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JSON Set Variable Power Tools

Our world of software development is changing rapidly! With AI influencing the way we develop, it becomes increasingly important for developers to become informed about the tools which help them become more efficient. Fortunately, we still live in a world where people have to coordinate and organize code. Even if AI can create near-flawless code in some cases, it doesn't create the ideas. Humans are the creative force. Whether you're using a simple Find & Replace to refactor some functions,

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Solution Wide Popovers

Expanding on a recently released article about Incredibly Easy Menus, which used a Card Window and showcased minimal use of popovers, I've now created a new dedicated setup specifically for use with popovers. Using this method, you can implement the technique and manage your solution-wide popovers from a single location for code. Solution maintenance becomes vastly simplified with this approach. Remember, our goal as developers is to create DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) code. This is exactly what

Exporting JSON

JSON, JSON, JSON! If you haven't gotten used to it yet, you'd better start. It's the way you communicate with the web. It's the structure that's winning. XML is too verbose, and .tab and .csv aren't always clear enough. So, what are some of the ways you can create JSON within FileMaker? Here are just a few: 1. Create a calculated field of it. 2. Use ExecuteSQL() to return it. 3. Use Execute FileMaker Data API [ ]. 4. Write a looping script. 5. Or... you can just export it. This last metho

AI Coding is WAY Faster

While some of the excitement around AI deals with using the technology within your FileMaker solution, it's likely that, as a developer, you should be more excited about how AI changes what you do as a developer. In fact, it's theorized that the occupation of being a developer will be one of the careers most affected by AI. So, what do you do while we wait and see if this is truly the case? Well, you use AI, of course! If you haven't yet dipped your toes into the world of using AI to compose s

Testing Privilege Sets

If there's one thing you shouldn't ignore from the start of any FileMaker solution, it's the way security is going to factor into your creation. You need to know who the users and groups are and what their access rights are. These access rights are called privilege sets within FileMaker. All too often, security may be an afterthought because most of the fun typically lies in creating solutions to the problems. The real trick is to create the solution to the problem while simultaneously consider

Claris FileMaker 2024 - Discovering new features

Companies release new versions of software all the time. One of the issues we may face as developers is that not everything is documented and the "marketing spin" might not provide all the technical details. In this video I showcase how I go about the process by performing and ad hoc discover of some of the new features in the Claris FileMaker 2024 release. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article

Fundamentals: Knowing Context

Over one's development career, you'll come across a number of people who "think" they know how something really works. You then proceed to show them some of the cool things they can really do, like a "context jump" within FileMaker. You then smile at their surprise, because what they thought was possible isn't even the start of it. If you don't even know about, or truly understand, FileMaker's ability to jump from one context to another, then you're missing a critical piece to the FileMaker puz

Status Messages Enhanced

User interface related topics are always exciting when they work really well within FileMaker. Regarding non-modal status updates, e.g. showing the user what happened or is happening, we have a few options we can use. The most simple is to toggle a value which uses a hide calculation to show/hide a given object on the layout and refresh its visibility. When you extend this notion a good bit further, you can come up with one of the most creatives uses of many hide calculations to take advantage

Spreadsheets: Copy / Paste / Import

Spreadsheets really suck!... Long live spreadsheets, they're super useful! This simple contradiction, however, is likely a part of our technological lives for the rest of time. Unless AI removes the need for people to directly interact with data, spreadsheets are likely here to stay. And, for good reason. They're actually super useful! As a software/database developer you need to realize that not everyone intuitively understands the solution you've created. In fact, the learning curve, may just

Proper Image Handling

Just because you can click the Create button to add a new container field doesn't mean you should do it. In fact, you might want to consider never adding a single container field to your main solution's tables. "Really?", you ask. Yes, because there are many advantages to segmenting a solution into multiple distinct parts. Most media, images, video and audio, is considered "heavy data" and that data comes with a big cost. It may be that you're unfamiliar with how you can best structure your dat

Navigational Indicators

Providing users with some type of indication about where they are within the current layout is always a nice thing. People don't typically like that feeling of being lost and there are multiple ways to indicate where the user is. A simple header or label is always one of the easiest ways, but, what if you're using disconnected objects. In that case, the navigation itself can often act as the indicator. The combination of either multiple buttons or a Button Bar, with a tab panel or slider is a v

Complete Barcode Scanning & Generation in FileMaker

There's nothing more fraught with errors than allowing a human to enter a long string of digits. Some people are detail oriented and others less so. Who cares if you transpose the seven and zero right? Well, we developers care, that's who. We need things to be user-friendly, fast and exact. That's what you get with barcodes. Try imagining our modern world without them. It just wouldn't be the same. So, why aren't you using them whenever and wherever you can within FileMaker. Put a barcode on e

True Drag & Drop Lists

When FileMaker simply can't do what's needed natively, you resort to pulling out the old web viewer and just doing it there. Yes, learning JavaScript may be something you're resistant to - or - maybe you've fully embraced the maximum extent of the power we have access to. Either way, there are many things JavaScript can do better and all we need is to move the data back and forth between the web viewer and our fields. When it comes to a truly natural feeling of drag and drop with lists, your on

Automating Data Capture of PDF & Images

It's always interesting to measure the metrics of how long something takes. Adding automation to a process not only saves time, but makes it less mentally taxing. This increases the sense of accomplishment and can make the process itself more gratifying. I remember being at an amusement park and showing my kids how to measure the amount of time they might be in line by counting the amount of time it took between each time a roller coaster pulled in and how many people it accommodated. By then c

Global Utility Fields

Global fields in FileMaker Pro are a staple of how you define what your user interface can do. Without global fields, your ability to present variable scenarios of data is almost impossible - or - at least, unrealistic. You would be limited to using calculated fields and/or extra data fields, and this can make things really slow, REALLY quick. Global fields are the linchpin to makings things work well, as desired and efficiently within your FileMaker UI. Without knowing how to take advantage of

MBS JavaScript Power

Living the 100% FileMaker native life is certainly possible, but can be seriously limiting when it comes to all the things possible with various other technologies. JavaScript, as one of the predominant languages used across the Internet and beyond, is quickly becoming a must-know for every serious FileMaker developer. In this video I showcase using the MBS plug-in in order to take advantage of the VERY WIDE world of JavaScript libraries and doing it without the Web Viewer. FileMaker's Web View

JSON Parameter Passing

Thank goodness JSON was implemented within FileMaker. Without it, we would still be using a variety of other methods for handling multiple parameters within a FileMaker script. Using JSON, we now get the double-sided benefit of 1) having an efficient serialization of key/value pairs as inbound parameters and 2) it just happens to be the standard which most of the rest of world is using for a large chunk of how things interoperate. In this video, and the technique file, I'll showcase a few examp

10 Killer Utility Scripts

Once you've repeated the same thing within FileMaker more than a dozen times, you often realize you should really be using a Utility script. A utility script is something which allows you to focus more on the unique solution and less on the routine things you end up doing over and over again. In this video we take a look at 10 killer utility scripts. These vary from a simple copy field routine to a very useful related record creation routine. Do you find yourself often needing to toggle values

Easy Mapping Using MapKit

When it comes to using mapping technologies within FileMaker, you've most likely heard about using Google Maps API within a web viewer. Maybe you even know about Bing Maps, Mapbox or even the popular OpenStreetMap.org. The biggest issue with all of these mapping APIs is you'll have to first understand the API in order to achieve your desired result, and then you'll have to jump through the hurdles of authentication as well. It's not as easy as a simple plug-n-play solution. While authentication

JSON Manipulation using JSONata

Having created recent videos about accessing APIs via REST, and extracting the free JSON data as well, it would be a glaring omission if I didn't address our need to manipulate the JSON FileMaker provides us with. Yes, the work to put your FileMaker data into structured JSON has already been done. But, the JSON you need for your designated API is always going to be different than that. Fortunately, we have access to the amazingly powerful and fast JavaScript engine built into each and every Web

Server Side Scripts: Get & Restore Context

Traditionally, performance in computing has revolved around the optimization of bits and bytes — how many can be saved and how efficiently a task can be accomplished. This principle dates back to the era of computers with only a handful of kilobytes of memory, where maximizing efficiency was critical. Fast forward to today, and the same principle holds true. Despite various ways of achieving the same outcome, the ultimate question end-users continue to ask is: 'Can you make it go faster?' Enter

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

The "One" REST Script

When it comes to programming, there's always more to learn and share. If you've worked with REST APIs in the past, then you may have already devised your perfect system. If not, then this video will showcase a freely available script which you might want to consider first before trying to solve the problem yourself. In our ever expanding world of coding to standards and systems, many of which have existed for decades, it's always prudent to see if you can beg, borrow and... Ok, don't steal... c

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Data Separation - How-To

FileMaker solutions don't really care where your data comes from. They've long had the ability to reach out into ODBC & SQL sources of data. So long as the connection is fast and stable, users really don't know, or care, where the data is hosted. With the addition of Claris Studio, data can even be hosted within a NoSQL database such as MongoDB - although we can't, as of yet, structure any of the data other than through the Claris Studio interface. This also means you can use the same Exte

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Layout Design Optimization

When it comes to designing a FileMaker layout, there are always subtle tips and tricks that might not be immediately apparent. Whether it's leveraging a graphic to replace multiple layout objects or finding innovative ways to present information in a navigational portal, the possibilities are quite wide. Regardless of the current state of your layouts, this video unveils various tricks that can further optimize them. Whether your aim is to create layouts with lower maintenance and maximum effic

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

Easy JSON Record Data

Coding software solutions offers the fascinating realization that there are always multiple pathways to achieve the same goal. Sometimes the methods we're familiar with may not be the most optimal, prompting us to expand our knowledge to explore alternative approaches. This video explores precisely that theme - the comparison between older and newer methods of accomplishing the same task. The advantage lies in the fact that newer methods often come with additional features or benefits. This is

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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