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Best Uses for Table View

One of the primary reasons developers cherish FileMaker is the freedom it offers to unleash their creativity within Form and List views. You have the power to craft virtually any type of software you can envision. However, when it comes to Table View, it might seem like you're merely replicating what most end users overuse - spreadsheets. Table View was likely introduced to ease the transition for spreadsheet users into the world of databases. Nevertheless, a well-structured data model renders a

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Creating Universal Pickers

In the world of FileMaker solutions, it's almost inevitable that a solution will experience significant growth during the initial stages, followed by a transition to the everyday pace of normal use. When developing those initial features, one of your key objectives should be to emphasize reuse and repurposing. As is often the case, the less you have to manage, the easier it becomes to maintain and update your solution. There's less to re-learn, and your scripts, layouts, calculations, and other

Object Card Windows

Despite the FileMaker platform being several decades old, the original design of Layout mode and the ability for developers to harness existing tools to either mimic operating systems like iOS or craft entirely unique user interfaces remain monumental advantages for those who opt for this platform. One of the most significant additions to the Claris/FileMaker platform was the introduction of Card Windows. I remember creating some of the initial videos showcasing this feature; the capacity to ex

Useful Default Fields

Even when discussing seemingly mundane topics like Default Fields, there are always valuable insights to uncover. This video offers an exploration of the default fields I consistently incorporate into every table I create. While you might be familiar with or have utilized some of these fields, there could still be a surprise or two in store. For those who are relatively new to Claris/FileMaker development, this video holds significance. Learning about core techniques for data loading and effort

Killer ValuesWalk Custom Function

Discovering ways to make software faster and more efficient brings a great amount of joy to developers. The reason behind this is simple: with enough experience, you come to realize that straightforward and simple code is much easier to maintain than complex and hard-to-maintain code. Self-contained code with fewer dependencies is both easier to understand and refactor. In this video, I share one of my all-time favorite functions in Claris/FileMaker development, the Custom Function named Custom

Optimized Container Use

If you don't pay close attention to the fields you add to your record load in Claris/FileMaker, you might end up facing a transfer penalty, especially when dealing with container data. In many cases, your end users may not require the data from heavy multi-megabyte container fields. Nevertheless, every time the record data is loaded, that large container data gets included as part of the transfer. Unlike SQL or a document database, where you can request only the necessary data, FileMaker provid

Confirmation Prompting

One of the major challenges that any solution or developer encounters is effectively managing the growth of their solution. As the solution expands, the issue of "dilapidated code" arises. This refers to code that either gets replaced or continues to be used without being updated to leverage the latest enhancements in FileMaker. Consequently, a significant portion of the code may become obsolete over time. One of the most effective solutions to tackle this problem is the use of utility scripts

Running FileMaker Server in Docker Desktop

Being able to develop and test your solutions within a FileMaker Server environment is the ideal scenario. You can test Perform Script On Server, external binaries, and plug-ins that perform a variety of tasks. Essentially, you can perform all the necessary tasks in a real solution. When you develop your FileMaker solution locally with a single copy of Claris/FileMaker Pro, you not only face limitations in what you can test but also risk the possibility of a crash. While running FileMaker Serve

Adding Back Buttons

One of the most valuable features you can incorporate into your Claris/FileMaker solution is a back button. This feature is deeply ingrained in every individual who has ever used a web browser. It represents the common scenario where your mind recalls the previous location and seeks to return to it. However, the challenge lies in the complexity of your solution's navigation system. Without careful attention to simplifying navigation, there can be an overwhelming number of options that most peopl

Better Script Writing

While learning to develop within any environment, it's common to develop habits which keep you within a consistent framework. However, occasionally looking outside of your current framework and observing how others accomplish similar tasks can be both affirming and instructive. You may discover valuable tips and tricks from other developers from which you can adapt to enhance your own practices. This video focuses on script writing and explores various techniques employed by different developer

Colorful Syntax Editing

While Claris International has made little to no changes to the FileMaker code editor (also known as the calculation dialog) in over two decades, there is no need for you to remain stuck in the past. Fortunately, for those of us using a Macintosh for solution development, the MBS (Monkeybread Software) plug-in offers modifications and enhancements to the code editor, which we often spend countless hours working in. This video focuses on utilizing syntax highlighting within FileMaker to provide

Fastest Related Record Duplications

While Claris/FileMaker offers a convenient Duplicate Record menu option, of which there's always a companion script step for most menus, there's more to the equation than simply duplicating your primary record. In fact, in most situations, it is necessary to duplicate both parent and related child records. You will likely need to duplicate a complete set of records to address the entire entity. For example, think of the relationship between Order, Line Items, Ship Address, and so on, in order fo

Populating Web Forms

When you're dealing with any type of web service which doesn't offer an API for data exchange, you'll inevitably end up working with a web form for getting data into that service. Data has to get in via some method and the most common is your standard web form. Maybe you need to interact with a Google Form or some other public form service. While some of these services will provide a standard format such as CSV for pulling data out, there are still those services where you need to popuate a web

Mastering Field Indexing

When starting out with FileMaker, there's rarely the situation where you receive any "before you get started" advice. This is because working in FileMaker is like picking up a blank canvas and having someone say "Go for it! Paint something." Essentially, you need to know what the tools are, how you use them, what can be accomplished and how certain decisions might affect you. So, when it comes to field indexing, you might not know the default settings could potentially cause your solution to be

Claris FileMaker 2023 v20 Release

Claris International, Inc. released Claris FileMaker 2023 (version 20) of the FileMaker platform on Tue. April 25th 2023. This release, like all previous dot releases, saw just a few major features and some new branding via a new icon. In my opinion, there are primarily three major features in FMP 20 and a VERY large number of both fixes and minor features. I'm calling this one the "move towards enterprise" release. It improves upon its level of support for robust technologies such as ARM suppo

Variable Field Portal Sorting

With many native features in Claris/FileMaker, you may end up hitting what you "think" is a brick wall. In this case, I'm referring to the ability of sorting portals. You've only got one checkbox per portal with the options for specifying a selection of fields to sort by. True, you can choose a number of fields to sort by, but, you can't change their order dynamically or allow a user to make any changes to which fields are used. That is, of course, unless you combine a variety of native feature

Mobile Transitions & Effects

While you won't have access to as many visual effects as if you had created a native iOS application, there are still some things you can do and take advantage of with native transitions within FileMaker Go. One of my own recent experiences led to making a dedicated script which enhances the visual appeal of performing a find within a single layout. In order to gain the advantage of FileMaker Go's native layout transitions, you can use a dedicated layout and script to accomplish some really nic

Balanced Button Bars

Sometimes, it's the little things you learn that make working with Claris/FileMaker so enjoyable. Things like making a Button Bar balanced when hiding segments and not having to use any scripts or extra code (unless desired) to do it. This video presents a great little technique of how you can use a Hide calculation on your button bar segments yet still maintain the same relative button size. With this little bit of know-how, you can easily stack various button bars and provide all kinds of pro

Fast Filtering Portals

When you first develop your FileMaker solution you're typically dealing with sample and/or test data. Everything works great. It's fast and efficient and you're guessing users will just love using it. Until you hear feedback like "It takes forever to simply see a list of people to pick from." As you scratch your head wondering why things got slow, it's likely because you didn't think about what's happening on every record of that simple little portal. Your once wonderful complex filter, which w

Using Script Triggers in Claris/FileMaker

Learning everything you can do with Claris/FileMaker scripts is such a wonderful journey. When you first start using the available script triggers, it often becomes a bit of an issue if you aren't fully aware of all the impacts. This video is an update to older videos which didn't have the insights presented in this video. If you've been using Script Triggers within Claris/FileMaker for some time, then you might want to give this video a watch to see if you're missing any of the latest and grea

Additional Script Triggers in Claris/FileMaker

Learning everything you can do with Claris/FileMaker scripts is such a wonderful journey. When you first start using the available script triggers, it often becomes a bit of an issue if you aren't fully aware of all the impacts. This video is an update to older videos which didn't have the insights presented in this video. If you've been using Script Triggers within Claris/FileMaker for some time, then you might want to give this video a watch to see if you're missing any of the latest and grea

Virtual List JSON Portal Filtering

Developing software in FileMaker can be such a joy when you're able to solve so many problems so quickly. There is, however, a point where you start to solve so many problems that your solution starts to slow down and you find yourself wondering why. Most commonly, it's the result of cumulative features compounding to make your solution slower and slower. Without careful consideration of the user interface, and how features are presented, it's easy to create a solution which starts to lag over

Optimized Object Inspector Usage

As any FileMaker developer will tell you, working with a complex layout can be a bit of a hassle. That is, of course, unless you know how to take full advantage of the Object Inspector palette! Did you know, it's possible to edit the calculation of a button bar segment without ever double-clicking on the object itself within the layout? Yes, it's not only possible with Button Bars but with most any layout object. And, the best part is this can be done within a few clicks - saving a lot of time

Incredibly Easy Menus

One of the biggest downsides of any complex FileMaker solution is the growing number of layouts and layout elements you'll have to manage. If your number of navigation (or general menu) items is both static and large, then you're going to have issues with keeping the solution well updated. Aside from this, you could have additional complexity when it comes to controlling which menu items show under certain circumstances. While there are number of ways to make menu management easier, the best so

MonkeyBread Plug-In for Better Development

If you're using Claris/FileMaker for either part-time or full-time development, and you've not installed the MonkeyBread plug-in, then you're doing something wrong. Many of the most desired features for working with code, such as code folding, extended syntax highlighting, variable auto-completion, the ability to search code, line jumping and other convenience features are available for free when you install the MBS (MonkeyBread) plug-in. In this video, I go over all the free features and how t

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