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Dynamic Data Display

When you need to display data which is dynamic by nature, it tends to boil down to who's viewing the data and how do they need it presented. There's typically more than one way to solve the same problem and knowing what your options are helps you make a good decision when it comes to displaying that data. In this video, I showcase what I would consider are the top three methods of displaying dynamic data. Starting with the easiest method first, we talk about how to make things easier by using a
 

UI Searching

As with all software projects, one of the biggest prices you'll ever pay is the accumulated technical debt. It's a cost which starts as soon as you make the choice to simply write a new script with every new feature you add into your FileMaker solution. Thus, the trick with creating something which is easier to manage is to simply decide to limit the number of things you create. So, what does one do when you've made that decision? Well, you focus on using the available toolset, using great orga
 

List View Grouping Indicators

There are all kinds of methods for using indicators within FileMaker. We have multi-segment button bars, using the Hide calculation on any number of layout objects and, of course, there's simply using text alone to indicate something. In one of my more recent projects, I needed to group duplicates together. While normally you'd want to rid your system of duplicates, this particular use case actually wanted them retained as an indication of importance or urgency. So, what was really needed was a

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Automating FileMaker Imports

Importing data may be a very common task for some of your FileMaker workflows. Of course, not all data is going to come from the wonderful world of an online API. Some software just doesn't make its data available through the Internet. So, what you often need to do is get hold of the import file and then create the script. But, what happens if your data for import is in some obscure location and may be hard for the user to find? Well, in that situation we want to work with as many known values

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Drag-n-Drop Groupings

As a long-time developer, I can certainly say that FileMaker development has advanced quite significantly over the past decade. However, I can also say that FileMaker was never developed from the ground up to have a highly robust event model. The bolt-on method of supporting events through script triggers never really planned on having too much support for drag-n-drop between various layout objects. Fortunately, there are a number of little tricks you can apply with your knowledge of how the Fi

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Enhanced Portal Design

Hopefully, we can all agree that when something is more fully refined, it's the craftsmanship which showcases the higher quality of the work. The time and effort put into making something that much cleaner and that much more efficient. Such is the case with enhancing FileMaker's portals. Sure, you can use portals as they're provided, and you'll certainly get all the benefits of using them "as is". But, what happens when you want your solution to be that much easier to use and that much more imp

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

An Awesome FullCalendar

As a long time developer of FileMaker solutions, I clearly remember the first time I personally attempted to create a calendar solution. It was not as easy as I'd initially thought. There were a TON of "little things" which you find out about down the road. Don't get me wrong, the learning experience is well worth it and made me a better developer for sure! But, when it comes to building one natively within FileMaker today, it just doesn't make much sense. That is, unless you really only need t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Collecting Data (arrays & lists)

Your FileMaker database is obviously designed to store data. FileMaker also provides the tools for precisely extracting that data as needed. When and how you extract the data is based on your needs. Sometimes, you need the data for an external system or API. Maybe it's needed for an export or you need the data specifically for a given visualization of that data. In a recent video, I showed some Sankey Diagrams and how cool they are as visualization tools. One of keys to presenting a great visua

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Beautiful Sankey Diagrams

There are so many times I hear lamentations from stalwart "FileMaker only" developers who declare that you should do everything within FileMaker and FileMaker alone. This is just crazy. It's like saying you should build an entire house with only a hammer and nails. How could you ever do that efficiently? What about the plumbing? The electrical? Well, you can't. You always have to increase what you know and become familiar with other tools and newer technologies. In this video, I showcase a very

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Integrating Apple Maps

Yes, while it's unfortunate FileMaker Go doesn't run on Android devices, we can still take advantage of what's offered on the iOS side of things. This comes in the form of Apple Maps using MapKit JS. True, Google Maps does seem to have the slight edge when it comes to feature set, but if you need full control over an integrated mapping experience, then Apple's MapKit JS may just be the perfect solution for you. MapKit JS, currently in beta since WWDC 2018, only seems to work on the Mac version

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Enhancing Coded Searches

With FileMaker Pro development, there are so many little areas which take a bit of time to investigate and discover. One of the more important areas is that of search and making sure you provide users with the results they might expect. While using one of my own personal tools, I found that FileMaker itself couldn't find the result I was looking for when using its own Quick Find feature. I thought that was a bit odd and had to dig into the code to find out what the real issue was. While the is

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Updated Naming Conventions

When you work within a development environment long enough, you end up realizing where some of the pain points are for certain types of situations. For FileMaker Pro development, and many other systems, one of the biggest pain points is maintenance of a growing system. Where older code may be replaced instead of refactored. What ends up happening is the older, unused code just sits there and only contributes to the growing mess which is what I call the "Giant Ball of Spaghetti Mess" that is a F

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Google Maps Capturing Coordinates

Well now, you really can't get away from it, because most of the Internet is pretty much dependent upon it. Yep, it's JavaScript of course. So, should you be afraid of using it within FileMaker Pro? No WAY! You should take advantage of it as much as possible. Integrating JavaScript solutions is what makes FileMaker solutions that much more powerful. In this video, we take a look at using the Google Maps JavaScript API in order to capture latitude and longitude coordinates. Along with that, we

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Making Multiple Selections

Over my many years of working with FileMaker Pro, I've often talked about adding in a multiple selection feature. Whether working within FileMaker's List View or working with portal rows, this can be a critical feature for allowing users to make selections and then being able to take some type of action against that selection. Whatever the desired result is, such as processing the data, saving the set, or just being able to see a set of selected records, knowing what your options are, and how t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Global based portals

One of your most powerful methods of showing data, within a fully controlled manner, is using the combination of global fields and portals. The portal object isn't simply for showing the related data as it belongs to one single record. A portal is a display tool useful for presenting whatever data you want and, however you want. In this video, I use the example of showing multiple events based on the selection of multiple locations. Whether you need to provide a simple multi-selection option i

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Easier JavaScripting with Carafe

Because of the rich UI experiences which JavaScript provides within a web browser, it makes sense to take advantage of the various possibilities. The difficulty may be putting all the pieces together in order to get something working correctly. Fortunately, JavaScript isn't just for those "other developers". Those who already know what they're doing. You too, can easily integrate and use JavaScript within your own solutions. You simply need to be ready to learn enough in order to integrate succ

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Getting started with JavaScript

JavaScript, it may sound scary because learning any new technology, which includes so much more than FileMaker, feels like an overwhelming amount of new learning. The great thing is, learning just a few little pieces at a time is the best way to learn - little-by-little. So let's start with just a few little pieces. In this video, I walk through the basics of how you get started with JavaScript within FileMaker Pro. How it's implemented and how to execute things. The great thing about getting

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Optimized Sequence Sorting

Solving real world problems within FileMaker can actually be quite fun. It's a certain type of challenge which includes making something fast, efficient and easy to maintain. It's the type of thing which keeps us developers and learners going. Like most all software products, which allow for a high degree of creativity, it boils down to knowing the feature set and what's possible. When you learn the underpinnings, and you can really wrap your head around what the limitations or consequences are

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Saving Panel State

Over the years, I've created a number of videos which showcase saving the state of various situations. For example, saving how many and which windows a user has open, saving the window positions and also saving the state of which panels are selected on multi-panel objects. Such as tab panels and sliders. In this video, we revisit the topic because we now have a newer function within FileMaker 18 which makes it even easier to save which panels are frontmost within your user UI. While I personall

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Using Node-RED & the FileMaker Data API

While it's been around for a few years now, there aren't too many developers in the world of FileMaker who have explored Node-RED. Created by IBM and made open source in 2016, this visual programming tool may start to make waves in the FileMaker world. A wonderfully generous developer named Lui de la Parra has made it possible to use Node-RED with FileMaker's own Data API. This means that anything in the world of Node-RED is now accessible to FileMaker. This is an amazingly powerful technology

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

File Input & Output

When first learning about file operations, while working with PHP, I remember having to learn about the concept of buffers and buffer streams. Fortunately, we're not quite there yet within FileMaker. But, we have arrived at the point of learning about the nitty-gritty details of understanding all the details of files and how they factor into the FileMaker universe. FileMaker 18 released support for file IO and we're certainly going to be taking advantage of it in this new world of APIs and inter

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Working with SVGs

As the number of web sites hosting icon collections has grown over the years, it makes little sense to have your own collection of icons custom created at a costly premium. Typically, you can find pretty much any icon you could ever want to use and in many cases, you can even modify the icon to fit your specific needs if you need a slight variation. With the release of Creative Commons licensing, a wide array of freely available collections and the easy ability to modify icons, you can quickly

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Terminology

Within every industry there's a certain terminology used to express how things work and how to accomplish things. FileMaker is obviously no different. So, with this video, we start discussing some of the FileMaker specific terms and terminology. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Identifying Duplicates

You may be familiar with the routine when you have multiple duplicate records in your database. You end up having to reference multiple sources. Which can be a real pain. Ultimately, you end up needing to decide which record is the master and then merging as much of the data as possible from any of the duplicates. This is a common scenario with any multi-user database system. Where, anytime you have more than one person working on the same data, you can inevitably end up with duplicates. There

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Hiding Buttons

It's just like when you see someone who is well-dressed, clean and sharp looking, your FileMaker user interface is no different. You're more impressed by that sharp, clean look. In this regard, not having something on your user interface is quite possibly one of the very things which makes your user interface look that much cleaner. Portals and list views, pretty much anything which repeats itself many times, can be very overwhelming when there are a lot of options. Quite simply, if there are t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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