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Field Data Validation Options

When you're the one creating the database, you're the one who says which data makes it in and which data doesn't. This all happens through the various methods of data validation. Data is either considered valid or not - and this happens according to your data validation rules. If the data is valid, then everything proceeds as normal. If, however, the data isn't exactly what's required, then you get to choose what happens. In most cases, you can let the user keep taking a whack at it until they
 

Server Restored Contexts

Prior to FileMaker 13 we never even had the option of performing scripted tasks where the data actually exists. The processing of a script, client side, always had, and still does, make a full round trip for all kinds of these processing activities. Many times, FileMaker does it's best to optimize whatever is being done, but it's still not as fast as executing certain things directly on the server. With the addition of Perform Script on Server we gained a REALLY BIG performance boost by being a
 

Universal Tagging System

One of the most wonderful aspects of FileMaker, or any development project, is implementing a portion of the software which can be used system wide. Meaning you don't have to recreate functionality over and over again in order to benefit from what you implement initially. Especially when it can be used in all locations universally. In this video, I show you how to implement a Universal Tagging System in which you can apply tags to any other element you're managing within your database system. A
 

Advanced JSON Script Parameters

While many FileMaker solutions will manage multiple parameter passing in very simple and straight-forward ways, there are some solutions which you know will grow over time. Because of this expected growth, you may want to have an additional level of comfort knowing you've implemented a very strict system for managing data transfer between scripts. You also may be interested in working with external APIs and connecting to systems and data which is provided via the currently popular format of JSO
 

Single Source of Truth

Having worked with FileMaker for well over 20+ years, and experiencing a wide variety of data models, it's always possible to get into a situation where you need to re-evaluate the data decisions you've made with regards to your structure. The data model you may have initially thought would handle all situations may need to be modified. Knowing about the multiple options you may have available for structuring your data makes a big difference when you start to consider simply "adding that new fi
 

Time Picker Widget

It's a curious question and the answer may be good or bad depending on your perspective. "Why doesn't FileMaker have a time picker?". It has a calendar widget for working with date fields, why not time values? The solution to the problem, as is often the case, can be managed by simply creating your own picker. In fact, if you don't like FileMaker's desktop based date picker you can create any variation you desire based on being able to create any style of layout you can imagine. While the same

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Google Maps APIs

Unless you've got a billion dollars to send out tens of thousands of cars with specially fitted technology mounted on their roofs; and, you can send them all across the planet, then you'll likely need to rely on mapping data from a third party. So, here we go with learning how we can leverage Google Maps APIs within FileMaker. This video will cover the essential knowledge you need in order to make the requests about geolocations whether they be latitude longitude coordinates or an address. As

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Subtle UI Widgets

If it's not obvious by the types of videos I produce, one of my most favorite areas of software development and design is the user interface. It's where the real test of your software happens. A user either "gets it" or not. If they don't, then you're back to the drawing board. Of course, there's always the learning curve which is present for anyone, but if you can create something that has less of a learning curve, then you feel like a winner. In this video, I cover a wide variety of topics r

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Limiting Field Access

These are often asked questions regarding setting up a new FileMaker database system. "How can I limit when the user can enter data into the field?" Or, the alternative, "Once the user enters data, how can I make sure they don't change it unless I want them to?" Both of these types of questions can be answered using a variety of methods. The core to understanding their answers is that there's really only only two methods for limiting field access. One is controlling the display of the field and

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Powerful Summary ListOf Fields

One of the nicest additions FileMaker made awhile back was within an area you wouldn't quite expect. It was within the Summary functions that FileMaker added a simple new option named ListOf. This happened with FileMaker version 13 and this one type of summary field can be use for so many different things within the user interface that it's quite invaluable for driving all kinds of user feedback. With a ListOf summary field, you can control the content of a custom portal, grab data necessary fo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Design Tips for List Views

What would our world be if we didn't have list views? They're the ubiquitous method for viewing a selection of items in relation to each other. In FileMaker, you can sort them, filter them, apply conditional formatting and basically present your data however you wish. Heck, most of the smart phone revolution revolves around a list view. A list of data, a list of settings, a list of options, a list of pretty much anything and "the list" goes on an on. There are, however, a number of settings wit

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Better Print Previews

When you think about printing these days, you probably think about saving the environment and just sending out the digital version. Of course, it turns out that many solutions still need to use the good old paper method and print something out. The great thing about having the data in a digital format beforehand is that you can preview the content before you actually hit that potentially wasteful print button. This video covers just a few of the possible methods for previewing content created f

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Super Powerful Breadcrumbs

What's truly great about FileMaker Pro is that you can have 5 different developers come up with 5 different ways of doing the exact same thing. There are, however, some pieces to a puzzle which will inevitably require the same structure or settings. Breadcrumbs, for example, work infinitely better within a Tab Panel object than any other object type in FileMaker. This is because tab panels provide the feature of shrinking to fit their content. But, when it comes to the implementation of the lo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Accessing Google Services - Part 3

Having made the connection to Google's Services using Oauth 2, and spending a touch of time investigating how we can discover documents within Google Drive, we're in the home stretch of reading and writing data to a Google Sheet. By simplifying the way we make API calls to any of Google's services, we end up with a great solution for working with any of Google's available APIs. Also, by focusing on the simple example of working with one simple Google Sheet, we end up capturing data via a Google

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Accessing Google Services - Part 2

This video is a continuation of the first video in this series where we took a look at connecting to Google's myriad of available services. Once you know how to make the secure connection which Google requires, you can access all the possible services. The trick with working with web services, such as Google or AWS, is that you need to become familiar with how FileMaker requests data and then process the response. We tackle that task within this video then move on to working with Google Drive i

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Accessing Google Services - Part 1

Buried within the layers of complexity inside any technical system are the simple settings of multiple parameters and/or settings. You simply need to get the right pieces into the right places. You know - like a jigsaw puzzle. And, once the puzzle starts to reveal itself, the understanding of what the picture is becomes so much more clear. That's the goal of this particular video when it comes to connecting to the myriad of possible Google services. FileMaker Pro, in the last few years, had im

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Universal Date Picker

FileMaker Pro provides us with a wonderfully blank canvas in order to present data however we wish. It's called Layout Mode. When you combine that feature with the recently added Card Windows the power to solve presentation problems goes up quite significantly. Such is the case when it comes to providing users with a date picker, or a calendar widget if you will. In previous videos, I've provided instruction on how to make a very simple calendar widget. When you combine that widget with a Card

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Using FileMaker's Grid

Recently, while providing intermediate training at the annual FileMaker Devcon, I had an attendee approach me and ask a very simple question. "How do you turn off the grid in FileMaker?" Like all questions, it was asked within the context of innocent ignorance. This was simply because this person had not yet used, nor explored this area of FileMaker. This is totally understandable with the increasing number of options found across the increasing number of palettes within FileMaker. However, if

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Duplicating Related Records - Server Side

The age old question commonly arises on FileMaker forums around the world. "How can I duplicate the whole record?" In other words, how can I duplicate the parent record and all related children records which make it seem like it's one whole entity. Well, at least, that's how a newer user/developer sees it. They may visually see the one record with all of its related records presented within the portal, but making the distinction that you're actually looking at 1 record plus N related records is

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Reusable Dialogs

Card windows will continue to impact our FileMaker solutions for years to come. Released in FileMaker 16, who would have thought that simply creating a new way to draw windows would be so empowering. We've long been able to create modal windows which force user interaction - but taking off the title bar and dimming the background window was all it took to make things much more powerful. So, what is the most common thing you can do with a card window? Well, create a reusable dialog box of course

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

List Processing with Custom List

While FileMaker's calculation engine is super powerful for managing all kinds of unique calculations, the one thing it lacks is a feature for running a repetitive function across a range of data. This is certainly possible within the Scripting engine with the use of the ever wonderful Loop script step. However, as stated, there's no way to really process a range of data using just a function. Unless... you create your own or use one which has already been created. As it happens, there is just

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Oauth External Authentication

Using multiple files for developing a robust FileMaker solution can be pretty normal when you plan out the distribution of your data and servers. Some solutions benefit from breaking out part of the solution into one or more separate files. So, whether taking the load off a given server or simply planning for quicker data access across multiple time zones, one of the bigger problems which pops up with your standard FileMaker accounts is password management. This is where it becomes much easier

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Layout Object Palette Know How

The Layout Objects palette was an absolutely WONDERFUL addition to working in FileMaker's Layout Mode. If you've not given yourself the time to fully explore what's possible with it then this video will give you a great reason to do so. In this video, I walk through a re-work I needed to do on a database project which had a ton of extra layout objects. I show you how I used the Layout Objects palette in the most effective way possible. The tips and tricks provided may very well save you a ton o

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Tabbed List Views

One of the challenges I love the most within FileMaker is creating something which requires less time and effort than the "older way" of doing the same thing. Such is the case with a tabbed list view. I recently came upon a sample file showcasing how to do something in multiple list views. It was using an older method of "simulated" tabs by simply placing clickable buttons in a horizontal row and making one of the buttons look different on each respective layout. So I thought to myself, "Why

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Ultimate FileMaker Debugging

Every craftsman should know how to use his or her set of tools effectively. When you know all the various uses and features of a given tool you then become more efficient at your trade. In FileMaker Pro Advanced, now available to pretty much everyone in version 17, there's one tool which helps you both understand what's happening and figure out what's not happening. The Script Debugger is an absolutely essential tool. Creating a well functioning script is a lot like Michelangelo creating David

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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