on the Cossey database and how do geoscientists and engineers from oil companies utilize the information?

Deepwater reservoirs are expensive to drill, so oil companies need to vet their prospects carefully. This is problematic, says Cossey, because “the deepwater environment is such a lightly known area of the world.” Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface with 95 percent of the ocean floor remaining unmapped.

Given the unknowns, how do oil companies know where to drill? They rely on analogues. Cossey’s database allows prospectors to conduct an analogue study of the area they are considering. “Aristotle used analogues,” said Cossey, noting analogues provide a reliable way to make estimates of the unknown from the known.

“Say you’re working in an area like offshore West Africa. You might know certain things — like the depth or age of the prospect, or some other characteristic,” said Cossey. Before drilling, the prospector would want more information. For instance, it’s important to know the porosity of the rock in the prospect because the porosity can be used to determine the volume of oil that can be recovered from an area. This is where Cossey’s database comes in handy.

“You pull all examples the same depth, age and thickness as your prospect,” he said. Looking at these examples from actual oil fields and reservoirs all over the world, prospectors can match known traits to determine the unknown traits — such as the porosity. “Very rapidly in my database you can pull up statistics that would take you months of searching to find,” said Cossey.

A Rock Solid Foundation

Cossey’s database is his magnum opus — it includes more than 20 years of research. He’s eager to see how well the new online platform will be received. Prior to the online conversion, Cossey used an early version of FileMaker Pro that allowed subscribers to view the data via the runtime application. Instead of merely transferring the data during the web-upgrade operation, eXcelisys developers gave the database a complete makeover to freshen the look.

“eXcelisys rewrote the new database from the ground up, utilizing FileMaker Pro 15 in the process and upgrading to WebDirect,” said eXcelisys Project Manager Kurt Knippel. “We designed the interface. It’s fairly modern, but still, it’s a FileMaker/WebDirect solution with FileMaker Pro interface conventions. It won’t win any web awards, but our goal was to make this solution easy for his customers to use.”

 
Original Database Screen

These screen shots display information on the Andromede Marine field. The original database interface is pictured above. Below, the updated, more modern interface can be seen.

Screenshot of FileMaker Web App in WebDirect

One of the most appealing new features of the custom FileMaker Pro database designed and developed by eXcelisys is the integration of PayPal. With the old subscription service, Cossey had to spend time sending out invoices and following up with accounting departments to get paid. This was often a laborious process — especially when foreign entities were involved. Now, users enter their credit card numbers directly into the system to buy access. To protect users, the transaction is SSL-encrypted and the site does not store any credit card information.

 FileMaker Web App Credit Card Processing Screen

Other advancements with the new system include:

  • Real-time data for users: With the old subscription service, Cossey updated the data in batches and sent out new DVDs every six months. This resulted in a data lag. For example, if Cossey unearthed new data three weeks after sending out a DVD, the new data would not get into the hands of subscribers until the next round of updates. Now, Cossey makes updates from his desktop and it goes live immediately.
  • Robust charting: Bar graphs and scatterplots are integral in helping users visualize data distributions and make sense of data sets. Cossey’s old database used a FileMaker plug-in for charts. The new online system utilizes an API that allows zoom functionality and interactivity. When viewing a scatterplot, users can click on a data point and a small text box pops up to display the data values at the cursor location.
  • Countdown clock: One distinctive feature the new system required was a way to track user time. Many websites offer subscription services. Often, a user buys access for a specific period of time — like 7 days, 30 days or 1 year. Cossey wanted to sell access by the minute. To accommodate this idiosyncrasy, eXcelisys developers added a timer to the website that runs quietly behind the scenes. A readout at the bottom of the screen shows a user how much time is left on the account and prompts the user to buy more time as the minutes tick down toward zero. Users can purchase time in 5, 10 or 20-hour blocks. The website logs a user out after 15 minutes of idle time and allows for subordinate users under one account.

Full Steam Ahead

Dr. Steve Cossey

Dr. Steve Cossey

Cossey, himself, is a unique specimen. He’s definitely not your average rock hound. Sure, he’s published academic papers on carbonate flow deposits and amalgamation in channel complexes, but he’s also self-published books on blurb, including a volume of poetry and another that deals with the intersection of geology and culture as it concerns the Chicontepec Basin of eastern Mexico.

Cossey grew up near Cambridge, England, and studied geology at the University of Wales in Swansea (now Swansea University). He attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina and completed field studies in Tunisia, earning his doctorate in 1978. During the 1980s, Cossey spent time in China, Indonesia and Dubai. He worked for ConocoPhillips, Sohio Petroleum, Standard Oil and BP. In 1995, Cossey left the corporate oil world to strike out on his own, and it was at this time that he began compiling his database.

While Cossey hopes the online database helps broaden his user base, he has other prospects in the works. In the fall, Cossey will lead a travel tour to Colombia. One highlight of the trip will be a ride aboard a 1921 Baldwin steam locomotive. “I have a passion for steam engines,” said Cossey, who bought the engine a few years ago and can’t wait to take it out. It’s been sitting in a shed in Bogota — idle — and unlike Cossey who is always on the move traveling and hiking and continually gathering new information for his website to provide users with the most comprehensive, up-to-date oil field and oil reservoir data available.

Read about other eXcelisys case studies, click here.

The post Geologist Fuels Consulting Biz by Drilling Deeper Into FileMaker Web Technology appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

Hierarchical Portal Filtering using FileMaker Pro 15

By Andy Persons

Way back in 1996/97, I developed my original hierarchical portal filtering technique using FileMaker Pro 3. Twenty years later, we decided to take another look and update it for FileMaker Pro 15. Several alternate approaches have been developed in the interim for the hierarchical portal filtering technique (including a “lite” approach by my colleague Doug West). After reviewing them, we believe the original approach still has merit as one option to consider.  

Hierarchy Lite Advantages

The Lite approach on the hierarchical portal filtering technique focuses on ease of implementation. It works to abstract the hierarchy logic using features like global variables and portal filtering, entailing fewer schema changes and requiring fewer changes after pasting scripts and fields. Download Doug West’s version of Hierarchy Lite Demo  

Hierarchy Classic Advantages

The Classic approach to the hierarchical portal filtering technique uses a multikey in a global primary key field to filter records. This requires more work to implement and more schema changes, but can result in improved performance in certain circumstances such as high numbers of related records or WAN deployments. This is because records are filtered at the relational level rather than the portal filter level. Records that won’t be displayed simply aren’t downloaded in the first place rather than being downloaded and filtered after the fact.  

Leveraging New FileMaker Pro 15 Features

We were also able to take advantage of several features that have been added since FileMaker Pro 3:

 

Hierarchical portal filtering screen shot 

 

  • Button Bars: the text for the Expand All/Collapse All button toggle takes advantage of calculated Button Bars
  • Script Triggers: Indented arrows use repeating calculation fields with OnEnter script triggers to simulate “repeating buttons”
  • CSS: allows us to hide the In Focus formatting of the repeating field to preserve the button-like behavior

 

Hierarchical Portal Filtering FileMaker Pro Download

Download Revised Version

 

Hierarchy Advanced 2.0 Features (coming soon)

This refreshing of the original technique also sets the stage for more advanced features that we’ll be releasing in subsequent demos:

  • Dynamic sorting by any field
  • Drag-and-drop sorting and reassignment

Stay tuned for Pt2 and Pt3!

**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About eXcelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web applications. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about making your business more efficient through intuitive and effective software automation. 866-592-9235 | info@excelisys.com

eXcelisys

Hierarchical Portal Filtering using FileMaker Pro 15

By Andy Persons

Way back in 1996/97, I developed my original hierarchical portal filtering technique using FileMaker Pro 3. Twenty years later, we decided to take another look and update it for FileMaker Pro 15. Several alternate approaches have been developed in the interim for the hierarchical portal filtering technique (including a “lite” approach by my colleague Doug West). After reviewing them, we believe the original approach still has merit as one option to consider.

 

Hierarchy Lite Advantages

The Lite approach on the hierarchical portal filtering technique focuses on ease of implementation. It works to abstract the hierarchy logic using features like global variables and portal filtering, entailing fewer schema changes and requiring fewer changes after pasting scripts and fields. Download Doug West’s version of Hierarchy Lite Demo

 

Hierarchy Classic Advantages

The Classic approach to the hierarchical portal filtering technique uses a multikey in a global primary key field to filter records. This requires more work to implement and more schema changes, but can result in improved performance in certain circumstances such as high numbers of related records or WAN deployments. This is because records are filtered at the relational level rather than the portal filter level. Records that won’t be displayed simply aren’t downloaded in the first place rather than being downloaded and filtered after the fact.

 

Leveraging New FileMaker Pro 15 Features

We were also able to take advantage of several features that have been added since FileMaker Pro 3:

Hierarchical portal filtering screen shot  
  • Button Bars: the text for the Expand All/Collapse All button toggle takes advantage of calculated Button Bars
  • Script Triggers: Indented arrows use repeating calculation fields with OnEnter script triggers to simulate “repeating buttons”
  • CSS: allows us to hide the In Focus formatting of the repeating field to preserve the button-like behavior
Hierarchical Portal Filtering FileMaker Pro Download

Download Revised Version

 

Hierarchy Advanced 2.0 Features (coming soon)

This refreshing of the original technique also sets the stage for more advanced features that we’ll be releasing in subsequent demos:
  • Dynamic sorting by any field
  • Drag-and-drop sorting and reassignment

Stay tuned for Pt2 and Pt3!

**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About eXcelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web applications. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about making your business more efficient through intuitive and effective software automation. 866-592-9235 | info@excelisys.com

The post FileMaker Pro Hierarchical Portal Filtering 2.1 appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

Custom Mobile App Puts iPads Out to Pasture (Literally)

Farmer Loading Feed

A farmer loads liquid feed from a distillery in Owensboro, KY, 1938 / Russell Lee, U.S. Farm Security Administration

Cattle farmers have been using liquid feed supplements for more than a century. The practice is not new. What has changed over time, though, is the delivery process and precision with which dealers can custom formulate liquid feeds to meet the specific needs of individual livestock herds.

Decades ago, farmers squirted liquid supplements (like molasses) onto hay bales in hopes that the sticky sweetness would inspire the cows to eat more food. Today, farmers use troughs to deliver nutrient-dense, molasses-based liquid elixirs to beef cattle to keep them growing at a steady, ready-for-market pace. These palatable, nutritionally balanced supplements include additives like protein, energy, vitamins and minerals.
It sounds simple enough. Mix the ingredients together and pump the watery tincture into a trough. But a system like this is a recipe for inconsistency and failure. If the liquid feed is too tasty sweet, the cows will overeat; if the liquid feed is too bitter, they won’t eat enough and will miss out on the nutritional supplements being delivered by the liquid feed. Balance is key — with constant readjustments. Maintaining product uniformity within and between batches requires persistence, skill and a whole lot of math.
In 2012, higher-ups at CowBos Liquid Feeds (a division of the Penny Newman Grain Co.) began to wonder if there was a better way to calculate feed usage and mix percentages of the CowBos liquid feed supplement. At the time, vendors used scratch paper, pens and calculators to compute feed-mix ratios. Now, they have an iPad app that figures the calculations for them smack dab in the middle of the muddy, cow-packed pasture.

Penny Newman CowBos Ad

CowBos (think “Cow Boss”) is a division of the Penny Newman Grain Co. (Literally)


Picture the situation. Each day, CowBos distributors drive their CowBos tankers out to cattle farms. On board, they have a “sweet” liquid feed and a “bitter” liquid feed. At each trough, the driver is tasked with figuring out how much of each substance to add to maintain optimal proportions of protein, energy and minerals for the specific herd feeding from the trough.Think of the variables; the size of the trough matters, the size of the herd matters, the type of dry food the cattle are consuming matters, the leftovers matter — not just the amount but also the bitter-to-sweet ratio of the carryover. If the cows are eating too much, more bitter feed can be added. If they are not eating enough, more sweet feed can be added. After analyzing all of these variables, the driver figures out a mixture ratio for the new delivery — maybe it’s 50/50 bitter-to-sweet, or 75/25 bitter-to-sweet.
For years, CowBos vendors made these calculations by hand. Imagine the time devoted to the task. The system was also time-consuming on the invoicing end. Under the paper-based system, CowBos dealers had to sort through the paper slips provided by the drivers in order to invoice the cattle ranchers each month.
In 2012, CowBos execs approached eXcelisys with the idea of creating an iPad app to streamline operations. After a development process as tricky as roping a steer, eXcelisys designed a custom FileMaker Go solution that distributors can use out in the field to do all of their mix percentages and feed usage calculations. The driver takes measurements at the trough, inputs the numbers and gets instant feedback on the precise bitter/sweet mixture that needs to be added. The solution uses MirrorSync2 by 360Works to transmit the data back to the main Penny Newman server when the iPad makes a network connection through either wifi or cell. In this way, Penny Newman’s corporate headquarters gets detailed, timely reports on how ranchers are using its product. The quick data access and analysis also helps Penny Newman continue to refine its product and processes to stay ahead of the competition.
FileMaker Go iPad App

The eXcelisys custom FileMaker Go iPad app shows a detail screen for each pasture serviced.

In 2014, the eXcelisys-built CowBos app won the American Feed Industry Association’s Information Technology Innovation Award — an annual contest sponsored by Feed & Grain, the American Feed Industry Association and AgGateway. The award recognizes technological advancements in the feed and food industry. The CowBos app received recognition because it allowed CowBos dealers to increase productivity in the field by helping distributors make their calculations more quickly and accurately. The app also helped reduce time spent on billing because of the digital recordkeeping and automated invoicing that were built into the FileMaker Pro custom database system. In addition, the captured data proved useful for ranchers, who now have accurate, cost-per-head reporting to help them budget for food supplements.
FileMaker Go iPad App Trough Screen

Dealers use this trough service screen to enter their service data for the day. The dealer inputs the number of days the feed needs to last, the gallons of feed still remaining and the target ratio for the bitter/sweet mix. After the data has been entered, the CowBos app calculates how many gallons of the sweet mix and bitter mix to add.

“That’s freaking awesome!”, eXcelisys developer Rob Poelking said after learning that Penny Newman had won the award based on work he had completed. eXcelisys was pleasantly surprised to find that the CowBos app had won an award when the discovery was recently made by one of its Internet-surfing staff members.Rick Middleton served as the eXcelisys account manager for the project. He reports that the software solution has helped Penny Newman corporate by giving it an edge as a sales tool in the competitive liquid-feed market. “They can pitch it to distributors — we have a tool we use — you don’t have to figure it all by yourself.”
The app is kind of a cash cow. It has increased sales for Penny Newman while decreasing administrative costs for dealers. As reported in Feed & Grain magazine, the new technology has boosted sales, improved billing and led to more accurate food supplement recommendations.
For eXcelisys, the CowBos solution was challenging — but in a good way. While working on the project, Poelking learned that he really does like math. Through the complex algorithms that had to be written into the program, Poelking discovered the power and elegance of mathematical formulas. He said that working on the CowBos solution has prepared him to tackle future eXcelisys builds that involve brain-busting formulas and he’s eagerly awaiting his next mathematical challenge.

The post FileMaker Go Drives Cattle Feed Firm into the 21st Century appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

FileMaker Pro Progress Bars, chapter 5: Gantt-Man
By Andy Persons

In which nothing can Bar our intrepid code from Progressing to Uncharted territory!

We received an interesting variety of responses to our FileMaker Pro Progress Bars demo files. Can you make it show an image for the foreground? How about an animated gif? It’s too blurry; can you sharpen it up? Any chance it can do my taxes?

One of the requests that piqued our interest was the ability to have the foreground color appear in the middle of the bar. That is, to be able to specify a background color segment, then a foreground color, then a background color.

Sure, we could do that, but why stop with a ham sandwich when you can throw a luau?

So we donned our grass skirts and created the ability to generate Gantt charts. This FileMaker Pro progress bars demo file showcases our GanttChart() custom function that allows you to specify an unlimited number of segments via a return-delimited list. Each line in the list should specify a percentage (where the segment begins) and the color of the segment (in base64; don’t worry, we also provided a tool to convert from RGB colors to base64).

Of course, this custom function could also be used for a host of other purposes, including:

  • Stacked bar charts
  • Dynamic interface elements, where the ability to specify the color on the fly is crucial (since FileMaker Pro’s styling doesn’t allow for that).
  • Possibly even bar codes, although we haven’t tested that one

Also, remember you can rotate elements in FileMaker Pro, in case you wanted to use this vertically.

Oh and we decided to throw in the autofocus as well by upgrading the base graphic from 100 pixels to 1000. This should eliminate the blurred edges that some users experienced when they expanded the container to very large sizes.

 

Download the demo file and give it a whirl!

FileMaker Pro Gnatt Chart

Hope you enjoy it!

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

eXcelisys

Ready to Play Hide and Seek with a Button in a FileMaker Pro Portal Row?
By Rob Poelking

I just figured this out and thought it was cool enough to share with you. It’s pretty commonplace to put a button over a FileMaker Pro portal row object to trigger an event related to that particular row. But sometimes you don’t want a button across the entire row. So then we typically put a visual button off to the side like an “edit” button, but the result can be unsightly seeing “edit” repeated a dozen times on the screen. So, what if you could just display the edit button when that row was active. In FileMaker 13, you can with the new hide object feature.

So, to set this up, I had to add a field in the related table as an unstored calculation Get ( RecordNumber ). Then, I had to name the portal object. Now using the function to GetLayoutObjectAttribute, I can dynamically show the button only with the portal row is active with this calculation:

not ( GetLayoutObjectAttribute ( “portal” ; “hasFocus”  ) and (Get ( ActivePortalRowNumber ) = myPortal::RECORDNUMBER ) )

 

Download the demo file and give it a whirl!

FileMaker Pro Portal Row Button Hide and Seek

This is not the only way to provide this button in a FileMaker Pro portal row functionality. After reviewing, Doug West offered up an idea by simply using a global variable to achieve the same effect.

Either method provides an intuitive user interface that allows a user to select an item in a list before taking action on it. This also works well in FileMaker Go where unintentional taps don’t accidentally set off an unintended process.

Happy FileMaking 🙂

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

eXcelisys

FileMaker Go Takes Center Stage with Scrub Management Solution

Kiosk System Cuts Costs, Boosts Compliance Thanks to Custom iPad App

Doctors Wearing Scrubs

Medical facility managers are always looking for ways to bend the cost curve and ensure compliance with all of the regulations faced on a daily basis — while at the same time safeguarding patient care.

Sai Systems Technologies understands this operational predicament and strives to provide compliance management systems to the healthcare industry to ease the burden of these tasks.

Scrub Struggles

In 2014, Sai Systems of San Marcos, California, approached eXcelisys with an idea for a scrub tracking solution utilizing a check-in/check-out system run through an iPad. Imagine the problem. In a typical hospital setting, pre-shift scrub dispersal and post-shift roundup are managed through an honor system. Staff members arrive at the facility. They suit up in surgical scrubs. After their shift, they return the scrubs to a laundry bin.

But a system like this leaves room for chaos. First off, there’s the matter of attrition. If scrubs aren’t returned, the facility loses money. Second, there’s a compliance issue. Anyone who’s watched enough television can envision an operating room filled with scrub-clad doctors being splattered with bodily fluids. Without scrub tracking, hospital administrators cannot know if staffers are following regulatory requirements pertaining to soiled scrubs. There’s also a potential for grab-and-go abuse with unauthorized users helping themselves to scrubs.

Then there’s the accounting piece. For hospitals that “lease” scrubs through an outside vendor, administrators have no way of knowing if they are being charged appropriately because they have no idea how many sets of scrubs are actually being used. On any given day, there are also outside vendors coming to the facility using scrubs that need to be tracked.

FileMaker Go Assists in Scrub Tracking Fix

scrubTrax iPad Kiosk

As Sai Vice President John Osborn looked at the issues, he knew there had to be a better way. “The initial concept was for inventory tracking for surgical attire, providing a low-cost solution to hospitals to do something they haven’t been able to do — track inventory and keep compliant.” Osborn saw some facilities using vending machines to deliver leased scrubs but he recognized that the hulky contraptions were both cost- and space-prohibitive. “The machines are big and expensive,” Osborn said. “Low-use areas don’t have and never will have the numbers to justify their use.”

As Osborn scoured for a solution, he came up with the idea for scrubTrax and contracted with eXcelisys to bring it to life. “We knew what we wanted, but we didn’t know how to get there.” Osborn wanted the inventory management system to use FileMaker Pro and integrate with an iPad. The system also needed 1D and 2D barcode scanning abilities. Osborn explained what he needed and left the execution up to eXcelisys.

In the end, eXcelisys designed a Kiosk using FileMaker Go, which consists of an Apple iPad Mini physically integrated and locked into an easily accessible small stand that can be installed anywhere. FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go provide the backend brains for the system, which also utilizes the Infinite Peripherals Infinea Tab M 2D scanner and the FMLinea bridge app by Alexey Dubov, as well as MirrorSync2 by 360Works.

iPad Kiosk Efficient, Easy to Use

In 2015, scrubTrax debuted at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The nifty, small-footprint system proved easy to use. It works like this. The employee grabs a clean scrub top and scrub bottom from the scrub cart, then logs in to the kiosk by typing a user ID and PIN or scanning an ID badge. Next, the employee scans the barcodes on both the scrub top and bottoms. After the shift is completed, the employee hits “rapid return,” scans the barcodes again and dumps the scrubs into a collection cart.

On the accounting end, scrubTrax allows administrators to run reports to match scrub charges (for laundry or rental use) with the actual scrub use that occurred. In addition, the system allows administrators to check for employee compliance to ensure staffers are following health codes with regards to scrub use. Administrators also know who is failing to return the scrubs. Loss rates become transparent.

In the end, Sai was pleased with the scrubTrax platform. For starters, the custom FileMaker Pro application is easy for employees to use. Second, it meets the needs of administrators by providing detailed, up-to-date scrub tracking and usage reports that transform the data into valuable and actionable information.


scrubTrax iPad Kiosk App Screen


Solution Yields Unending Possibilities

Once the scrubTrax system was up and running, Osborn thought of other uses for the custom FileMaker Pro tracking platform. Sai continues to work with eXcelisys to develop spin-off applications based on the same concept. “We realize there are all different flavors of customers,” Osborn said, noting FileMaker Pro’s agility allows for custom tweaks to the platform to fit different health-setting needs. “We’re developing a whole portfolio of solutions around scrubTrax.”

New medical tracking systems in the works include:

  • Vendor-based scrub tracking programs. In February 2017, Sai launched a scrubTrax vendor program at the University of Iowa. The Iowa scrubTrax version — designed by eXcelisys — allows vendors to check out and return scrubs in a locker room area using an iTouch in a pistol grip. Besides scrub tracking (for cost purposes), the system allows for some ancillary vendor authorization and security tracking, helping hospitals keep tabs on which vendors are coming in, how often they are coming in and how long they are staying.
  • scrubTrax 360. Sai is working with eXcelisys to create scrubTrax 360, which will offer lockdown scrub security to ensure that the casual passer-by from another department can’t walk away with the inventory. With scrubTrax 360, the scrubs won’t be kept on a shelf or cart. Instead, scrub sets will be packaged in a “keeper” — a lockable zippered envelope secured with a QR code. Employees (or vendors) can request the custom scrubs they want, mixing and matching sizes. The scrubs will be placed in the keeper and the employee will receive a lock code via an app on their phone. Only registered users will receive codes. Once the lock is “opened,” the scrub set is assigned to the user. Osborn said that unlike the oversized vending machine system, the custom keeper rack can be built to fit any space configuration — with either a horizontal or vertical stack.
  • Surgical instrument tray tracking. Sai is also working with eXcelisys to create a method for tracking surgical instrument trays. Osborn said the system is aimed at helping everyone become more efficient — from the sterilization team that prepares the trays to the staff members who use them. Once again, cost and compliance are integral.

For eXcelisys project manager Kurt Knippel, it’s been satisfying to bring all of Sai’s medical tracking systems to life. It’s also proof to Kurt that a well-built database is like a sandbox with endless play value. “These tracking systems are all based on the scrubTrax platform,” said Knippel. “John has a lot of ideas and he’s in a line of business that allows him to productize the platform to make efficient use of it.”

eXceeding eXpectations Every Day

More than two and a half years into the relationship, Sai is pleased with the responsiveness of eXcelisys’ FileMaker Pro developers. Whenever Sai needs something, Osborn says a few back-and-forth texts with developer Kevin Hammond usually does the trick.

“I love Kevin. He’s doing a great job. He has been able to manage multiple tasks we’re throwing at him. He doesn’t get confused with all that’s going on and he hits our timelines. He’s on top of it. He gets it. He understands what we’re trying to do.”

– Sai Vice President John Osborn

The post FileMaker Go Takes Center Stage with Scrub Management Solution appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

wordpress basics logoConsider these next several paragraphs a crash course in WordPress basics, one of the most widely-used web tools available today.  So the next time you’re at that dinner party, and the IT guy starts blathering on about “post categories” and “child themes”, you’ll be prepared.   (You’re welcome.)

Okay, we’ll admit it.  We love web technology.  It’s what we do most of our working day.  And one of our favorite web tools is WordPress.

Sure, you’ve heard of WordPress (www.wordpress.com), but maybe … just maybe … you’re one of those folks who think, “What the heck is WordPress, and why should I use it?

We’re glad you asked!  Ready?  Let’s go!


meet wordpress basics

What is WordPress?

Generally speaking, WordPress is web software. Technically speaking, it’s called a “content management system” (CMS).  It’s used by web developers as a framework for building amazing websites – like the one you’re on right now.

WordPress was launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, and has become the leading tool for building and managing websites of all kinds.  It’s used by global corporations like CNN, Forbes, GM, and UPS, as well as individuals and mom-and-pop online stores.   It’s the most popular CMS by far (76 million users), and one-fourth of all websites globally use WordPress.

Why is WordPress so popular?

WordPress has become the developer’s top choice for several reasons.

  • Unlike traditional HTML sites, WordPress sites don’t require extensive knowledge coding and developing skills.
  • It’s incredible flexible. The design and layout can be changed easier than previous technologies (like strict HTML-only sites) often allowed.
  • It’s super user-friendly, and easy to update.  If you can use programs like Microsoft Word, you can learn to use WordPress.
  • Many themes (or site templates) are “responsive”; they automatically adjust to fit mobile screens.  So your website can look great and function beautifully, no matter which device is being used.
  • WordPress integrates social media seamlessly.
  • WordPress offers the ultimate in SEO friendliness, and some great SEO plugins are available for even better visibility.
  • It’s packed with amazing options, such as e-commerce, event registration, newsletter forms, animated graphics and more.

How much does WordPress cost?

The software is free, and has been since its beginnings in 2003.  It’s continually being updated, and those updates are free, as well. However, there can be associated costs, such as premium themes, plugins, hosting, imagery/graphics, WordPress consultants, and so on.

wordpress tutorial image vrDon’t all WordPress sites all look the same?

Absolutely not. The look, feel, design, layout, color, and so on are determined by a particular WordPress “theme”.  There are countless thousands of WordPress themes available.  Some are free (like this); other “premium” themes (like this and this) require some cold, hard cash (usually in the $30-$75 range).  Most developers agree that a quality premium theme is usually worth the money. The good news? Your WordPress theme can easily be changed, which means virtually unlimited designs for your site!

The Web is full of places to find WordPress themes. Some of the more popular ones are ThemeForest, Envato and Mojo Marketplace.

Can I edit my own WordPress site?

Absolutely!  WordPress offers an user-friendly dashboard for making updates.  There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but you’ll get the hang of it very soon.  Not interested in all that stuff?  eXcelisys has a great web team than can handle it for you, or hold your hand and give you guidance.

Can I move my existing site to WordPress?

It depends.  Since WordPress is a dynamic web platform, it works best when starting your site from scratch, as opposed to migrating eXisting pages over.  Even then, your static site may not look eXactly the same when powered by WordPress.  However, converting your current site to a WordPress site is easier than you might think. We can grab your images, text, and any other content, and integrate them into a new site relatively smoothly.

If you want your site to look the same, but function on a WP platform, that’s definitely doable. Want a fresh look? With the thousands of unique themes available, the sky’s the limit when it comes to design.


wordpress tutorialOkay, so that’s the low-down.  As a reminder, here are three quick takeaways for that dinner party with the IT guys:

  1. WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system.
  2. It’s simple, free to use, and infinitely customizable.
  3. Your next web project will look great and function beautifully when built with WordPress.

Okay, one more shameless plug:  at eXcelisys, we’re WordPress experts, so we can tackle any size project, from full-on custom WordPress development, to support and maintenance.  Heck, we can even fix some of those issues you may run into from time to time with your current WordPress site.

Ready to get started?  Just get in touch with one of our web solutions specialists!  It’s no charge, so no eXcuses!

**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ consulting & development services.

About eXcelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

eXcelisys, Inc. is an independent entity and this web site/information/blog post has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with The WordPress Foundation, WordCamp, or the WordPress open source project..

The post Sharing Some WordPress Basics, Now You Know! appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

 

FileMaker Developer Conference Interview with Christo – eXcelisys

Always hard to see yourself on video… That being said it was a very casual (tad impromptu) and fun exchange with Don Clark from FileMakerProGurus.com. Thank you Don for the opportunity.

 

 

I must make note that there was some incorrect information from interpretation by the interviewer in the notes of the video:

  1. I was not involved, nor did I work on or for, the movie Jurassic Park – the company I worked for, Dinamation Int’l, benefitted from the release of that motion picture as the interest in the Dinosaurs Alive exhibits became big demand. My job as the digital librarian was with Dinamation for tracking all the assets that Dinamation created.
  2. Correction on the new eX-File solution this year is, eValTracker. We also released the updated BizTracker 5, and two other new eX-Files; TruckingTracker and RentalTracker.

Hopefully you find some useful tips from the interview.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com)is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

Excelisys, Inc. is an independent entity and this web site/information/blog post has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

The post FileMaker Developer Conference Interview 2016 in Las Vegas with Christo appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

Why You Should Consider Using Git, Even If You Are a Solo Developer

by: Fred Morgan

If you work with open source software then I’m sure you have already learned how challenging the process of upgrading applications can be (if not, you will soon enough). After recently upgrading a Drupal 7 installation for a client, I found an issue with the way links were being rendered in a particular view (the query string parameters were being mysteriously removed). The settings in the view had not been corrupted by the upgrade, so I decided something in the upgraded code base must have caused the issue. However, since a standard Drupal installation contains thousands of files, searching for the offending code would be worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Enter Git. At its core, Git is a version control tool for software developers who work in a distributed development environment that allows multiple developers to work on a single project without stepping on each other’s code. The web developers at eXcelisys use it precisely for that purpose. However, it also has many useful features even if you are the only developer working on the project. Not only does it allow you to maintain discrete versions of the application you are developing, it also has a built-in tool for comparing files, called “diff.” This tool will reveal the files that have been modified between commits and show exactly which lines of code were changed. You can even view the modifications side-by-side to help you sift through the changes and identify the bug that was introduced in the latest version.

git logo image

The downside to using Git is the learning curve, especially if you use it from the command line. In fact, just perusing the Git reference can be an intimidating experience if you’re not accustomed to working with the terminal. The good news is, because of its popularity in the open source world, there are a variety of services and GUI clients available to help with this process, which means you don’t have to learn all of those cryptic terminal commands. Github (www.github.com) is the most popular of these services, and offers hosting for free public repositories. It is wildly popular in the open source world, and for good reason. In fact, if you have spent much time in open source development, you have probably been introduced to using git by downloading files from Github without really understanding what it is or how it functions. However, if you are working on a project for a client, a public repository is probably not the best idea. This is where alternatives like Bitbucket are more appropriate. Bitbucket offers the same features of Github but with unlimited private repositories for up to 5 developers on any one project. (If you are interested in more information regarding the basics of using Git, there is an introductory video that can give you a quick overview).

This tutorial will walk you through the steps of using git to create a private repository and to compare the changes in commits (versions of your code base).

  1. Create an account at bitbucket.org.
  1. Login to your account and click the Create button.
  1. Enter a name and description for your repository, along with the remaining options shown in the following image, and click the “Create repository” button.

using git creating repository

4. Using Git can be a complicated process, but it is much easier with a GUI client. Click the link to download the Atlassian Source Tree client and install the software on your system. Configure the software with the user credentials for your Bitbucket account, then return to your browser and click the “Clone in Source Tree” button.

using git hub setting up repository

If you see a dialog prompting you to select an application, select Source Tree and click the checkbox next to “Remember my choice for sourcetree links.”

using git dialogue tree box

  1. Enter the destination path for where you would like to store the repository files and click the “Clone” button.

using git storage selection screen shot

  1. The repository will be cloned to your local system and Source Tree will open a new management window for the repository.

using git source tree storage screen shot

  1. The window will tell us that there is nothing to commit because we haven’t yet added any files to our local repository. Navigate to the folder you set up for the repository or click the “Open in Finder” button and copy the code for your build to this location. For simplicity’s sake, I am only going to copy the affected module (in this case, Drupal’s link module). For the first commit, I want to use the module as it was prior to the upgrade procedure. So I am going to copy the entire folder for the link module.

Next, return to your Source Tree management window and you will see a list of the files you have copied which will appear in the Unstaged files area.

using git - source tree management window

8. Click the checkbox next to “Unstaged files” and the client will move all files into the Staged files area.

using git Staged files area

  1. Click the “Commit” button at the top of the screen and enter a description for the commit. Select the “Push changes immediately to origin” checkbox (this will save us a step) and click the commit button at the bottom of the screen.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 1.12.32 PM

  1. This action will create the commit and push the files to the repository. In the left navigation pane, select “master” under “Origin” to view the details of the commit.

using git commit files to repository window

  1. Now simply copy the link module from the post-upgrade installation into the folder, replacing the existing folder in that directory on your local machine.
  2.  Return to the Source Tree management window and you will once again see a list of files in the “Unstaged” files pane. Repeat steps 8 and 9 above, but this time enter a description that identifies this commit as post-upgrade.

using git Source Tree management window

13. Repeat step 10 and you will see that you now have two commits under “master.”

using git commit to master window confirmation

  1. Now return to Bitbucket.org in your browser and click the commits link for the repository you created in the left navigation pane.

Bitbucket.org  commits link for the repository window

  1. Select the latest commit (post-upgrade) and you will see a list of files that have changed. Scroll the window down and you will see each of the changes; green indicates lines that have been added and red indicates lines that have been removed.

using git list of files changed window

Clicking the “Side-by-side diff” button can make the code comparison even easier. In my case, the issue was found in the link.module file. Once the issue was identified, I was able to locate a patch for the module in the current development version of Drupal 7.x. The expected behavior was restored after replacing the module with the patched code.

This is one of countless applications of the powerful diff engine in Git. This functionality is also very useful for finding infected files in a compromised site, checking the modifications you made in various versions of an application, or just tracking down bugs in your own code.

Using Git in your development workflow can deliver a real productivity boost when attempting to pinpoint file changes, even if you are a solo developer. Happy hunting!

**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ consulting & development services.

About eXcelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

The post Using Git, Even as a Solo Developer appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: Real-Time QuickFind

by: David Thorp

R…
Re…
Rem…
Reme…
Remem…
Rememb…
Remembe…
Remember…

…what life was like before instant search on the web became the norm? We had to actually type out whole words and phrases, hit the pesky “return” key and THEN look at the results. Then maybe type in more words and phrases and search again if the results weren’t quite to our liking.

Just like us, our users have come to take instant-search for granted. Search results autocomplete as you type. That’s just how computers work now. Except, of course, in the hundreds of applications that don’t intrinsically support an instant search feature, including, sadly, native FileMaker Pro.

In the grand scheme of things, FileMaker Pro’s Find Mode is pretty amazing. This native functionality allows for extremely powerful granularity in the construction of both specific and more open-ended queries. Custom development can add to the simplicity and speed of producing a found set of records using Find Mode.

But despite all of this, the web has given most of us a different set of expectations when it comes to intelligent and efficient searching. The responsiveness of your favorite search engine – or any similar search fields found within a myriad of modern web, desktop and mobile apps – can make the task of performing a find in FileMaker Pro seem somewhat old school. Even FileMaker Pro’s built-in Quick Find feature, which returns the results of a query of multiple fields on a layout at once, stops short of providing the kind of instant gratification of seeing every possible result as you type. There are plenty of cases where the interface, the application, or the specific problem points to a “Search” box that users will use and want to see instant results.

But instant searches are about more than instant gratification. For the most active users of a solution, the time spent searching for records and sets of records adds up fast. Any amount of time saved is more than just a welcome feature. In many cases, the immediate feedback of instant search is expected.

So the challenge we tackle here is to provide results which are quicker – dare we say in “real time” – than successive Quick Finds, and provide users the experience of knowing the answer to their questions before they finish asking them. There are a few ways to do this, as we’ll see, and a few challenges with implementation that require a bit of extra attention. We want to find relevant records and return results instantly, as users type, with the fewest possible keystrokes and no unnecessary delays.

That “no unnecessary delays” is the fun bit…

FileMaker Pro’s native QuickFind feature is a script step (Perform QuickFind) that takes the contents of a given field and searches for its contents in whatever fields are set to allow it, on the current layout.  But how to get it to run…

Option 1. Put a button next to the field.  Click the button.  Performs the Find.  Ok.  But we can do better.

Option 2. Add an OnObjectExit script trigger to the field.  Type your criteria.  Tab out of the field.  Script is triggered and performs the find.  But what about those “instant results” we were talking about?

Option 3. Add an OnObjectModify script trigger to the field.  Now we’re getting our “instant results”.  Every keystroke that modifies the field triggers the script and performs the find.  But…

The problem here?  What if the find takes a while, for any reason: unindexed fields being searched, large numbers of records, deployment over WAN, etc.  That’s going to make. every. keystroke. pretty. tedious.

Check out the file to see our solution. 🙂

**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ consulting & development services.

About eXcelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com)is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

eXcelisys, Inc. is an independent entity and this web site/information/blog post has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

The post FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: Real-Time QuickFind appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

FileMaker® Pro Tip-n-Trick: Smart & Simple Column Sort

By: RJ Carroll

One of the most-requested features from FileMaker Pro developers is a one-click simple column sort. Trying to sort out how to sort can be a tricky business. The typical way to implement column sort from list-view is by using buttons above each column. First, the user calls a script by clicking on a field name in the column header. Usually, the script includes a number of hard-coded “Sort Records” steps.  Then, the script decides which field to sort and how from a series of If/Else If steps. Each order of each potential field would require its own script step.) Scripts like this leave a lot of things to change if you add or delete fields. (They also leave a lot of code to maintain in general.) Before FileMaker introduced “Sort Records by Field”, this was basically the only sort of way to do it (pardon the pun).

Sort Records by Field

A simpler approach is to leverage the power of “Sort Records by Field.” One advantage of “Sort Records by Field” is that, unlike “Sort Records,” you can leave the field unspecified and use the context of the currently active field. It also eliminates the need for extensive “If…Else” branching logic and hard-coded sort orders in the sorting script. The only issue with using “Sort Records by Field” this way is that when a user clicks a button on the layout, the user isn’t actually in the field when the script gets called. Most users would expect to click a button (such as the field’s name) in the column header to call a sort script, but since clicking a button takes you out of the field, it won’t work. So what do you do?

From Button to Trigger

One clever workaround: place copies of the fields you want for sorting in the header and use an OnObjectEnter trigger to invoke the script. This eliminates all need for script parameters and branching logic altogether. It also allows for powerful one-click column sorting. Just style those fields to look like “sort buttons”. Now have an elegant method for sorting by columns that is simple and easy. It is also manageable, easy to maintain as your solution changes. Check out this implementation by downloading our demo file. I think you’ll find it’s remarkably simple with this technique to get all your sorting quickly sorted out.

Download the demo file and give it a sort!

filemaker pro simple column sort graphic

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ consulting & development services.

 

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, PostgreSQL, and MySQL for database frameworks. Complimenting those database frameworks we have competency with WordPress, PHP, CodeIgniter, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications.
Aside from providing excellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation regarding your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

Excelisys, Inc. is an independent entity and this web site/information/blog post has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

The post FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: Simple Column Sort appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

DevCon 2016 – eXcelisys Vendor Session: Tantalizing Tips-n-Tricks from the Trenches

Attend the eXcelisys vendor session on Wednesday July, 20 2016 from 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Excelisys FileMaker Magic Tricks
The eXcelisys vendor session will be lead by our very own Mr. Doug West and assisted by some of the eXceptional eXcelisys FileMaker Pro talent.

With a team of developers working on thousands of projects over the last 14+ years, we’ve stood our ground against a variety of challenging customer requirements. eXcelisys, a FileMaker Platinum Partner, will eXplore a few of our eXcellent FileMaker Pro Tips-n-Tricks in depth. A dynamic “class” of how-to and when-to use some of these eXceptional concepts in your solutions!

  • Drag-n-Drop
  • Hierarchical Portals
  • Powerful Progress Bars
  • Stealth Buttons
  • Double-Click Single-Click Trick
  • Audit Trails without Casualties
  • Popover Imprisonment
Excelisys Vendor session schedule 2016

The post DevCon 2016 – eXcelisys Vendor Session: Tantalizing Tips-n-Tricks from the Trenches appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

Intro to WordPress Custom Post Types

Welcome to the exciting world of WordPress Custom Post Types! If you have spent any time working with WordPress you know that a basic WordPress site is primarily made up of Pages and Posts. You have probably also noticed that there isn’t a ton of difference between Pages and Posts. Both have similar input fields: a title, some body text, and possibly a featured image. In fact, the main content of a Page or a Post is stored in the very same database table distinguished only by its ‘post_type’.

Custom-Post-Type-Menu

Access Custom Post Types in Admin

From a practical perspective, the biggest difference between Pages and Posts is how your theme displays them. Pages are typically used to display static content and organized using Menus and submenus, which make up the main navigation features of your site. Posts, on the other hand, are typically organized by date or by category and are often displayed, like a blog, as a list with a title and teaser text or an image. For more info read “The differences between Posts and Pages” by one of our other Excelisys WordPress developers, Fred Morgan.

For many websites these basic post types offer plenty of structure and flexibility to achieve the major goals of the site. For more complex websites, however, you may find yourself needing more discrete and structured content categories. This is where WordPress Custom Posts Types come into play.

Custom-Post-Type-Admin-View

WordPress Custom Post Types look like regular Pages or Posts.

Without knowing it you may already be familiar with what WordPress Custom Posts Types offer. Many themes give you sections like “Our Team,” which give you the ability to create custom profiles for people in your organization. Or you may have seen the “Portfolio” menu item in the backend of your WordPress theme, which lets you create a catalog of projects you want to showcase on your site. “Testimonials” or “Gallery” are also familiar examples that are built into many themes. More often than not, these tools are powered by WordPress Custom Post Types.

Custom-Post-Type-Add-New

Input fields for WordPress Custom Post Type

There are many use cases for using WordPress Custom Post Types. For example, you may want to create a catalog of movie reviews, a list of documents, a selection of coupons, or a directory of store locations. In recent projects I have created post types for: Teams, Lending Library Books, Website Resources, a Contact Directory, a Client List, Lesson Plans, Forms and more.

Instead of struggling to find a plugin that works well enough for your particular content you can easily tailor your admin to work with your needs.

  • Here are a few major benefits of using WordPress Custom Post Types over simply using categorized posts:
    Custom Post Types are easy to create and maintain. You can simply click on a menu item in the Admin and you’re off and running. All of the items of a given post type are accessible from the left hand menu and presented on their own page in the backend.
  • Another big benefit is they are easier to train site admins to use. When built correctly, WordPress Custom Post Types will provide context and constraints that help your content creators focus on building content and not wasting time figuring out which category a post belongs in or if it will show up in the right place on the website. Also, when creating a typical Custom Post Type entry, you do not need all of the possible options available to a generic post streamling the process of managing site content.
  • It’s easier to create and manage custom displays of your content. By default all posts are displayed the same way by your WordPress theme. This usually means showing the title and a blurb or excerpt from the post. With WordPress Custom Post Types you can have more effective and custom layouts for you content. ‘Team Member’ posts can be displayed as an image and a bio in 3 x 3 grid. ‘Web Resources’ can be displayed as a set of expandable, categorized list of links.Custom-Post-Type-Taxonomy
  • WordPress Custom Post Types also let you create custom taxonomies (categories and subcategories) specific to your post type. A Movie post type, for example, may be categorized by genre, era, or rating. By using a WordPress Custom Post Type taxonomy you do not have to complicate the categories and subcategories of your regular Posts.

WordPress Custom Post Types highlight the fact that WordPress is not simply a blogging platform: it is a robust Content Management System that will help you organize your content and customize the presentation of your WordPress website to the world.

In a future posts I will present a tutorial on how WordPress Custom Posts Types are created and I will introduce how you can get the most out of your WordPress Custom Post Types using another powerful feature of WordPress: metaboxes.

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, CSS, HTML5, and Javascript for web sites and web applications.
Aside from providing excellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

The post Introduction to WordPress Custom Post Types appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

FileMaker Pro Progress Bars, chapter 5: Gantt-Man
By Andy Persons

In which nothing can Bar our intrepid code from Progressing to Uncharted territory!

We received an interesting variety of responses to our FileMaker Pro Progress Bars demo files. Can you make it show an image for the foreground? How about an animated gif? It’s too blurry; can you sharpen it up? Any chance it can do my taxes?

One of the requests that piqued our interest was the ability to have the foreground color appear in the middle of the bar. That is, to be able to specify a background color segment, then a foreground color, then a background color.

Sure, we could do that, but why stop with a ham sandwich when you can throw a luau?

So we donned our grass skirts and created the ability to generate Gantt charts. This FileMaker Pro progress bars demo file showcases our GanttChart() custom function that allows you to specify an unlimited number of segments via a return-delimited list. Each line in the list should specify a percentage (where the segment begins) and the color of the segment (in base64; don’t worry, we also provided a tool to convert from RGB colors to base64).

Of course, this custom function could also be used for a host of other purposes, including:

  • Stacked bar charts
  • Dynamic interface elements, where the ability to specify the color on the fly is crucial (since FileMaker Pro’s styling doesn’t allow for that).
  • Possibly even bar codes, although we haven’t tested that one

Also, remember you can rotate elements in FileMaker Pro, in case you wanted to use this vertically.

Oh and we decided to throw in the autofocus as well by upgrading the base graphic from 100 pixels to 1000. This should eliminate the blurred edges that some users experienced when they expanded the container to very large sizes.

Download the demo file and give it a whirl!

FileMaker Pro Gnatt Chart

Hope you enjoy it!

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

The post FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: FileMaker Pro Progress Bars, Gantt-Man appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

I was recently asked by another site to do a FileMaker Pro review, so I think it only fitting to share it here for our readers as well. 🙂

By David Thorp

 

What do you like best about FileMaker Pro?

FileMaker Pro takes the core tasks involved with managing, storing and processing information and simplifies them into an intuitive user experience. The best thing about FileMaker Pro is how broadly useful it can be to almost anyone with nearly any level of technical skill. Even as a seasoned FileMaker Pro developer, I marvel at how useful it can be for daily tasks or short projects.

There are many levels of FileMaker Pro, accessible with increasing time and experience invested in learning the platform and using it to create solutions.

Anyone with some time, talent, curiosity and a copy of FileMaker Pro can create a custom software solution which addresses complex business needs; moreover, they can do it in a fraction of the time and with significantly less technical skill than could be produced using a traditional application development framework. Even the basic beginner can open the program straight from the box, and quickly produce incredible results, and that has always been FileMaker Pro’s claim to fame.

However over almost 30 years it has developed and grown into a serious rapid application development environment for quickly and relatively easily building professional business applications that scale very well. These latter applications require a greater level of skill and experience, but the point is FileMaker Pro is a lot more than just a “simple” database for beginners.

As consultants and custom software developers, my colleagues and I with Excelisys have used FileMaker Pro to develop high end professional systems which manage processes, cataloging, inventory tracking, ordering, invoicing, payments, project management, event management, contact management, all manner of reporting, administration, quality assurance, and the list goes on – for companies with anything from one to hundreds of simultaneous users accessing this information and managing even millions of records of data.

In recent years FileMaker Pro has evolved from just a desktop application with some web connectivity to a comprehensive platform for creating cross-platform desktop, web, and mobile applications.

FileMaker-Pro-14
FileMaker-Pro-Advanced

What do you dislike about FileMaker Pro?

The diverse and powerful feature set of FileMaker Pro make it a “blank slate” in many ways for development. Therefore, because it’s so easy for end users to begin creating solutions quickly which address basic business needs, they often skip the planning required for developing more complex solutions required by more fundamental problems.

For professional developers like myself, it can be frustrating to see a client who’s spent a great deal of time creating a solution that’s not technically sustainable and then expects to work with that solution to help them achieve a complicated objective.

The middle ground between DIY development and the need for professional custom development is sometimes murky territory, and this is an area where FileMaker Pro’s greatest asset in its friendly, easy-to-use approach can become a liability if users don’t watch out for how complex their needs are and stop to consider when it might be time to ask for help from professionals, like those at Excelisys and any number of other consulting firms specializing in FileMaker Pro development.

 

What business problems are you solving with FileMaker Pro? What benefits have you realized using FileMaker Pro?

I’ve solved problems as diverse as the businesses of my clients from manufacturing to tourism to design firms to any number of other industries and applications. Each has a basic need to see what material, intellectual, and human assets they have, and mange the way they flow in, out and through their business.

One of the more universal problems that I’ve used FileMaker Pro to help solve for many companies is moving their processes away from time-consuming paper-based systems and into a single system which simplifies the way information is collected, stored and processed from forms.

These efforts make the work lives of those users significantly more efficient, and invariably improve their bottom lines. For any serious business trying to make a profit, the time and costs saved by a well designed, professionally developed application/solution always offsets the investment that goes into it. With FileMaker Pro that investment is usually significantly less than with other platforms, which nearly always makes it the best choice of platform for the solution.

 

For which purposes do you use FileMaker Pro?

Relational Databases, Custom Applications on desktop, mobile and web.

 

Recommendations to others considering FileMaker Pro;

For small applications, just dive right in! For complex professional solutions, be sure you know how to plan and design your solution properly. If you’re not confident in that, then hire the professionals, but be comforted that the professionals using FileMaker Pro can likely deliver better results faster than with most other application development platforms.

Download a demo of FileMaker Pro.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

FileMaker and the file folder logo are registered trademarks of FileMaker, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

The post FileMaker Pro Review; an intuitive user experience appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

Ready to Play Hide and Seek with a Button in a FileMaker Pro Portal Row?
By Rob Poelking

I just figured this out and thought it was cool enough to share with you. It’s pretty commonplace to put a button over a FileMaker Pro portal row object to trigger an event related to that particular row. But sometimes you don’t want a button across the entire row. So then we typically put a visual button off to the side like an “edit” button, but the result can be unsightly seeing “edit” repeated a dozen times on the screen. So, what if you could just display the edit button when that row was active. In FileMaker 13, you can with the new hide object feature.

So, to set this up, I had to add a field in the related table as an unstored calculation Get ( RecordNumber ). Then, I had to name the portal object. Now using the function to GetLayoutObjectAttribute, I can dynamically show the button only with the portal row is active with this calculation:

not ( GetLayoutObjectAttribute ( “portal” ; “hasFocus”  ) and (Get ( ActivePortalRowNumber ) = myPortal::RECORDNUMBER ) )

Download the demo file and give it a whirl!

FileMaker Pro Portal Row Button Hide and Seek

This is not the only way to provide this button in a FileMaker Pro portal row functionality. After reviewing, Doug West offered up an idea by simply using a global variable to achieve the same effect.

Either method provides an intuitive user interface that allows a user to select an item in a list before taking action on it. This also works well in FileMaker Go where unintentional taps don’t accidentally set off an unintended process.

Happy FileMaking 🙂

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

The post FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: Hide-n-Seek a Button in a FileMaker Pro Portal Row appeared first on eXcelisys.


View the full article

eXcelisys

 

Video: FileMaker Pro Tip -n- Trick: Quick Single-Double Click Trick

 

Video By Richard Carlton Consulting & Content Provided by eXcelisys

RCC came across Andy’s FileMaker Pro Tip -n- Trick single-double click quick demo file and loved the simplicity of how it helps you add the ability to support a double-click on objects within FileMaker Pro. He thought this FileMaker Pro tip -n- trick was so ingenious and simple, that he asked us if he could make a video that would explain for those who are novices and sudo intermediates, and we said… OF COURSE!

 

Richard did an EXcellent job of breaking this down and explaining how it all works. Plus there are some great EXplosions!

Enjoy this free video from Richard Carlton Consulting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVU8g3EelIM

 

Go here if you want to read the original blog post and download the demo file.

 

About Andy Persons: Andy is a Senior Lead FileMaker Pro Developer with Excelisys: Andy has been an industry leading FileMaker Pro developer creating FileMaker Pro solutions for over 17 years. In addition to being one of the lead developers of three top-rated and most-downloaded FileMaker Pro solutions of all-time; the FileMaker Business Tracker and the Excelisys eX-BizTracker & eX-BizTracker Pro jump-start solutions, he has shared his incredible and advanced talents by authoring numerous Tips-n-Tricks files and white papers, including Hierarchical Portals, Recursive Calcs, Audit Logs and Drag-and-Drop using FileMaker Pro. *This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

About Richard Carlton Consulting, Inc. provides customized database development services for business, government, and non-profit organizations. Our core competency is FileMaker Pro, where we hold FileMaker’s highest certifications. With a team of 27 staff, we are capable of deploying both small and large solutions for a wide variety of customers. We service all modern versions of FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, and FileMaker Go (for the iPad and iPhone). We also deploy FileMaker databases to the web, and offer PHP/Web Development, iOS Programming, FileMaker Server Support, and Hosting Services.

* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.

 


Source

 

eXcelisys

FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick: A Double-Single Click Trick

By Andy Persons

A nice little FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick showing you a double-single click trick!

Have you ever wanted to add support for double-clicking in your FileMaker Pro solutions? FileMaker Pro doesn’t currently support that natively, but various workarounds have been created over the years.

Unfortunately, none of the techniques I found support exclusive actions. BOTH the single and double-click actions occur when the user double-clicks. This file demonstrates a simple alternative that enables your solutions to perform only one OR the other.

This technique and the demo download has been tested and works in FileMaker Pro versions 12 and 13.

class="wp-image-1430 size-medium" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DoubleClick-300x173.png" alt="FileMaker Pro Tip-n-Trick Double-Single Click Demo File" width="300" height="173" />

Download the free demo file!

Although untested, this technique is likely to work in any version of FileMaker Pro that supports both the Get(ScriptName) function and fractional seconds in the Pause Script duration.

Click away and Enjoy!

– Andy

*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services.

About target="_blank">Andy Persons: Andy is a Senior Lead FileMaker Pro Developer with Excelisys: Andy has been an industry leading FileMaker Pro developer creating FileMaker Pro solutions for over 17 years. In addition to being one of the lead developers of three top-rated and most-downloaded FileMaker Pro solutions of all-time; the FileMaker Business Tracker and the Excelisys eX-BizTracker & eX-BizTracker Pro jump-start solutions, he has shared his incredible and advanced talents by authoring numerous Tips-n-Tricks files and white papers, including Hierarchical Portals, Recursive Calcs, Audit Logs and Drag-and-Drop using FileMaker Pro.

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

target="_blank">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.

class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source

eXcelisys

 


Gotcha’s When Assigning and Using Variables


 


by Andy Frazier


 
“Learn from the master, you must!”


 


"alt="Programming Languages" width="300" height="192" />


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


If you do any development outside of FileMaker Pro (and trust me, if only to learn different ways of approaching problems, you really should), you know that there’s a “gotcha” when assigning and using variables.


In several languages, you can assign a variable like this:


$myvariable = ‘my value';


Simple enough. But then when you want to test the variable, you can’t use “=” again, because that would just reassign it. So if, for example, you did this:


if ($myvariable = ‘something else’) {
everyoneDies();
}


…everyone would die…because you didn’t really test it – you just reassigned it. If the variable name comes first, “=” is an assignment operator. So in the example above, since you’re assigning a new value to $myvariable, and that will always work, the test will always return true. The test for equality, which is what you want here, is “==” – two equals signs (if you wanted to test for both type and content, you’d use three ["==="], but that’s only for really picky languages). So what that should have said was…


f ($myvariable == ‘something else’) {
everyoneDies();
}


…so everyone would live, because your original value of “my value” remains intact, and is not equal to “something else” – we’re all safe!


Unfortunately, every developer (yes, EVERY developer) has forgotten that second equals sign at least once. The fortunate among us have discovered that before the client demo. Those not so fortunate…well…please remember to give to charity.


There is, however, some Jedi magic we can use here. If we use “Yoda syntax,” we can avoid this mistake altogether. Consider this:


If (‘something else’ = $myvariable) {
everyoneDies();
}


In this case, we put the value first. Most language interpreters are smart enough to see that. So they will treat the single equals sign as an equality operator and not an assignment operator, and the test will be evaluated as intended. Everyone lives!!


May the force be with you.


 


About Andy Frazier: Andy, a http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php"target="_blank">Lead FileMaker Pro and Web Developer with Excelisys for 2 years, wrote his first program in BASIC on a Commodore 64 back in the early 80’s. So, having successfully conquered computers for all time, he took a break from them for about 20 years, playing guitar and writing music (his degree from Berklee is in Film Scoring; he’s written scores for video games and had songs in TV shows like The Sopranos & Charmed). When it turned out there just might be something more to this whole computer thing, he discovered FileMaker Pro, and realized not only that it was easy, it was fun, and it could make a difference by making many people’s jobs much easier. Now certified for FileMaker versions 8 through 13, along with Javascript, PHP, and jQuery, his goal is to create new solutions to improve someone’s life, somehow, some way, every day. Andy was the original developer for a very successful suite of solutions (which can’t be disclosed or he would have to kill himself) in the retail and service industries, he is also the author of several PHP-focused articles, and “the fixer” for countless issues ranging from overhauling failing businesses to solving sticky script situations. Andy has one philosophy with regard to thinking outside the box: there is no box. He feels the best part of developing with a tool like FileMaker Pro is using all the complimentary related technologies (PHP, XML, ODBC, CSS, HTML, Javascript) to do what each is best at and combining them into a whole complete-finished and polished solution which is more than the sum of its parts.


About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.


http://www.filemaker.com"href="http://www.filemaker.com/">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.



http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/11/13/php-tip-n-trick-gotchas-assigning-using-variables/"class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source
eXcelisys

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h2>How to Video: Integrate a Progress Bar into your FileMaker Pro 13 Solutions</h2>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h4><em>By Richard Carlton Consulting</em></h4>

<p>&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />While developing videos for their FileMaker Pro video course (www.learningfilemaker.com) … RCC ran into our cool FileMaker Pro 13 progress bar demo file done by Andy Persons that helps you create and integrate a progress bar into your FileMaker Pro 13 solutions.</p>

<p>You can easily add a progress bar to your FileMaker Pro 13 solution by coping and pasting a few fields and a custom function from our demo file… watch the video to learn the tricks to this solution.<br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p>

<p><span class='embed-youtube' style='text-align:center; display: block;'><iframe class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='450' height='284' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/lNN9TYuVewA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent'frameborder='0' allowfullscreen='true'></iframe></span></p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/08/28/filemaker-pro-13-tip-n-trick-v3-filemaker-pro-progress-bar/"target="_blank">Download our FileMaker Pro 13 progress bar demo file</a></p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><a href="http://www.learningfilemaker.com"target="_blank">Download the FileMaker Pro 13 Video Training Course from RCC</a></p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><strong>About</strong> <a href="http://www.rcconsulting.com/"target="_blank">Richard Carlton Consulting, Inc.</a> provides customized database development services for business, government, and non-profit organizations. Our core competency is FileMaker Pro, where we hold FileMaker’s highest certifications. With a team of 27 staff, we are capable of deploying both small and large solutions for a wide variety of customers. We service all modern versions of FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, and FileMaker Go (for the iPad and iPhone). We also deploy FileMaker databases to the web, and offer PHP/Web Development, iOS Programming, FileMaker Server Support, and Hosting Services.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>About</strong> <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php" target="_blank">Andy Persons</a>: Andy is a Senior Lead FileMaker Pro Developer with Excelisys: Andy has been an industry leading FileMaker Pro developer creating FileMaker Pro solutions for over 17 years. In addition to being one of the lead developers of three top-rated and most-downloaded FileMaker Pro solutions of all-time; the FileMaker Business Tracker and the Excelisys eX-BizTracker &amp; eX-BizTracker Pro jump-start solutions, he has shared his incredible and advanced talents by authoring numerous Tips-n-Tricks files and white papers, including Hierarchical Portals, Recursive Calcs, Audit Logs and Drag-and-Drop using FileMaker Pro. *This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting &amp; development services.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>About</strong> Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.<br />&nbsp;<br /><a href="http://www.filemaker.com" target="_blank">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.</a></p>

<a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/11/06/video-integrate-progress-bar-filemaker-pro-13-solutions/"class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

eXcelisys

<h4>Presented by; Doug West, Kurt Knippel, and Christo</h4>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h3>Getting Rid of Paper-based Processes using the FileMaker Platform</h3>

<p>More businesses today are seeking alternatives to legacy paper-based processes. Companies of all sizes are replacing photocopiers with iPads, reducing storage costs, and severely improving data collection time and accuracy with efficient solutions that automate and empower their local and mobile teams. With the FileMaker Platform, solutions can be built to custom fit your needs. From document management to job site inspections, learn how FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go can be applied to solve just about any paper-based process and be securely shared wherever you go. Join us for a one-hour FileMaker Webinar featuring Doug West and the team from Excelisys.</p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h4>Skip the reading and start feeding my brain some FileMaker Webinar candy.</h4>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<div id="attachment_1307" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://youtu.be/XZlfn56usj0"><imgclass="wp-image-1307 size-medium" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-1.38.32-PM-300x169.png" alt="Start Watching the Video Now!" width="300" height="169" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Start Watching the Video Now!</p></div>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><em>In this FileMaker Webinar, Excelisys shows off 4 clients and how we had some fun making their day-to-day paper-pushing pains become lean-mean models of efficiency!</em></p>

<p><strong>Ascend Aviation</strong> - Ascend Performance Materials dabbles in high-quality chemicals, fibers, and plastics. Products used in a variety of applications from oven bags for cooking your holiday turkey, to textiles for military and industrial clothing. We worked with Brian who is the head pilot at their charter flight service, Ascend Aviation, to convert these paper forms used for recording detailed flight expenses such as fuel consumption and purchase price, payment methods, landing fees, ramp fees, parking fees, and catering costs. They also collected crew expenses for hotel, meals, and rental cars when the crew would have to spend the night on a trip. Now this is all handled dynamically, real-time through an iPad – including dynamic itineraries, pilot assignments, and no longer having to print out gazillions of passenger manifests! HOLY TREE SAPLING SAVINGS!</p>

<p><strong>McConnell’s Ice Cream</strong> - a maker of fine ice creams made with local, sustainable and organic raw ingredients sourced from partner farms, artisans, and purveyors that they’ve worked with for 65 years. With several various locations in California serving the public through Scoop Shops, McTruck, McCarts (hope the clown doesn’t get a frown!), and catering. Tracked orders in QuickBooks, but were looking to streamline their local deliveries and ordering. Needed a mobile solution that was very similar to their current paper-based order taking-delivery model, wouldn’t require much retraining, would solve the problem of new ice-cream product not being on the old forms and old product that was no longer available still on the old forms that needed to come off. Reduce the need for paper-pushing, tallying, &amp; reporting. Created an E-Form that feeds directly into and from QB – and based on inventory and product offering the E-Form is dynamic to/from QB! WYSIWYG E-Forms based on what they decide is available for ordering or delivery! POW-ZING!</p>

<p><strong>S&amp;G Seeds</strong> - Established in 1918, they contract production of various seeds from grower to shipment across the midwest. Early Producer of Hybrid Corn in 1930′s. Now operated by 3rd and 4th generation families.Wanted to move paper-based inventory management and fulfillment to a more automated solution. Too much waste and no validation of business rules. Sloppy penmanship would cause mistakes of misplaced orders, inventory count issues, and a disconnect between warehouse and back office. Yeah, we fixed that. Instead of 2-3 days for paperwork – now it happens within minutes and hours! BOOM BABY!</p>

<p><strong>Penny Newman Grain</strong> - In business for over 135 years with locations in California, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. Offer dealer support in the liquid feed division handling more than 2 Million gallons of liquid storage for dairies in California. Never would have guessed that feeding cows was such a complicated process, well it can be! If you’re a dairy farmer wanting optimal growth and milk production for your moo-moo cows, this requires precise amounts of sweet &amp; bitter feed. Mixing in with the existing or leftover liquid feed requires yet another change to formulas and more math calculations. Lots of math errors, bad tasting feed, and the dealers were getting impatient with the time-consuming manual-mutilated-wood-pulp process and complicated math stuff. So we made it into an easy point and click GUI with all the math done in the back-end. On-the-fly tool that will tell how much will be needed and then how much was used – which then gets back to the mother-ship solution eventually for like WAY better reporting. When they showed this to their dealers – BAZINGA! They just knocked their stuff up and away from their competitors!</p>

<p style="text-align: center;">• • • •</p>

<p><em><strong>About Doug West:</strong> <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php#"target="_blank">Doug</a> is the VP of Product Management/Partner and a Project Manager with <a href="http://www.excelisys.com" target="_blank">Excelisys, Inc.</a> Doug began his career automating routine tasks in OpenVMS, DOS, Windows, and Macintosh operating systems. This led to an extensive prepress automation project using AppleScript to manage files and data in QuarkXPress and Adobe Photoshop, saving the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most of all, this helped him develop an appreciation for cost-effective solutions that provide substantial benefits to end users. This core purpose has served him well as a FileMaker Pro Developer since the late 90′s. He occasionally finds time to relax when he’s not building solutions for clients, fixing computers for friends and family, attending his sons’ sporting events, running races in upstate New York, or hiking through the Adirondack Mountains.</em></p>

<div style="color: #000000; text-align: left;">

<p><em><b>About Excelisys, Inc.: </b>Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.</em></p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p><em><a title="Link: http://www.filemaker.com"href="http://www.filemaker.com/">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.</a></em></p>

</div>

<a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/10/28/filemaker-webinar-getting-rid-paper-based-processes/"class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

eXcelisys

<h3>FileMaker Pro Tips-n-Tricks: A New Home-Page for FileMaker Server 13</h3>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h4><b style="color: #000000;">Über Awesome Sauce for FileMaker Server 13</b></h4>

<p style="color: #000000;">We’re going to take the original default index page on your FileMaker Server 13, and replace it with something a little more interesting, and a lot more useful.</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">As I’m sure you’ll recognize, this is the page FileMaker Server 13 comes with:</p>

<p style="color: #000000;"><img class="size-medium wp-image-1374 aligncenter" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OriginalPage-300x165.png" alt="FMS13 HomePage" width="300" height="165" /></p>

<p style="color: #000000; text-align: left;">It’s certainly functional. In a way. Sort of. I mean it tells you what you have, right? But it doesn’t really help you <b>do</b> anything. So let’s change that. How about this:</p>

<p style="color: #000000;"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1369" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/FullSizePage-e1412267260663.png" alt="FullSizePage" width="320" height="205" /></p>

<p style="color: #000000;">And, just to sweeten the deal, let’s make it responsive, so you still get everything you need when you’re looking at it on your phone, like so:</p>

<p style="color: #000000;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1375 size-medium" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/NarrowPage-134x300.png" alt="FMS13 Responsive" width="134" height="300" /></p>

<p style="color: #000000;">While we’re at it, it sure would be nice to be able get to all the hosted databases right from here, so when we clicked/tapped on “Databases” we’d get a list of, well, <i>databases</i> hosted on this server, and they’d all be “fmp://:” links, so we could just use them to open FileMaker Pro/Go and get right in…</p>

<p style="color: #000000;"><img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-1376" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/dbLinks-300x220.png" alt="FMS13 Hosted Databases" width="300" height="220" /></p>

<p style="color: #000000;">So let’s do that…</p>

<h4><b>1. Get your FileMaker server 13 ready…</b></h4>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Make sure your FileMaker server 13 is set up and running correctly, as outlined in the FileMaker Server 13 Getting Started Guide (<a style="color: #1c5c76;" title="Link: https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/docs/13/en/fms13_getting_started.pdf" href="https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/docs/13/en/fms13_getting_started.pdf">https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/docs/13/en/fms13_getting_started.pdf</a>). The home page we’re going to use is built in php, so you’ll want to make sure php is enabled – for simplicity, just go ahead and enable php web publishing when you install FileMaker Server. If FileMaker Server was already installed on a Windows server without enabling PHP, you can refer to the following information on Microsoft’s web site for the appropriate changes in the IIS configuration without reinstalling FileMaker Server:</p>

<p style="padding-left: 60px;"><a title="http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx" href="http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx</a></p>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Simply select PHP from the list of components and continue through the install. Depending on your server OS and whether or not you’re using https, the directory we’ll be working in could vary:</p>

<ul>

<ul>

<li>Windows (IIS): [drive]:Program FilesFileMakerFileMaker ServerHTTPServerConf</li>

<li>OS X (Apache), using HTTP: /Library/FileMaker Server/HTTPServer/htdocs/</li>

<li>OS X (Apache), using HTTPS: /Library/FileMaker Server/HTTPServer/htdocs/httpsRoot/</li>

</ul>

</ul>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">In that working directory, find the old, boring default file (it’ll be called “index.html”) and rename it (to something like “index_blah.html”)</p>

<h4><strong>2. Download This Zip File</strong></h4>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<div id="attachment_1369" style="width: 330px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ANewStart.zip"><img class="wp-image-1369 size-full" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/FullSizePage-e1412267260663.png" alt="FileMaker Server 13 Web Root Files" width="320" height="205" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Download These Goodies</p></div>

<h4><b>3. Put the new files in place</b></h4>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Unzip the files accompanying this article, and put them in that directory. They should include a file called “index.php,” and 3 directories: “js,” “stylesheets,” and “images.” When you’re done with this part, what you should have in there is:</p>

<ol>

<ul>

<li>index.php</li>

<li>web.config</li>

<li>images (directory containing 3 .png files and a .ico file)</li>

<li>lib (directory, containing 1 file called “jquery.min.js”)</li>

<li>stylesheets (directory, containing 3 .css files)</li>

<li>The image that came with the server (that “T” in a blue circle), called “TestPage.png”</li>

<li>The index file you renamed in 1.4 above</li>

<li>Whatever else was already in there (may include the WebDirect home page, the httpsRoot if you’re using http on OS X, etc.)</li>

</ul>

</ol>

<h4><b>4. Test!</b></h4>

<p style="padding-left: 30px;">Open the home page (if you’re on the server, that would just be “localhost” or 127.0.0.1 in your browser). You <i>should</i> see a page which looks like that “Über Awesome Sauce” page above. If you <i>don’t</i> see that…</p>

<ol>

<ul>

<li>If you see raw php code (a page that starts with &lt;?php), php is not running on the server – go through the FileMaker server 13 deployment and make sure php is enabled, and just to be safe, install the FM copy of php.</li>

<li>If you still see the original default page, there are a few things to check:

<ol>

<li>Did you update the files in the right place?</li>

<li>Do you have to modify the permissions (Mac: Get Info -&gt; allow “Everyone” to read, Windows: Properties-&gt;Security-&gt;allow the IUSR read/execute privileges)?</li>

<li>Did you rename the original file (if you didn’t, the server may be configured to give “index.html” a higher priority than “index.php” when both exist – that’s why it’s a lot easier to rename index.html than to reconfigure the server).</li>

</ol>

</li>

</ul>

</ol>

<p style="color: #000000;">Now, you could leave it at that, and everything would work. BUT – you’re a developer and you are just too insatiably curious to leave it there. So let’s break down what’s going on here.</p>

<h4 style="color: #000000;"><b>The PHP at the top</b></h4>

<pre style="color: #000000;">&lt;?php

$rawHost = $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];

$rawOS = php_uname('a');

$firstWord = strtok($rawOS,' ');

$osName = ($firstWord=='Darwin') ? 'Mac' : 'Windows';

?&gt;</pre>

<ul style="color: #000000;">

<li>The first line defines a variable called $rawHost, using the php $_SERVER super global, to identify the server’s address for use in links later.</li>

<li>The second line uses the php_uname() function to get a bunch of information about the server operating system. This includes the OS version, name, and a variety of other information, depending on the OS.</li>

<li>The first word returned by that function is something that can be used to identify the OS. This line extracts that word.</li>

<li>The last line looks at that word, and if that word is “Darwin,” we know the server is a Mac. Otherwise, it’s Windows. This function, of course can identify lots of other operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, etc. For this, though, since FMS only runs on Mac &amp; Windows, and Mac always shows up as “Darwin” using this function, we’ll just assume non-Darwin is Windows.</li>

</ul>

<h4 style="color: #000000;"><b>The HTML</b></h4>

<p style="color: #000000;">This page uses Skeleton (<a style="color: #1c5c76;" href="http://www.getskeleton.com"><b>http://www.getskeleton.com</b></a>), which is a css framework that makes it very easy to build responsive web pages, with a lot of the heavy lifting already done for you. Most of the structures here are documented very well on the framework’s home page, but here are some particulars to notice for this page:</p>

<ul style="color: #000000;">

<li>On line 28, we’re using the name of the OS we grabbed above (<b>$osName</b>) as part of the page title.</li>

<li>We use it again on line 65, in the subheading.</li>

<li>On line 72, we’ve got the original graphic from the old index page.</li>

<li>The links in lines 76 thru 81 use the <b>$rawHost</b> variable defined in the php to echo out the address of the server as it appears to the page visitor.</li>

<li>Lines 82 and 83 have some very interesting stuff going on to allow the database names to be listed, described below.</li>

</ul>

<h4 style="color: #000000;"><b>The JavaScript</b></h4>

<p style="color: #000000;">We’re using jQuery in this page, mainly because it’s just too cool. Also it makes doing stuff like what we’re doing here very easy. It’s actually used on more than half the internet, so…if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!</p>

<ul>

<li>On line 92 we load up the jQuery library from the “lib” directory.</li>

<li>The block starting with line 94 and ending on line 139 is jQuery’s “document ready” function, which basically says “do this stuff when the page has loaded and is ready to execute some JavaScript.”</li>

<li>Line 95 hides the “div” on line 83, which has an ID of “jsResponse” (as in “JavaScript Response”). You’ll see why in a minute.</li>

<li>Line 96 adds an unordered list (“ul”) to the last list item (“li” element) on line 82, which has an ID of “dbnames.”</li>

<li>Line 97 creates a new array, called “dbNames” – we’ll get to that in a sec.</li>

<li>Lines 99 thru 114 use jQuery’s “ajax()” function to pull in some info from the server and put it in the page…

<ul>

<li>Line 100 specifies that this will be a “GET” request (as opposed to “POST”)</li>

<li>Line 101 says we’re getting our info from the built-in fmresultset.xml document, with a parameter of -dbnames, which basically gives us an xml document that lists all the databases on the server (actually, all the OPEN databases <b>which have XML sharing enabled</b> - important to remember that if a database doesn’t show up for you…below, we’ll add in the ones which have WebDirect enabled, but to show up here, one of those 2 sharing methods has to be enabled and the DB has to be open on the server).</li>

<li>Line 102 tells the function that we’re getting XML back, so it knows how to read it</li>

<li>Line 103 says “do this if the call to that xml page completes successfully”</li>

<li>Line 104 is jQuery’s way of finding the “record” element in the returned XML. The fmresultset document returns each database name in an element labeled “data” inside an element labeled “record.” So we have to drill down to it – starting with “record.” This line also specifies that we should repeat this for each “record” we find (using “each”).</li>

<li>Once we’re inside a “record” element, on line 105 we look inside it for the text inside the “data” element (which will be the database name), and store that in a variable called “dbName.”</li>

<li>Line 106 adds this database name to the array we set up on line 97. More on that in just a minute.</li>

<li>Line 107 assembles a new list item (“li”), which includes a link to the “dbName” using the “fmp://“ protocol and the “$rawHost” variable we grabbed above for the server address, and adds it (appends it to) the “jsResponse” div we hid above in line 95.</li>

<li>Lines 111 thru 114 say what to do if there’s an error – if the list doesn’t come back OK for whatever reason. Basically, it will add one list item (“li”) to the unordered list we added in line 96, and that list item just says there was an error.</li>

</ul>

</li>

<li>On line 116 we start another ajax call, this time to get the list of databases that are set up for sharing via WebDirect, in case there are any that we didn’t already catch above What we’re doing here is almost identical to what we did with the XML list above, with a few key differences:

<ul>

<li>FMS includes a built in function (called by going to [server]/fmi/webd/dbnames), which it uses on the default WebDirect home page, that lists the available databases in JSON format. Luckily, jQuery knows how to deal with JSON just as well as it does with XML.</li>

</ul>

<ul>

<li>What FMS returns in JSON for each database is a key/value pair (like a variable name and the variable’s value). So that’s what we focus on for each returned item in line 121.</li>

<li>The key is really all we care about, because that’s the actual name of the database.</li>

</ul>

</li>

<li>At this point, we check to see if we’ve already listed this file above. We do that using Javascript’s “indexOf()” method, which basically checks to see if an item exists in an array. Remember we added each database above into the dbNames array (in line 106)? This is why we did that…so we wouldn’t end up listing any databases twice. If the indexOf() method returns -1, that means the item isn’t there. So in that case, we do what we did above in line 107 – assemble an “fmp://“ link for this file and add it to the “jsResponse” div.</li>

<li>After closing the ajax functions, on lines 134 thru 137, we define what happens when someone clicks on the list item on line 82, the one with the id of “dbnames.” We use jQuery’s “click()” function, which listens for user clicks (or taps), and then jQuery’s “toggle()” function, which toggles between showing and hiding an element (the “jsResponse” div in this case, which now contains our list of databases). This is why we hid this element on line 95 – so the list item which displays it would initially appear just as a link that the user could click.</li>

</ul>

<p style="color: #000000;">Have fun!!</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">-Andy Frazier</p>

<p style="color: #000000;"><em><strong>About Andy Frazier:</strong> Andy, a <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php" target="_blank">Lead FileMaker Pro Developer with Excelisys</a> for 2 years, wrote his first program in BASIC on a Commodore 64 back in the early 80′s. So, having successfully conquered computers for all time, he took a break from them for about 20 years, playing guitar and writing music (his degree from Berklee is in Film Scoring; he’s written scores for video games and had songs in TV shows like The Sopranos &amp; Charmed). When it turned out there just might be something more to this whole computer thing, he discovered FileMaker Pro, and realized not only that it was easy, it was fun, and it could make a difference by making many people’s jobs much easier. Now certified for FileMaker versions 8 through 13, along with Javascript, PHP, and jQuery, his goal is to create new solutions to improve someone’s life, somehow, some way, every day. Andy was the original developer for a very successful suite of solutions (which can’t be disclosed or he would have to kill himself) in the retail and service industries, he is also the author of several PHP-focused articles, and “the fixer” for countless issues ranging from overhauling failing businesses to solving sticky script situations. Andy has one philosophy with regard to thinking outside the box: there is no box. He feels the best part of developing with a tool like FileMaker Pro is using all the complimentary related technologies (PHP, XML, ODBC, CSS, HTML, Javascript) to do what each is best at and combining them into a whole complete-finished and polished solution which is more than the sum of its parts. </em></p>

<p style="color: #0a1118;"><em><strong>About Excelisys, Inc.:</strong> Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.</em></p>

<p style="color: #0a1118;"><em><a style="color: #027bd2;" title="Link: http://www.filemaker.com" href="http://www.filemaker.com/">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.</a></em></p>

<a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/10/02/filemaker-pro-tips-n-tricks-new-home-page-filemaker-server-13/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

eXcelisys

V3 FileMaker Pro Progress Bar – Gangsta with Gradients!

OK, one last riff on progress bars! The V2 FileMaker Pro Progress Bar demo file showed how to have the bar change color based on the percentage, such as changing the entire bar from green to yellow to red as the percentage increased. That approach has some good uses (showing how full a container is, for instance), but some people had something else in mind: having the bar incrementally change color as it progressed. In other words, a gradient.

In the course of solving that problem, I created a native FileMaker Pro 13 gradient generator. Enter as many colors and steps as you wish and the file will create a corresponding 100 x 1 pixel gradient image. You can even specify whether it should use an RGB or HSB gradient. The RBG option is probably what most people are used to, while an HSB gradient will traverse the color wheel on its way from one color to the next. The first sample gradient is a good example to demonstrate the difference. The resulting gradient can be used on its own as a native image or generated dynamically.

The progress bar portion is very simple. It takes three parameters: the progress percentage, a background color (in base64) and a 100 x 1 pixel image (also in base64). It then simply reveals the portion of the image as specified by the progress parameter and displays the background color for the remainder.

How cool is that! Enjoy!

FileMaker Pro Progress Bar

Download Demo of V3 Gradient FileMaker Pro Progress Bar

About Excelisys, Inc.: Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. Excelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go database solutions, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgnitor, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access to FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database frameworks and web technologies that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.

eXcelisys

<h4 style="color: #000000;">By Andy Persons</h4>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<h2 style="color: #000000;">The Next Generation of the FileMaker Pro Progress Bar Using base64</h2>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">After we posted the FileMaker Pro 13 Progress Bar demo file using a base64 image last December, one frequent request we received was for a way to have the bar change color based on its percentage. For example, changing from green to yellow to red as the percentage increased.</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">This FileMaker Pro 13 Progress Bar demo file adds that feature. It replaces the <i>foreground_color</i> parameter with a <i>steps </i>parameter that takes a return-delimited list of values. Each line should have a number between 0 and 100 indicating the percentage threshold, followed by a space and then the corresponding color in base64. The values should be sorted by threshold, ascending. The FileMaker Pro Progress Bar demo file includes an interface to help you build the <i>steps </i>parameter.</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">The ProgressBar() custom function loops through the lines in <i>steps</i>, comparing the <i>progress</i> value with the threshold value and stopping at the first one that is equal to or higher than <i>progress</i>. It then parses out the corresponding color value and finishes calculating the graphic using the same technique as the original FileMaker Pro Progress Bar file.</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">This can be used for a variety of purposes in addition to progress bars, such as status indicators, bar graphs and even as simple background colors that can be set programmatically (just set <i>progress</i> to zero and the background color to your choice. The final parameter would be left blank.).</p>

<p style="color: #000000;">Enjoy!</p>

<div id="attachment_1295" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Progress-Bar-Advanced.fmp12v2.zip"><img class="wp-image-1295 size-medium" src="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FileMaker-Pro-13-Progress-Bar-Advanced-300x213.png" alt="Progress Bar Advanced Download" width="300" height="213" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Download Progress Bar Advanced</p></div>

<p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>About <a title="Link: http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php" href="http://www.excelisys.com/our-team-custom-database-consultants.php">Andy Persons</a>:</strong> Andy is a Senior Lead FileMaker Pro Developer with <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/">Excelisys</a>: Andy has been an industry leading FileMaker Pro developer creating FileMaker Pro solutions for over 17 years. In addition to being one of the lead developers of three top-rated and most-downloaded FileMaker Pro solutions of all-time; the FileMaker Business Tracker and the Excelisys <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/ex-files-filemaker-solutions.php">eX-BizTracker &amp; eX-BizTracker Pro</a> jump-start solutions, he has shared his incredible and advanced talents by authoring numerous <a href="http://www.excelisys.com/filemaker-tips-tricks-demos-downloads.php">Tips-n-Tricks files</a> and white papers, including Hierarchical Portals, Recursive Calcs, Audit Logs and Drag-and-Drop using <a title="Link: http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-pro/" href="http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-pro/">FileMaker Pro</a>.</em> <em>*This article is provided for free and as-is, use and play at your own risk – but have fun! Excelisys does not not provide free support or assistance with any of the above. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining Excelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting &amp; development services.</em> <em> </em></p>

<p style="text-align: left;"><em><b>About Excelisys, Inc.: </b>Founded in 2001, Excelisys (www.excelisys.com) is a dedicated organization specializing in the designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, tweaking, fixing, and integrating of FileMaker Pro solutions, FileMaker Go solutions, MySQL, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks-FileMaker Pro Integration, Excel and MS Access FileMaker Pro conversions/migrations, iPhone and iPad business solutions, and other various database technologies and frameworks that automate your organization’s data solution needs for use on the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact Excelisys today for a free estimate and consultation about your business software automation needs @ 866-592-9235.</em></p>

<p style="text-align: left;"><em><a title="Link: http://www.filemaker.com" href="http://www.filemaker.com/">* FileMaker and FileMaker Pro are registered trademarks and owned by FileMaker, Inc. in the US and other countries.</a></em></p>

<a href="http://www.excelisys.com/blog/2014/08/14/filemaker-pro-13-tip-n-trick-v2-filemaker-pro-progress-bar/" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0